Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"Theory of Mind" Exposed as Delusional Thinking

It turns out that the vaunted psychological “Theory of Mind” is psychology's euphemism for delusional thinking; a supernatural, superstitious, and magical type of brain processing common to “normal” people. Anyone who demonstrates rational, science-based thinking is abnormal.
The fact that Scientific American would publish this is shocking.
People with Asperger’s less likely to see purpose behind the events in their lives By Karen Schrock | May 29, 2010 |SCIAM BLOGS

BOSTON—Why do we often attribute events in our lives to a higher power or supernatural force? Some psychologists believe this kind of thinking, called teleological thinking, is a by-product of social cognition. As our ancestors evolved, we developed the ability to understand one anothers’ ideas and intentions. As a result of this “theory of mind,” some experts figure, we also tend to see intention or purpose—a conscious mind—behind random or naturally occurring events.
A new study presented here in a poster at the 22nd annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science supports this idea, showing that people who may have an impaired theory of mind are less likely to think in a teleological way. 
Bethany T. Heywood, a graduate student at Queens University Belfast, asked 27 people with Asperger’s syndrome, a mild type of autism that involves impaired social cognition, about significant events in their lives. Working with experimental psychologist Jesse M. Bering (author of the "Bering in Mind" blog and a frequent contributor to Scientific American MIND), she asked them to speculate about why these important events happened—for instance, why they had gone through an illness or why they met a significant other. As compared with 34 neurotypical people, those with Asperger’s syndrome were significantly less likely to invoke a teleological response—for example, saying the event was meant to unfold in a particular way or explaining that God had a hand in it. They were more likely to invoke a natural cause (such as blaming an illness on a virus they thought they were exposed to) or to give a descriptive response, explaining the event again in a different way.
Once again we see that so-called scientific studies by psychologists are tainted by a bizarre insistence that delusional (magical-supernatural-religious thinking) is required in order to be a socially-acceptable human, and indeed that supernatural belief is necessary to social acceptance. Is it surprising then that American education is deficient in science and math instruction, and is instead focused on magical social ideas like the insistence that smiley face stickers 'create' self-esteem? 
It's unbelievable!

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