I like the way you know / That I like how you look

Hannah Diamond (2014) [Every Night]:

I know you like the way that I look
And it looks like I like you too
You know I do

I like the way you know
That I like how you look
And you like me too
I know you do

I see you look at me
And I know that you think
You like what you see
I want you too

Thomas Nagel (1969, pp. 10-11) [Sexual Perversion. The Journal of Philosophy, 66, 5-17]:

At some point Romeo notices Juliet. He is moved, somehow, by the softness of her hair and the diffidence with which she sips her martini, and this arouses him sexually. […] Juliet now senses Romeo in another mirror on the opposite wall, though neither of them yet knows that he is seen by the other […]. But now, cleverly calculating the line of her stare without actually looking her in the eyes, he realizes that it is directed at him through the mirror on the opposite wall. That is, he notices, and moreover senses, Juliet sensing him. […] But there is a further step. Let us suppose that Juliet […] now senses that he senses her. This puts Romeo in a position to notice, and be aroused by, her arousal at being sensed by him. He senses that she senses that he senses her. This is still another level of arousal, for he becomes conscious of his sexuality through his awareness of its effect on her and of her awareness that this effect is due to him.

Psychotherapy techniques – beyond the brands

The therapeutic brands are misleading as there’s a lot of overlap in techniques.

I like this simple table from Mick Power (2010, p. 49) of the different techniques, expressed in a cross-brand way.

powertherapytypes

Power argues that

“… therapy heightens access to cognitive–emotional structures and processes that relate to past and present significant objects and significant others including the therapist. In the context of this heightened access, there is the common therapeutic goal that patients will relearn, cope more successfully with, view more realistically, reinterpret or reconstruct; that is, in some way view more constructively the object, person or situation that has been the source of their distress or conflict.”

Fonagy and Bateman (2006, p. 425) go somewhere similar with the interrelationship part of this:

“It is possible that psychotherapy in general is effective because it arouses the attachment system at the same time it applies interpersonal demands (psychotherapy technique), which require the patient to mentalize, to confront and experience negative affect, and to confront and review issues of morality (superego). Why might this be helpful? We speculate that thinking about feelings, thoughts, and beliefs in the context of attachment is helpful because in this “paradoxical” brain state there may be more access to modifying preset ways of conceptualizing the contents of one’s own and other’s minds, as well as issues of morality and social judgment. Activating the attachment system harnesses brain biological processes partially to remove the dominance of constraints on the present from the past (long-term memory) and creates the possibility of rethinking, reconfiguring intersubjective relationship networks.”

Both are jargon heavy, though.

References

Fonagy, P., & Bateman, A. W. (2006). Mechanisms of change in mentalization‐based treatment of BPD. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62, 411-430.

Power, M. (2010). Emotion-focused cognitive therapy. London: Wiley

A couple of ways to pass false belief tasks earlier

1. Have some siblings (Perner, Ruffman, & Leekam, 1994)

sibsToM

Why? After spending a few paragraphs carefully ruling out a bunch of interpretations, they settle on:

“… as Dunn and Dale (1984) suggest, children do engage more frequently in creative social role taking with siblings than with anybody else. And since a benefit can be gained from joint pretence with a younger as well as with an older sibling, pretend play is perhaps our best candidate for a cooperative activity which furthers the eventual understanding of false belief.”

2. Having a Montessori education also seems to help (Lillard & Else-Quest, 2006). 80% of 5 year olds at Montessori schools passed the test compared to 52% at control schools. (A lottery approach was used to select who ended up at the Montessori school.) I wonder could the key advantage be mixed-age classrooms?

References

Lillard, A., & Else-Quest, N. (2006). The early years: Evaluating Montessori education. Science313(5795), 1893-1894.

Perner, J., Ruffman, T., & Leekam, S. R. (1994). Theory of mind is contagious: You catch it from your sibs. Child development65(4), 1228-1238.

