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Featured Cognitive empathy/theory of mind

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Gift2humanity, Feb 18, 2021.

  1. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    @Gift2humanity , I think you may have got a bit muddled about what this reading fiction thing means. I think it's recognised as/thought to be a way children with autisms theory of mind may be extended/developed, but I don't think it's the reason most adults with autism may have stronger theory of mind. I think a lot of us have varied profiles, what's happened to or in our brains development is different, and we are affected differently. It's not because we read fiction as children.
     
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  2. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes a poster on here also read fiction but feels they have no theory of mind. We are all different. I hope I have understood your post.
     
  3. John M

    John M Well-Known Member V.I.P Member It's My Birthday!

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    I think reading helped to some degree. However, I didn't get good at understanding and dealing with manipulation until I had to deal with it due to the nature of my job. Most manipulation relies on creating or identifying and exploiting cognitive gaps in other people. The most common ways this is done is by spinning the truth or telling outright lies.

    I learned to exploit cognitive gaps as well so I can manage very specific situations however, instead of lying or spinning the truth I take a more constructive approach. For example, I can create cognitive gaps in others by gaining subject area knowledge that exceeds theirs. In this way I'm not harming anyone and I don't have to lie. Another method I like to employee is what I refer to as the 'information cluster bomb.' I watch what's going on around me and keep track of when individuals do things that cause harm to others. From past experience, if I call them out when they're doing these things they'll deflect my efforts and the group will go along with them because 'they're one of us and we're good people.' So I wait until a problem arises that was impacted/created by the harms these individuals did and begin disclosing the past actions which led to the situation, the information cluster bomb. It's very effective, especially when you're good at documenting things. I always combine this with an institutional approach rather then the interpersonal approach that most NTs use which I'm not good at.
     
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  4. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I see so it was your job that taught you about manipulation. having not read fiction myself, yes having experienced a lot of manipulation and not learning how to deal with it this is why why I feel so strongly about reading fiction equipping people to deal with manipulation. I might be wrong however. I was manipulated at home at school and at work and elsewhere.
    I never recognised cognitive gaps.

    I wonder why why that's although I was manipulated a lot why did I not learn from it,?

    so your job help you use the institutional approach rather than on the interpersonal approach.?
     
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  5. Soleil

    Soleil Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious about this, because I've read a lot when I was a child, especially fiction and fantasy. Is there an overview of this theory somewhere that I could look at?
     
  6. John M

    John M Well-Known Member V.I.P Member It's My Birthday!

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    Yes, my job helped me to use an institutional approach. I may not be at a high level of government but I'm still government. When one works in government for a time one develops a kind of clandestine knowledge. Usually, people use this knowledge as a way to 'cash in'. I used it as a way to facilitate good government. Good government helps me and it helps everyone else too.
     
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  7. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    do you have good cognitive empathy and theory of mind.?
     
  8. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    thank you I used to work for the government as a civil servant but I found that I was manipulated and picked on even third parties used to say that I was picked on and not treated very nice.
     
  9. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    From what I can see of some of the research on this, just by googling, recent research suggests the idea that literary fiction in particular improves theory of mind in people generally, ie not specifically with autism, but having said that the so called experiments did not look very persuasive to me, nevertheless I do recall hearing this idea of using stories to help children with autism develop better understanding of others.

    Where did you come across the idea, @Gift2humanity? Do you read literary fiction now?
     
  10. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don’t read literally fiction. I have come across this on lots of sites. Can you tell me where you recall hearing the idea of using stories to help children with autism develop a better understanding of others?
     
  11. BobbyTheEmperor

    BobbyTheEmperor New Member

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    Hi, sorry for a delayed answer. I have some cognitive empathy and I do have affective empathy. I have epilepsy which was discovered when I was an adult and one of my medicines kind of "mutes" my affective empathy a bit. However I experienced before that my ability to empathize with others and feel what the feel was so strong that it was kind of overwhelming. So this medicine doesn't bother me and I can still have affective empathy.

    The area in which I feel I lack cognitive empathy is, like the finer nuances. I can't always read that in other people.
    I hope it answers your question. Kind Regards P
     
  12. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thank you and sorry for one more question. Did you read a lot of literature and fiction as a child and teenager.?
     
