[Paleopsych] misperceiving cues

Thrst4knw at aol.com Thrst4knw at aol.com
Fri Jun 24 13:24:01 UTC 2005

I agree.  On the one hand, these considerations are a big part of cognitive 
psychology (and cognitive therapy on an individual basis), for example see Ted 
Beck's "Prisoner's of Hate" for an interesting analysis of reactions patterns 
that lead to hostility.  They are also a big part of the study of unconscious 
social perception (i.e. attribution theory, dissonance, stereotypes, social 
schemata, nonverbal communication, marginal perception).   Yet even though 
there's a fair amount of good empirical research in this area already, it has 
traditionally been very disjoint: a pile of promising data with a few scattered 
attempts at unifying themes.  The result is that the research is still very easy 
to extrapolate into political arguments by taking advantage of the lack of 
conceptual unification.  I still hold out some hope that evolutionary models will 
help unify the data and provide a general model of how we build and respond 
to our inner representations of each other.  



--There really ought to be more focus on how people
misperceive cues by others. In addition to ubiquitous
misreading of signals across gender lines, there is a
lot of misreading of signals in arguments and
conflicts. People who interpret criticism as an attack
are more likely to fall into the shame-rage spiral and
become violent. It might be a lot easier to teach
criminals to interrupt the steps of the spiral than to
expect them to learn from punishment weeks or months
after an assault has been committed. It would also be
helpful in negotiations between highly emotional
parties in politics. 

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