Magens Bay --San Thomas

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mind Reading ...


I first noticed about mind reading when my girls were young. Every child goes thru the same cycle in life. They will attempt to deceive us. If we pay close enough attention, we may catch them and hopefully they will not have the chance to hone this skill and becoming an expert. When they are younger, my girls tried to deceive me and I could see thru them? I often tell my kids that mommy knows what you are thinking. The truth is each of has this power, mind reading.

--courtesy of cartoonstock.com

In fact, according to the article in Psychology Today dated September 1st 2007, newborns were born with the ability to read minds and they are able to mimic facial expressions in just a few weeks old. And Nancy Eisenberg, a psychology professor at Arizona State University and an expert on emotional development stated that, “By two months, infants can perceive and respond to the emotional states of their caregivers.  By age 5, children have acquired a rudimentary ability to read others' minds; they possess a "theory of mind." That is, they understand that other people have thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that are different from their own.”

The theory of mind reading is actually merely reading facial expressions and body languages. It was reported that on average we can read people's minds at the accuracy of 20 percents. This number goes up to 35 percents for couples and close friends. The article claimed that we, females, tend to better read mind, simply by motivation factor. We want to know. Men can too; however, often they don’t bother to do so. Not motivated.

We also tend to feel the emotion that the other parties have. By going thru the same emotion, we can somehow better read their mind.  In contrast, we fail miserably on mind reading when we are under stress and no time, according to “Blink – The Power of Thinking Without Thinking,” by Malcom Gladwell. When we are under stress, our minds stop reading and our abilities to read mind have become impaired. Worst, they are filled with our own assumptions and thoughts. And sometimes, we simply don’t have the chance to do it when we are given no time.

Often, when we know someone well (long) enough, we take it for granted and assume that we know them well enough. We become presumptuous to pay details attention to their facial expressions and body language. And, we may insert our own presumption. And this can lead to disastrous. But, good news is, we are given many opportunities to re-confirm our initial reading. After all, if we care enough, we would keep trying and understanding our friends or significant others and that could lead to better mind reading.

Last December, we were on a Princess cruise to Eastern Caribbean, and we attended a “Mind Reading,” show. It was incredible! This person, (pardon me, I am not good with names,) asked the audiences to clear our minds and start focusing on one thing, anything. Later he narrowed down the reading by saying, “I see someone is thinking about a dog.” Then he went on, “The dog name starts with letter A.” Then he concluded with the exact name of the dog.  It was impressive! He also claimed that if any of the audience can prove that the participants were his accomplice, he would reward them with $ Million.

Hope you fun with Mind Reading … See you on my next stop!

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

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