  13. BobbyTheEmperor

    BobbyTheEmperor New Member

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    I did. Fantasy genre most of the time (exept for that One time when my teacher told me she didn’t think I could read Mein Kapf and I did and wrote an essay, got an A, and I did all of that to prove her wrong). When it came to facts it was dinosaurs, animals (cats, or big cats, specifically lions). Have been obsessed about it all my life. If I was better at mathematics I would probably be a vetenarian, specialized in wild cats and living in a National Preserve to hel and try to protect wild cats.

    Sorry, I am Swedish. The english word Fiction - does it refer to everything readable which is a book or the kind of book that isn’t based on reality (like stories).
    Kind Regards
     
  14. BobbyTheEmperor

    BobbyTheEmperor New Member

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  15. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It’s ok, fiction means non fact books, stories.
    Fantasy comes under this heading.
     
  16. Soleil

    Soleil Well-Known Member

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    I think I do. I recognize emotions, and I understand that people may think different from me.

    I'm not diagnosed as autistic yet, but there's something I think I'll have to mention when I do get assessed: there were two deaths at my high school during my time there. One was from heart problems, and the other was shot. I remember after the second one there were some students crying over him, and I honestly couldn't understand it. I know it makes me sound like a sociopath, but it just didn't make any sense to me. So what if they'll never see him again, what if he had just moved away? Would they be crying then, though the end result is the same? I can imagine being sad, but crying?

    I have to add that at the time I didn't really have any close friends. Now that I do have a friend whom I care deeply for, I can say that I would probably cry if I learned I'd never see him again. But I honestly couldn't understand the students' reaction until I made my own friends. I don't know exactly what to make of this (I'm not even sure this is relevant to this thread or if it belongs elsewhere), but I'm sure it means something.
     
  17. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have a strange reaction to grief as well I didn’t cry when my dad died Or other relatives I remember making myself cry when my Nana died because it felt false not too hot at the same time I felt like I was faking it.
     
  18. Magna

    Magna Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have very strong affective aka emotional empathy with someone if I have shared or have previously experienced the same thing. I have this because I can literally relate to their situation, experience, etc having experienced it myself.

    I have little ability to "empathize" with someone's situation or experience if I've never experienced the same thing. I argue that even for people who DO feel they're good at empathizing with someone whom they've not shared a similar experience, that empathy is a contrivance. I don't mean that in a negative way, I mean their empathy is a response to a level of emotion (e.g. pain, sadness, happiness, etc) that they believe, assume, guess the other person is having.

    Since people experience emotions and physical responses differently, one person's "1" on the pain scale (ie scale of 1 to 10) might be another person's "5". One person's "5" on a pain scale might be another person's "9". If you're in pain that you'd rate as an 8 on the pain scale but I assume with my empathy that it's a 4, I haven't given you the level of empathy commensurate with your experience. If you're happy about something that you'd rate as a 3 out of 10 on a happiness scale (if there was one) and I reacted with a level of empathy as if that something was the best thing that had ever happened to you, I'd be over-empathizing.

    This is why any empathy other than empathy stemming from a common experience is a concept that to me is complex. Empathy is imagining how another person feels without knowing how or to what degree they actually feel.
     
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  19. Alexej

    Alexej Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Glad that you were able to have those conversations - sounds really important and healing
     
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  20. zozie

    zozie Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. I can say I am seriously affected by a person's "vibe", though this has lessened since I stopped making eye contact. I used to feel it for days after the fact, especially if someone was having a bad day. No idea why, mind you, just feeling what they were feeling. Drove my crazy. I spent years trying to figure it out. Got really good at inferring, but the conclusions I managed to piece together were still often wrong and took tremendous effort.

    Now that I don't make eye contact, people's "vibes" affect me much less, though I do know how they're feeling if they tell me in words. Still don't know why, though. Unless they tell me. General exceptions apply, such as being tired after a long day, or worried about getting good grades in school.

    In the past, I've had the "please tell me what your intentions are" conversation, which backfired a lot before I understood that I was asking because I literally didn't know.

    Now, if I need to be clear on what a person intends, I preface the conversation with "Please don't be alarmed, I honestly don't know and I recognize that this is unusual, would you mind telling me?" So far that's worked out pretty well. Otherwise people tend to take "What are your intentions?" as a loaded question.

    So, does being sensitive to a "vibe" count as emotional empathy? I am easily affected in emotional situations and I care a great deal. But I need the words to understand why the feelings are happening. Once I do understand, I find I connect emotionally.
     
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