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Why We're Bad at Guessing Other People's Motives

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Reading someone’s mind is an impossible task, but even just guessing at why they do the things they do is a lot harder than it might seem. Hosted by: Brit Garner ---------- Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scishow ---------- Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters: azarus G, Sam Lutfi, D.A. Noe, الخليفي سلطان, Piya Shedden, KatieMarie Magnone, Scott Satovsky Jr, Charles Southerland, Patrick D. Ashmore, charles george, Kevin Bealer, Chris Peters ---------- Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet? Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/thescishow ---------- Sources: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/255961815_Empathic_accuracy_in_close_relationships http://science.sciencemag.org/content/351/6277/1074 http://coglab.wjh.harvard.edu/~dtg/Gilbert%20&%20Malone%20(CORRESPONDENCE%20BIAS).pdf https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0022103167900340 http://journals.ama.org/doi/10.1509/jmr.15.0226?code=amma-site https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010027718301240 https://www.elsevier.com/connect/5-pitfalls-to-understanding-peoples-motives https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/between-cultures/201606/understanding-others https://www.thecut.com/2017/09/to-get-better-at-understanding-others-start-with-yourself.html https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15298868.2017.1361861?journalCode=psai20 https://www.pap.org.ph/sites/default/files/upload/pjp2017-50-2-pp140-158-nalipay-correspondence_bias_in_the_attribution_of_political_attitudes_a_replication_of_jones_and_harriss_1967_experiment_on_correspondence_bias.pdf http://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2F0022-3514.67.6.949 http://sk.sagepub.com/reference/socialpsychology/n262.xml https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1988.tb02354.x ---------- Images: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fidel_Castro_1950s.jpg
Категория: Образование
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Текстовые комментарии (289)
Sandra Lobato (3 часа назад)
So, can ppl have biases on themselves?
namelesshate2181 (16 дней назад)
I find ppl don't know why they did something and so if you ask then either they lie or they don't give you an answer... Aka they just give you a blanket statement and not a good explanation...
Brett Williamson (1 месяц назад)
I’ve said something similar before but I love Brit as a host. She’s a pleasure to watch and I don’t mean in some creepy way. Her inflections, emphasis on words, and her easy going style and rhythm of her speech, not to mention the tone of her voice, is really kind of cool. And I hate to say it Hank, because you’re fun to watch too, but I think she just might be better than you😂
Kate Day (1 месяц назад)
Okay, so you didn't actually tell me WHY people are bad at guessing motives. You just told me HOW people are bad at guessing movies. X makes people assume wrong motives. Ok, why is X process embedded in our psyche? It certainly doesn't seem to have an evolutionary or instinctual benefit. And I just realized there is a high likelihood that motives we assign to other people are probably based on "experience" by which I mean the number of examples we've seen which is most likely because of the media we consume. I watched a Cracked video the other day about overused movie tropes. The first of which was beginning a movie with a man walking in on his wife cheating on him resulting in a clean break from his old like and sole reason he sets off to find himself a better life. Another was that the female love interest's boyfriend casually brags about how much he cheats on said female. Thus we find it totally okay that the male protagonist wins her love. To make plots clear and concise these people characters act on simple single motives to drive plot for it to finish nicely in the 2 hour interval. Why did the chick elf (that wasn't originally in the books) defy her elf lord and follow the dwarves to help in their extreme danger etc? LOVE! You know that pure devotion that comes with a 5 minute conversation about a rock.... I think we've been conditioned to think that others only act on one motivation. Okay, so after that wall of text I'm now going to relay a personal story in which 4 people I was cohabitating with did not understand my actions whatsoever. I had an internship in a national park. I was part of an intern team tasked with wetland restoration. The national park provided housing and a food budget. Our leader randomized who would cook for dinner of what week. We had to come up with the meals and hit the store for them the weekend before. One of the weeks I was on I couldn't think of anything new that wasn't difficult too cook. So one of the things I suggested was Chilli. While we were eating I casually mentioned I don't like chili. I don't like the way beans taste and chili is usually overly beany. The others were shocked. "Why did you make this if you don't like it!?" I gave some very simple reasons: We haven't had it yet. It's easy to make and make in a quantity for a group of 5 and most other people like it. Even after this they were totally confused. Apparently I "should be cooking stuff for dinner that I like." They really couldn't conceive of my actions not being based on myself. Well, I guess they were slightly. I mean, it was EASY for ME to make. I made a choice based on several logical points that they didn't want to accept as important or relevant.
