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Corp900
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21 Oct 2010, 9:43 pm

If not, what am i suposed to do?



wavefreak58
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21 Oct 2010, 9:53 pm

Do you know what "Theory of Mind" is? If so, then you have already learned it at a conceptual level. All that remains is to apply that knowledge.



leejosepho
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21 Oct 2010, 10:04 pm

Some people seem to be able to "get inside other people's minds" and learn how they think and so on, but I doubt very many of us will ever do that well. Personally, I have simply done (and I continue to do) my best at treating other people like all people at least *should* to be treated, with respect and in consideration of their personal dignity and so on, and then I also do my best to just stay away from the ones who seem to make no sense.


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Last edited by leejosepho on 21 Oct 2010, 10:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.

MrXxx
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21 Oct 2010, 10:04 pm

One can.

To what extent one can learn it varies from person to person. I'm aware that others have their own thoughts, but I very often forget that how they perceive certain specific things may not be the same as how I perceive them. I am also totally incapable of imagining what they may think if it's different from what I think. I may be aware that others aren't thinking what I'm thinking, but the whole concept of imagining WHAT others are thinking isn't realistic to me.

What are you supposed to do?

The best you can. It's all you can do.


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League_Girl
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21 Oct 2010, 10:46 pm

Yes we can. I still lack it at times and I am always surprised how people think. But everyone lacks it.



Apple_in_my_Eye
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21 Oct 2010, 11:56 pm

I'm not a fan of the "lack of ToM" theory, but I will grudgingly admit that I have noticed that if I'm not "thinking about it" I tend to automatically assume that others have access to all the information in my mind. I.e. When I was a kid I'd ask my parents some complicated mathematical question, but they'd have no clue because I was assuming they could "see"/know the picture I had in my mind.

I think it also adds to a tendency to "over-share," (not that I do it too much nowadays, I don't think)). I forget that others can be grossed out or shocked because they aren't already somehow aware of the shocking thing until I mention it.

Now that I think about it, maybe that's why saying "good morning" has always seemed weird to me. It's sort of like, shouldn't they already know that? Why do I have to say it?

(As I've gotten older, I think I've come to understand it (via my pets, oddly -- always greet my cats when I see them).)

Edit: forgot to address the actual question: Yeah, you should, assuming you haven't already. It's a dicey proposition that people on the spectrum lack it in some flat-out way. I believe Michelle Dawson has done (actual, scientific) research on that and the result isn't simply "people with ASC's lack it."



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22 Oct 2010, 12:23 am

I watch people a lot and like to play guessing games at what they're thinking. Not sure how close I am but it's a good exercise. I'm sure it can be learned from books and experience. I don't always pick up on it but there's rare moments when I do.


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Callista
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22 Oct 2010, 11:02 am

Of course. What people know and feel can be worked out logically, and you can get used to doing it to the extent that you no longer have to remember to do so.

I remember working out theory of mind at the age of two--logically, rather than through empathy. This is actually early; typical children tend to learn it later than that.

I don't even know that we truly have theory of mind deficits so much as that we learn theory of mind a different way...


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MizLiz
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22 Oct 2010, 2:34 pm

I think NTs are more insensitive to theory of mind because they've never HAD to try. I understand it on a clinical level (my fictional characters tyically have 30 page psychological dossiers on them). It can be learned. Humans are systems.


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ediself
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22 Oct 2010, 5:30 pm

well, i think Nts have that delusion of being able to infer what a person might be thinking ....i think you can learn it the way they do it without realising: classify people by their characteristics and start saying : "it's SO not like him to do this!" when they don't act accordingly to what you think they're "supposed "to. there, you're an NT.



kingtut3
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22 Oct 2010, 6:40 pm

I've learned theory of mind. I have not learned it completely.



zer0netgain
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24 Oct 2010, 8:24 am

As I understand it, "THEORY OF MIND" is to comprehend that most everyone else DOES NOT perceive the world exactly as you would if in their place.

This is simple, and I think any person with AS can intellectually comprehend the concept. The problem is putting it into practice.

Some do better than others.

My best advice? Keep reminding yourself that NOBODY sees things as you do. Remind yourself that your brain is "wired differently." This won't prevent you having problems with TOM entirely, but it will help to keep you cognizant that how you'd react if you were in the other person's shoes is UNLIKELY to be the way that person will see the situation. It should help reduce how often you blatantly blunder into something because you didn't stop to think before taking an action.



b9
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24 Oct 2010, 8:53 am

i can learn what to expect from people who are thrust into many circumstances.

i can understand that if a person is used to working for 8 hours per day on 4 accounts, and then they are required to work on 5 accounts for the same pay, then there will be a morale problem.

what i can not do is feel what they feel about it.

i know that someone who loses their child to cancer will be extremely distraught.
but if the person who loses their child to cancer comes to me for understanding, then they will be sorely dissatisfied because i can not feel what they feel. i can state by rote that i know that they must be feeling very bad, but i myself do not feel bad as a result of them feeling bad.

theory of mind is the correct expectation of what a persons mind will feel due to a circumstance that besets them.
after many years of experience, it is not too difficult to expect that a person will feel a certain way about things that happen to them.

empathy is the magical ingredient that is paired with theory of mind in order to complete the human cycle.

empathy is a result of mirror neurons firing in sympathy with others who are feeling things that their minds deliver to their hearts.

i have a barren forest of nerves devoid of mirror neurons and i can seriously not feel the tragic reality of another person who may be embroiled in emotional agony.

i can understand that they feel bad objectively, and i wish for them to feel better, but i personally do not feel any of it myself.

some people think i am like a monster because i can be happy in myself while tragedy is going on all around me.

i do not feel anyone's pain, but i can see it from afar, and i am a nice person and i will try to alleviate their pain, but i feel none of it myself.



richardbenson
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24 Oct 2010, 3:13 pm

so if its a theory does that mean its been proven to exist?



kingtut3
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24 Oct 2010, 8:48 pm

zer0netgain wrote:
As I understand it, "THEORY OF MIND" is to comprehend that most everyone else DOES NOT perceive the world exactly as you would if in their place.

This is simple, and I think any person with AS can intellectually comprehend the concept. The problem is putting it into practice.

Some do better than others.

My best advice? Keep reminding yourself that NOBODY sees things as you do. Remind yourself that your brain is "wired differently." This won't prevent you having problems with TOM entirely, but it will help to keep you cognizant that how you'd react if you were in the other person's shoes is UNLIKELY to be the way that person will see the situation. It should help reduce how often you blatantly blunder into something because you didn't stop to think before taking an action.

So true. I have trouble seeing things from other people's points of views.



GaijinRanger
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24 Oct 2010, 10:21 pm

I'm confident that I have a fair understanding of it.

In high school, I made friends with the teacher that everyone else feared-- and he taught psychology. Coming from a broken home, I dove into pyschology headfirst.

I later went off to college. Though I flunked, I passed the only psych class they had available, with almost perfect marks. :P

When I get to know someone, I try to base their personality off their MBTI result, enneagram number, and astrological sign. Of course, over time I get used to their personalities and after even longer periods they even become predictable. ... Is that normal? I can't tell.

And before I get torn to bits, I understand that each of these theories I mentioned are subject to error. But luckily for me, I'm a little more than just a pretty face. ;)