Thursday, February 9, 2017

You don't Know what I'm thinking! Or do You?

You don't Know what I'm thinking! Or do You? 

For almost three years I swam aimlessly in the void between friends and boyfriend. What started as a friendship soon became intimate, so I asked Jessica to be my girlfriend. She said although we had a connection greater than a friendship she didn’t believe we should date.

I explained our compatibility. Based on similar values, physical attraction, and proximity we should have dated. She said the deciding factor was an unexplainable desire to be with a person. She said she needed to experience “butterflies” before she was sure she wanted to date me. The idea of butterflies being the deciding factor was absurd. I gave her substantive evidence of our compatibility and the only thing stopping us from being a couple was butterflies!

Following the years of my initial proposal, I came to the conclusion there was a direct relationship between her butterflies and my availability. Jessica would always argue I didn’t know what she wanted because I wasn’t in her head but experiments conducted by Nesbitt and Wilson based on similar parameters showed observers make identical attributions as actors even when the observers didn’t experience the stimuli given to actors. After spending years observing and analyzing her I developed an accurate understanding of the priori theory used to identify who Jessica wanted to date. The problem was she wasn’t completely aware of the theory her decisions were based on, she was only aware of the butterflies which came as a result of qualifiers being fulfilled. I realized compatibility followed by availability was the driving force of her butterflies. the reason she never felt the need to date me was my initial availability. From time to time the butterflies for me would come and go. There was strong correlation with her feelings of butterflies and how available I was. Feelings are complex and multifaceted but given enough information and the context within which a person thinks, your ability to read their mind is as good as theirs. 

"Telling More Than We Can Know: Verbal Reports on Mental Processes" :

Posted by: Michael Aflakpui(1) 


  1. This was very interesting! So was the study done on reading people and seeing how they behave or feel in certain situations? By watching and listening to Jessica could you figure out how she felt or what she wanted? Just because you understand what gives her these butterflies do you think that someone would be able to mimic the action she needs to feel a certain way or do you think that Jessica would see those signs as false. Since the initial butterflies she gets is something intuitive and hard to explain what draws someone to someone it seems difficult to be able to fake those actions to get those feelings from her.

  2. This is interesting to think because I know many girls who would keep a list of everything they were looking for in a man in their next relationship. However, this in turn limited them to getting to know people who only met certain requirements on looks or personality when they first met. Some people just have high expectations or limit themselves to having a "type" because they say they know exactly what they are looking for. This is something difficult to observe, however, in a study because it's strictly based on the person's feelings and some people may have "butterflies" while others don't feel the same way.

    Posted by Ana Carolina Nepomuceno

  3. Part of the study was determining the validity of introspection. One group of subjects were given a scenario and asked to make decisions based on them. Another group of participants were told to predict the the decisions made made by the original subjects. Most of the people in the second group were able to accurately predict the thoughts of the first group to a high percentage. It wasn't random or based on luck. Yeah theoretically someone, knowing understanding her triggers could replicate the traits what give her butterflies but they'd have to be really good actors and stay in character for a very long time. Con artist, spys, and professional, actors (politicians) can function on this frequency but it would be too much for the average person. I genuinely wanted to be with her, the analysis came after.

    I understand there are many variable, the study didn't focus on butterflies. It focused on introspection and the fact that it might just be an illusion because one person's introspection can be replicated by a stranger. Given this discovery, the fact that I was friends with Jessica for years, and had objectively observed and analyzed her behavior, I think I developed an understanding of her that few people had. Its also possible there was bias in my observations because she made me emotional but I'd like to think not. I can't speak for other women but due to the type of relationship I had with Jessica and all the data I had analyzed I am very confident about the way she thought and behaved.

    Posted by Michael Aflakpui