Selarom Ogeid (1 месяц назад)
Why did a a lot of Midwesterners vote for Trump? *What too many people think*: they are racist and bigoted. *The truth*: They were attracted to his populist rhetoric on the campaign trail (whether or not it was _just_ rhetoric is for you to decide). The same sorts of folks voted for Obama (twice). They voted for who they _thought_ had the best interest of them, their families and their communities in mind and tried not to think about it beyond that.
sweiland75 (1 месяц назад)
"Hostile attribution bias" That seems to happen a lot on the Internet.
Arthur O'Brien (1 месяц назад)
Because you are a bunch of Marxist conspiracy theorists.
Danielle Scorgie (1 месяц назад)
I disagree that asking someone is a surefire way to find out what they're thinking. My old therapy used to always say you can never know what another person is thinking, even if they tell you what they're thinking, the best you know is that they have told you that that is what they're thinking. But they still could be thinking something else. So, at best, you've learned that that is what they have chosen to tell you is what they are thinking. Then you gotta work out their motivation for why they told you that. 😱
seska1245 (1 месяц назад)
But I have a +5 in my sense motive check
Ayyy Lamar (1 месяц назад)
Brad needs to take a 4minute and 49seconds look at this
El Inextricable (1 месяц назад)
So... what are you thinking?
Bob Bobson (1 месяц назад)
That’s not true! You’re just saying that because-hey, wait a second...
Seal 123 (1 месяц назад)
Im literally binge watching scishow videos with my cats. Exactly as she said! Lol
Bass Fight (2 месяца назад)
Okay but the vacation thing is a very poor argument though, of course from lack of other infi to base your guess on you'll guess he liked a vacation he went to.
Spearton- (3 месяца назад)
kAvAnAuGh or however you spell his name *grabs popcorn*
H B (3 месяца назад)
According to Wikipedia, the Correspondence Bias's existence was challenged by a 2006 meta-analysis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_attribution_error I also think that it's important to mention that the original experiment was done on lest than 100 total students all enrolled in an introductory psychology course at Duke, lol
PyraLithiam (3 месяца назад)
A person, who wants to move to Florida: It's so nice and sunny; that's why it's called the Sunshine State! Me, a person who lives in Florida: It's always raining, humidity is high; why the {quack} is it called a Sunshine State?
zakosist (3 месяца назад)
I think people have a natural tendency to assume everyone thinks like them, but in reality people are radically different in their minds an personality and desire completely different things in life.
anana3322 (3 месяца назад)
I love that you not only tell us the facts, but the studies they come from
Tania Theodore (3 месяца назад)
0:09 "TRUMP"
Margaret Cato (3 месяца назад)
lemuel ruiz (3 месяца назад)
This is why i question everything lol...I dont understand why people do what and think of multiple reasons why they did xyz...so i tru to understand what it is...psychology and just thinking alot made me want to ask questions on things i dont understand so i can understand lol
Ernie Llerena (3 месяца назад)
Fidel Castro wasnt a good guy. Thats a load of crap.
Chris Young (3 месяца назад)
You never truly understand someone till you walk ten miles in their shoes, but by then it doesn't even matter. Because they're ten miles away and you've got their shoes!
Phuck Bhunny (3 месяца назад)
Trump for God....Don't question my motives they are complex.
Saumitra Chakravarty (3 месяца назад)
So *Cliche* and *Trite* are synonymous. Thanks for enriching my vocabulary!
Pixie Fairy (3 месяца назад)
Sometimes I wonder why I make the choices I make.
GraemeMarkNI (3 месяца назад)
We’re bad at judging our own motives, so...
Nafrost (3 месяца назад)
For half of those biases I thought to myself:"Wow this is so me"
Mishel Fayad (3 месяца назад)
These research studies sound very biased...
gmk (3 месяца назад)
In the word of noted philosopher H.J.Simpson, "It's because they're stupid. That's why. That's why everybody does everything."
