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Posts Tagged "theory of mind"

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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Bering in Mind

“Natural Theologians” Are God’s Psychoanalysts

The following is an edited excerpt from The Belief Instinct, which will be released as a paperback on Feb. 20. When I moved to my previous house in a small village in Northern Ireland in late 2007, there was still quite a bit of work to be done, including laying flooring in an intolerably small, [...]

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Bering in Mind

Cur cognition: Do stray dogs have qualitatively different kinds of canine minds?

In previous posts, I’ve discussed my fascination with dogs, such as this recent controversial piece mentioning those good-natured pit bulls whose unearned reputations often precede them because of a few maladjusted, vicious outliers. Yet I’ve never seen anything quite like the canines of Sofia, Bulgaria, from where I’ve just returned after a week of teaching [...]

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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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Streams of Consciousness

Children Reason Differently from Adults [Video]

          // Editor’s note: Brain Basics from Scientific American Mind is a series of short video primers on the brain and how we feel, think and act. Below is a synopsis of the ninth video in the series written by a guest on this blog, Roni Jacobson, a science journalist based [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Decoding Sexual Desire: Why You’re Into It—or Not

Courtesy of h.koppdelaney via Flickr

Desire. When you have it, nobody questions it. When it is absent, it can be tricky to talk about. After all, the subject is delicate, and what is the point? You probably have little clue what is going on anyway. Luckily, scientists are looking out for you—because it is not even close to being just [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Money Can Buy Isolation

Man standing alone on a ship

Money can bring you happiness, studies show, but not as much as you might think. The richer you get, the happier you get, but the returns diminish after you reach a certain standard of living. (See Do We Need $75,000 a Year to Be Happy?) One of the reasons for this finding might be that [...]

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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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The Thoughtful Animal

Searching for the Social in Contagious Yawning

baby yawning

Evidence has been accumulating for several years that contagious yawning is driven by social cognition. But how? And is it related to empathy? A new study with chimpanzees sheds some light.

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The Thoughtful Animal

Contagious Yawning: Evidence of Empathy?

baby yawning

When is a yawn just a yawn? When is a yawn more than a yawn? Contagious yawning – the increase in likelihood that you will yawn after watching or hearing someone else yawn – has been of particular interest to researchers in fields as varied as primatology, developmental psychology, and psychopathology. At first, scientists thought [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Friday Fun: Liam Neeson and Social Cognition

Washoe_chimpanzee

sciseekclaimtoken-4f761877d9aec I was recently reminded of the fantastic 2001 PBS/NOVA series Evolution, which was released in tandem with Carl Zimmer’s book, Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea. The whole series is great, but episode 6, The Mind’s Big Bang, was my favorite. And this segment in particular, starting around the 2:15 mark, featuring Andrew Whiten. [...]

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