What started empirical studies of false belief?

Here’s Martin Doherty (2009) with a nice introduction to the empirical study of verbal false belief tasks:

“… According to Piaget’s theory, young children are profoundly egocentric: They are only able to consider things from their own point of view until they are about 7 years or older. What is now known as theory of mind was considered to emerge as part of a general escape from the confines of egocentrism in middle childhood. This diverted attention away from the surprisingly rapid development of the ability to understand others’ beliefs around the age of 4 years. Researchers driven by a powerful theory can sometimes miss the blindingly obvious.

“The change was brought about by an influential paper by two primatologists, David Premack and Guy Woodruff (1978): “Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind?” This question of chimpanzee theory of mind remains hotly contested, but in a commentary on the paper, the philosopher Daniel Dennett suggested a way of determining the answer. He briefly sketched what has become known as the false belief task, taking as one example a Punch and Judy show. Children squeal with glee as Mr Punch prepares to throw a box over a cliff. Although they have seen Judy escape from the box while Punch’s back was turned, it is “obvious—obvious enough for four-year-old children—that Punch believes (falsely) that Judy is in the box” (Dennett, 1978, p. 569). Dennett’s reference to 4-year-olds is a notable piece of foresight. The method was put into developmental practice by Heinz Wimmer and Josef Perner soon after. They found that 4- to 5-year-old children can indeed predict the actions of someone with a false belief.”

Reference

Doherty, M. J. (2009). Theory of Mind: How Children Understand Others’ Thoughts and Feelings. Psychology Press.

Nagel on arousal and meaning

“Suppose a man and a woman, whom we may call Romeo and Juliet, are at opposite ends of a cocktail lounge, with many mirrors on the walls which permit unobserved observation, and even mutual unobserved observation. Each of them is sipping a martini and studying other people in the mirrors. At some point Romeo notices Juliet. He is moved, somehow, by the softness of her hair and the diffidence with which she sips her martini, and this arouses him sexually. […] Romeo senses Juliet, rather than merely noticing her. At this stage he is aroused by an unaroused object, so he is more in the sexual grip of his body than she of hers.

“Let us suppose, however, that Juliet now senses Romeo in another mirror on the opposite wall, though neither of them yet knows that he is seen by the other (the mirror angles provide three-quarter views). Romeo then begins to notice in Juliet the subtle signs of sexual arousal: heavy-lidded stare, dilating pupils, faint flush, et cetera. This of course renders her much more bodily, and he not only notices but senses this as well. His arousal is nevertheless still solitary. But now, cleverly calculating the line of her stare without actually looking her in the eyes, he realizes that it is directed at him through the mirror on the opposite wall. That is, he notices, and moreover senses, Juliet sensing him. This is definitely a new development, for it gives him a sense of embodiment not only through his own reactions but through the eyes and reactions of another. Moreover, it is separable from the initial sensing of Juliet; for sexual arousal might begin with a person’s sensing that he is sensed and being assailed by the perception of the other person’s desire rather than merely by the perception of the person.

“But there is a further step. Let us suppose that Juliet, who is a little slower than Romeo, now senses that he senses her. This puts Romeo in a position to notice, and be aroused by, her arousal at being sensed by him. He senses that she senses that he senses her. This is still another level of arousal, for he becomes conscious of his sexuality through his awareness of its effect on her and of her awareness that this effect is due to him. […]”

“Another example of such reflexive mutual recognition is to be found in the phenomenon of meaning, which appears to involve an intention to produce a belief or other effect in another by bringing about his recognition of one’s intention to produce that effect. (That result is due to H. P. Grice, whose position I shall not attempt to reproduce in detail.) Sex has a related structure: it involves a desire that one’s partner be aroused by the recognition of one’s desire that he or she be aroused.”

– Nagel, T. (1969, pp. 10-11) [Sexual Perversion. The Journal of Philosophy, 66, 5-17].