Victoria Lynn Struble (3 месяца назад)
I have an unending amount of respect and appreciation for this Channel's ability to make content relevant to tense current events without aggotating the situation
David S (3 месяца назад)
I love the t-shirt 👍 where can I get one?
Gabriel Martins (3 месяца назад)
What's wrong with (real) vanilla ice cream?! (REAL) madagascar vanilla is absolutely delicious. Specially if it's frozen custard (made with REAL vanilla not artificial vanillin).
Thomas Chase (3 месяца назад)
I suppose I can't call people myopic now, rats
Thomas Chase (3 месяца назад)
And it had duality too, :(
Norah AlWalan (3 месяца назад)
Do these studies control for individualistic societies vs collectivistic ones, like do these results hold in japan, china, or the middle east? Cause I wanna know if these results are true about all humans, or are they different based on what culture you grew up in. (I'm assuming these were conducted on american/western subjects)
LockRay (3 месяца назад)
Excuse me what exactly is your problem with vanilla ice cream? >:U
Greatest Queen (3 месяца назад)
Try walking in my shoes. You'll stumble in my footsteps
Angela Nardi (3 месяца назад)
If thumbs up on this one 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼✌🏼
LOL Science (3 месяца назад)
My best friend keeps on dating all my guy friends... I get to know an interesting guy, my friend finds out, and she decides she suddenly is into them. I feel like a third wheel and end up feeling 😞 lonely... Why is she doing that?
qqqqqqq448 (3 месяца назад)
Can you make a video about why we don't feel atracted sexually to members of our family, they are from the same species after all. If it's just biology, then why incest was so common in the middle ages? Is it just culture? I am confused.
CaramelLeek (3 месяца назад)
This is the reason why I think parting ways with my first lab PI was a good thing. She and her grad students kept guessing at my motives, which all ended up to be wrong. In reality, I was not the kind of unpleasant person they thought I was, even though I go out of my way to let them know whatever assumptions they had about me was wrong. Now I'm in another lab, and the post docs are much more mature about things. I'm liking this much better.
CCRLH85 (3 месяца назад)
So, what I'm hearing is, "People are confusing, why bother trying to figure then out?" Am I right?
RhysThePiece (3 месяца назад)
I love binge watching SciShow.
GRBTutorials (3 месяца назад)
2:27 I’ve never gone out and partied, nor I want to...
Karl Ziehl (3 месяца назад)
Wonderful comments all over the place!
Jeffrey (3 месяца назад)
Is all this jargon going to be on the test? Cuz I already forgot half of them.
H B (3 месяца назад)
Don't forget the Illusion of Asymmetric Insight, which says that you assume that you can tell more about people than they can tell about you.
BZAKether (3 месяца назад)
One of the best episodes ever. Congrats for choosing this wonderful topic.
Keyboardje (3 месяца назад)
"Just ask them!" O.o Because people NEVER lie... of course!
Guidje (3 месяца назад)
this video should have at least brazilian portuguese subs - if not dubbing... :( i will share this, but it is a shame that a lot of people will not understand a single word... anyway, great content as always!!
Guidje (3 месяца назад)
clarifing: we're having major election in here and one of the leader's charts is a straight up fascist... people are offending and pointing each other instead of debating... :( dark times are coming in here cause we cant wear other ones shoes...
F4RES F4RES (3 месяца назад)
I think that this is totally normal.. not just that, but actually contributing to our society being growing.. Who agrees???
laser325 (3 месяца назад)
If somebody offers you a gift horse, the first thing to do is have a good look in it's mouth.
Jayansh Singh (3 месяца назад)
macsnafu (3 месяца назад)
"Just ask them." Right, like they're going to be honest with me! ;-)
Star Power!!! (3 месяца назад)
imo anyone who likes St. Germain's album "tourist" is not a real person.
D K (3 месяца назад)
Do you ever get depressed knowing this stuff?
Dale Stephanson (3 месяца назад)
I'm a little upset you're throwing shade at Vanilla ice cream.
