A model of others’ emotions that predicts very well experimental results

Rebecca Saxe, Seeing Other Minds in 3D, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Volume 22, Issue 3, 2018, Pages 193-195, DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2018.01.003.

Tamir and Thornton [1] have identified three key dimensions that organize our understanding of other minds. These dimensions (glossed as valence, social impact, and rationality) can capture the similarities and differences between concepts of internal experiences (anger, loneliness, gratitude), and also between concepts of personalities (aggressive, introverted, agreeable). Most impressively, the three dimensions explain the patterns of hemodynamic activity in our brains as we consider these experiences [2] (Box 1). States such as anger and gratitude are invisible, but the patterns evoked in our brain as we think about them are as predictable by the model of Tamir and Thornton as the patterns evoked in our visual cortex when we look at chairs, bicycles, or pineapples are predictable by models of high-level vision [3]. Human social prediction follows the same dimensions: observers predict that transitions are more likely between states that are ‘nearby’ in this abstract 3D space [4]. Thus, we expect that a friend now feeling ‘anxious’ will be more likely to feel ‘sluggish’ than ‘energetic’ later.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation