Or, rather, to paraphrase the title of my book, what do I do to read minds? As in, what method would make reading minds easier?
Well, there are a number of ways, all of which I discuss in this podcast episode:
1. The “Brain Scan” Approach
The first is the “Brain Scan” approach. Using something as simple, as a piece of information as your brain, you can get a pretty good idea of how someone thinks.
In other words, if you’re watching someone reading something, you can figure out what they’re thinking. And as long as you’re not using someone’s brain for nefarious ends, you can glean a much more accurate picture of who they are and how they think.
The brain scan technique, which is also known as fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), is being used to investigate Alzheimer’s disease, the effects of chronic stress, mood disorder, anxiety, and many others.
2. Behavioral Economics or Behavioral Psychology
This is a more “conventional” approach to studying the mind. It requires that you ask different questions of different people, each of which can yield some interesting results. But there are some differences to be aware of.
One major difference is that what you’re dealing with here is a bunch of behavioral variables like personality or traits, and while they aren’t exactly hard and fast traits like smarts or brains or beauty, they can be a valuable guide for how you approach the task of figuring out how someone views you.
In other words, if you ask the right question of the right person, you might get different results than you would if you were asking the same question of the wrong person.
I tend to get pretty good results using this approach. However, I’ve found that people tend to say “well, I’m just a regular person” even if they’re perfectly capable of thinking in completely different ways than you, or if they’re a jerk. This is known as “confirmation bias.”
It’s a common problem with other behavioral tests, like the MBTI, one which may stem from the fact that this is an extremely simple test and so is very easy to get wrong. For these kinds of tests, the correct answer is usually pretty intuitive. This makes it a good measure to use as a guide when working on your own.
However, it’s important to remember that there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all
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