Ven Black (3 месяца назад)
Walk a mile in a someone's shoes, after that who cares? You are a mile away, and you have their shoes! lol
Barbarus Bloodshed (3 месяца назад)
Vanilla is the superior ice-cream taste. Anyone denying that is a fool!
aa (2 месяца назад)
Barbarus Bloodshed. Superior? 🤔 I think you meant standard. Superior might be something that's probably like gourmet or gelatto.
Unseelie (3 месяца назад)
"Just ask them." I tired that quite a few times. With many people that results in them telling me that they don't want to explain their motives/are annoyed by someone questioning them.
OriginalGoddess (3 месяца назад)
Genuine question: It's related to people assuming that others will make similar choices to the ones they made in the past. Actually, I have 2 questions now. 1. Do people alter or base their choices off of what others expect them to do? 2. Is this why people don't believe that others can and do change their behaviors and choices over time?
Zack Hicks (3 месяца назад)
I agree here with those comments that suggest we struggle to understand other's intentions due to the fact that we barely and only poorly understand our own motivations. I think this has to do with a fundamental misconception which says that there is a single and indivisible self. Rather, I think we have a sort of narrative self, the self that fabricates internal stories that are loosely based in our objective reality. These stories help to rationalize, rather than accurately explain, our existence. Then there is the experiential self, the self that is narrowly concerned with our present state of being irrespective of this grand narrative. So, try as we might to understand ourselves, we, I would, argue are inevitably doomed in our attempts to understand the intentions of others -- those of whom are incapable of objectively mapping their own consciousness. The best solution I think is a heavy dose of humility based on the premise that we all generally want to be good people coupled with perhaps an overly charitable interpetation of other's intentions.
Andre Jansen (3 месяца назад)
Zack Hicks. Wow I was waiting for a comment like this. I agree with you. I believe that one of the benefits of (right) meditation is to understand the truth of our 'self' concept and thereby not succumb to the mentioned cognitive biases as much.
steveb0503 (3 месяца назад)
I thought it was referred to as the "fundamental attribution error".
Fion (3 месяца назад)
It's not a walk in the park to always put yourself in everyone's shoes, too taxing mentally and it requires an understanding of different psyches, which a psychologist can do decently well. So yeah, being able to empathise and figure out the motives of others is quite a feat and eliminating bias is near impossible but we should always try irregardless especially if the situation is huge and important. Lastly, please drop your ego, oftentimes it's more detrimental in relationships than not.
Fion (3 месяца назад)
Many people are close minded, ignorant, not empathetic and more judgemental on others than themselves.
maattthhhh (3 месяца назад)
why do people hate talking to shrinks?
Danilego (3 месяца назад)
This Sunday will be election day in Brazil, and I can say this video is very fitting with the moment!
Francois Lacombe (3 месяца назад)
I care little about people's motives. I care a lot more about the results of their actions.
Matthew Conway (3 месяца назад)
We're talking about Trump, right? We're definitely talking about Trump...
The Chad Pad (3 месяца назад)
Good episode! Very important. We should think twice before assuming the worst about another's motivations, especially when politics is involved. We all just want the best for our country at the end of the day, and we just disagree on how to do it. That's ok, as long as we can discuss our ideas without our personal character being attacked for expressing them when it's not merited
Alejandro Jimenez (3 месяца назад)
Are these studies accounting for such behaviors in other cultures found in countries around the world?
Captain Redbeard (3 месяца назад)
Where do you even draw the line between who someone is and what's happening in their lives?
Nicolai Veliki (3 месяца назад)
Ask me what I'm thinking... and you won't get an answer, because suddenly I'm evaluating the options of what I might tell you, and suddenly 90% of my thoughts from the moment you asked me are unaccessible even to me
SectorCodec (3 месяца назад)
What?! Of course you’re more likely to go on nature vacations if that’s what you enjoy. Of course you can still go to the city but that’s just logical. So this study is essentially saying people pick their vacation destinations randomly?
Lucas (3 месяца назад)
Alternative solution: Stop asking why people do the things that they do, and sleep more soundly at night.
Rex Longfellow (3 месяца назад)
What's wrong with vanilla ice-cream?
aa (2 месяца назад)
Rex Longfellow. They were probably using that as an example because it's a basic standard flavor. You can put chocolate syrup or caramel on it and it'll taste good. You can put strawberry or pineapple topping on it and it'll taste good. Etc. It is a base flavor that basically goes good with many other flavors, whereas strawberry or chocolate, etc. is not a base flavor.
Celina K (3 месяца назад)
'Why would I do this'
Stephan Osther (3 месяца назад)
Great video. You're very good at this, you know?
Inaudible Plays (3 месяца назад)
Why does Brit Garner do SciShow videos? errmmmmmm......... its....... complicated.
lazyperfectionist1 (3 месяца назад)
"Walk a mile in their shoes." Or, in most cases, 1.6 kilometers.
CAPSLOCKPUNDIT (3 месяца назад)
Easier said than done. Their shoes are rarely roomy enough to crawl in, much less walk in.
Subscribe to r3dseries (3 месяца назад)
You lost me when you said it's unreasonable to assume someone who recently went to a lake likes to go to the lake.
Muhammed I. Jhaban (3 месяца назад)
Who wouldn't order a vanilla ice cream ?
ゆい714 (3 месяца назад)
People don't give other's enough credit and thy give themselves too much.
Event Hʘriךּon (3 месяца назад)
this is the trick of not having an ego, walking a mile in everyones shoes so much you dont own a pair yourself anymore. works wonders, made me happier i could ever imagine. I still hold opinions myself, but now i never gat angry at people, or frustrated when they dont get me, if anything i get a bit frustrated at myself when i cant explain my point fully and in terms they might emphathize more with.
arijeet mondal (3 месяца назад)
Hey why don't you do a series on crash course channel? Also, a few more graphics would be great.
M S (3 месяца назад)
Thanks for subtitles, really soothing for eyes
QVear (3 месяца назад)
Speak for yourself, I can read people like an open book.
Patsonical (3 месяца назад)
I could say the same thing... if I were dyslexic.
SangoProductions213 (3 месяца назад)
On that ending note: "When all else fails, just ask them." Like that leftist journalist who actually interviewed "Trump voters" and said "I just expected you all to just be a bunch of racists."...while eating at their table.
Wayne Searle (3 месяца назад)
Were all these studies America centric?
Cole Gagliano (3 месяца назад)
Ultimate attribution error = Majority of journalists on the New York Times.
Silt (3 месяца назад)
Why do I keep forgetting, that I already liked this video?
ThatGuy (3 месяца назад)
But why did SciShow make this video?
martin henriksson (3 месяца назад)
We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
Stoogie (3 месяца назад)
Read and learn all the biases on the Cognitive Bias Index image and you should be fine.... somewhat.
noam hason (3 месяца назад)
sometimes i actually try to ask people about their motives and reasons for their actions, but it never goes well. especially if its about religion or emotions.
Patsonical (3 месяца назад)
Yeah, people get wayyy too defensive about anything that matters to them
Tote Sprachen leben länger (3 месяца назад)
As Doctor House will tell you: Asking them will only show you what they are willing to TELL you about their motives.
Aspect Science (2 месяца назад)
RockBandRS 100% agree. Anyone who hasn’t watched it should just go ahead and start the binge watch now!
RockBandRS (2 месяца назад)
+Aspect Science Pff who wouldn't be a fan? Hugh Laurie was phenomenal in that show!
Aspect Science (3 месяца назад)
Oh man, I miss House! What a fantastic show! Were you a fan?
XLpug (3 месяца назад)
I feel that certain toxic sub-cultures might have a lot of bias and flame wars towards that 2:40 fictional Joe Smith character in certain contexts. ☹️
DreamDruid89 (3 месяца назад)
Wondering if any of these studies on biases, errors, etc. are consistent across a wide variety of cultures, or if a lot of the Psychology field is mostly Western-based studies... :/
SciShow Psych (3 месяца назад)
We've got a video about that! https://youtu.be/Ho6OlPrD7sA
Jascha Bull (3 месяца назад)
"There's always one surefire way to find out what someone's thinking: Just ask them." Because humans don't lie at all, and certainly not several times a day, as I'm often told by "science" (maybe not the most scientific of science, but still...).

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