All About Mind Reading

"Mindsight" or "empathic accuracy" is the seemingly magical ability to map someone's mental terrain from their words, emotions, and body language. Those on the autism spectrum or those afflicted with psychotic disorders struggle mightily to read minds. And even the most socially intelligent are easily thrown off, because we've evolved to deceive others, and, if we're especially invested in someone, to deceive ourselves.

Recent posts on Mind Reading

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How Is Your Anger Best Seen as Retaliation?

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 14, 2018 in Evolution of the Self
Basically, all the perceived affronts that make you mad start, unconsciously, with your self-image taking a hit—reviving the ancient, overblown fear that you’re not good enough.

Negotiating "Us" versus "Me": The influence of Face Concerns

By Jennifer A. Samp Ph.D. on February 03, 2018 in Conflict Matters
Managing both positive and negative face poses a challenge to relationships.

Learn What’s Unique About Your Own, Very Personal Brain

By Eric Haseltine Ph.D. on February 03, 2018 in Long Fuse, Big Bang
How to really get inside someone else's head, including your own. When you do, you could be shocked how little you really know people close to you, and yourself!

How to Read Minds

By Marcia Reynolds Psy.D. on January 13, 2018 in Wander Woman
How can you tell what someone is feeling when they don't have words to tell you? These steps will help you sense what they feel, or at least help them figure it out.

Is It Mind Reading? Interpreting Inference Interference

By APA Division 15 on November 20, 2017 in PsychEd
Reading is an amazingly simple, yet complex construct with a modest goal: understanding. MOCCA, a new diagnostic assessment, can help identify reading comprehension struggles.
Frank J. Aleksandrowicz/wikimedia commons

Suicide Grievers Talk About Family and Friends

By Elizabeth Young on November 17, 2017 in Adaptations
“Does anyone else feel worried about the safety of a family member?”

Reading Minds Is a Skill We All Need to Work On

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on October 20, 2017 in Trouble in Mind
No one can read minds, but we can improve our ability to guess what people are thinking and feeling, and to know when what they say is not what they think.

6 Tips for Decoding Emotions in Text Messages

Is she mad at you? Is he in love with you? Here are some ways to decode emotions in text messages to find out.

Science Progressively Modifies Our Understanding of Agency

Do the increasing restrictions that the sciences' successes impose on agent explanations apply even to human agency?

Can You Judge Trustworthiness From a Face?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on October 07, 2017 in Talking Apes
A sucker may be born every minute, but you don’t have to be one of them.
Andrew Nolan/Pexels

Does Past Experience Increase Empathy?

We may have "walked a mile" in another person's shoes. But ruminating about our own past experiences won't help us understand where they've been.

What Were You Doing in My Dream?

By Rodrigo M. Braga Ph.D. on August 14, 2017 in Your Wonderful, Squishy Brain
Dreams can be weird, original, and surprising. Who exactly is in charge of them?
Trinity Kubassek/Pexels

Better Living Through Empathy

Want to better exercise your empathy muscle? Here are some tips.

What Is the Right Size for a Group Conversation?

Why do we have to decrease the number of people involved in a conversation when we are gossiping about someone else?

Mapping the Sources of Power

The 1998 map of our cognitive sources of power still seems relevant. However, an updated version distinguishes the knowledge that we acquire from ways we can apply that knowledge.
DFID - UK Department for International Development/WikiCommons

Inside the Mind of U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May

The key psychology over the timing of elections is that they reveal information about how well incumbents expect to perform in the future.

Why Carl Sagan's 1995 Prediction Seems So Prescient

Did the uncanny astronomer see into our future, or did our own wishful thinking make his decades-old quote go viral?

Why do People Lie? Part Two.

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on February 25, 2017 in The I-M Approach
Who is lying? Who is telling the truth? Strategic lying is all around us. So we form groups with people who share our values and we can trust. We are desperate to trust.

Why Do People Lie?

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on February 20, 2017 in The I-M Approach
Everyone lies, some to save face, others to deceive for personal gain. This blog explores white lies, those untruths we say to preserve our value in the eyes of someone else.

Does Anyone Know the Future?

By Tom Bunn L.C.S.W. on December 07, 2016 in Conquer Fear Of Flying
You or I, after sending a bowling ball half way down the alley, might have a pretty good idea what will result. Ramakrishna Sarathy had an ability to do that with people.

The Diametrics of Personal Space: Autism vs. Schizophrenia

New research into the sense of personal space.

Why People Struggle to End Verbally Abusive Relationships

A person with an otherwise accurate theory of mind will repeatedly make the wrong predictions about verbal abusers.

Humans Are Not the Only Mind-Reading Species

A study published in Science suggests that the great apes can attribute false beliefs to others. But an even more important lesson can be drawn from the study.

Emotion Perception Across Cultures

By Marianna Pogosyan Ph.D. on October 09, 2016 in Between Cultures
Culture influences how we perceive facial expressions in subtle yet important ways.

“You’re So Controlling!”

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on September 20, 2016 in Evolution of the Self
It’s crucial to realize that though you might feel invaded or exploited by your partner, that doesn't necessarily mean they have the desire to control you. But if they do . . .

Can You Read Your Partner’s Mind?

By Madeleine A Fugère Ph.D. on September 11, 2016 in Dating and Mating
The ability to accurately read your partner’s thoughts and feelings may enhance your relationship.

A Simple Trick to Help You Read People Better

Your body can be a better tuning fork for determining other peoples’ emotions than your mind.

The "Electrochemical Persuasion" of Neuromodulation

Deliberate stimulation of the brain to manipulate behavior reads like something out of George Orwell’s "1984," but treatment of eating disorders & obesity is no longer "brainless"

The New Science of Empathic Accuracy Could Transform Society

Contrary to popular belief, new research shows that the ability to interpret other people's emotions accurately requires more cerebral thinking and less intuition.

How to Get Your Brain Off of Autopilot

We remain trapped in autopilot thinking unless we make an effort to think intentionally. These research-based strategies will help you live an intentional life.