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Anthropology in Practice

Communicating Meaning Online: A Digital Expression of Theory of Mind

Licensed for use under Creative Commons by Kate Ter Harr.

The growth of email, instant messaging, texting, and various other digitally-mediated communicative tools (DMC) has been rapid and pervasive. The majority of people today are comfortable enough to use these communicative tools on a daily basis, particularly among younger generations. DMC appears to be a preferred means of communication. But the popularity of DMC forces [...]

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Observations

People with Asperger’s less likely to see purpose behind the events in their lives

BOSTON—Why do we often attribute events in our lives to a higher power or supernatural force? Some psychologists believe this kind of thinking, called teleological thinking, is a by-product of social cognition. As our ancestors evolved, we developed the ability to understand one anothers’ ideas and intentions. As a result of this “theory of mind,” [...]

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Talking back

A Blind Person Understands the Way a Sighted Friend “Sees” the World

Trendiness in the brain sciences often has an   obscure, esoteric quality that belies the prominence accorded neuro in both academia and popular culture. Toward the top of the list of arcana resides the ponderously titled “embodied cognition.” This is the idea that cognitive processes—thought, emotion—arise from our interactions with the physical world around us. [...]

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