making sense - self knowledge with stephen fleming #268 (notes)
listened between morning meditation and workout routine.
stephen fleming is a cognitive neuroscientist from university college london, who recently published the science of self awareness (book).
reference: podcast link →
- metacognition is knowing that you know something. it can be impaired with emotions and can be clarified when attention from others help share feedback on what to focus on.
- the brain is a hierarchal system with encoded memory being different than higher level abstract knowing. they discuss it as a represenation of what one knows, like an index to a book. if the index is wrongly categorized or if the information on the page is wrong, then the index is less effective.
- metacognition is measured by asking confidence levels on performance after a memory game for thoughts on how much is right or wrong. the closer the scores align the better the awareness.
- if confidence score is high, and performance is low, then too much arrogance. there is a lack of awareness of why in the context one could be wrong. there is a larger outer world perception than inner world narrative.
- if confidence score is low, and performance is high, then could be low self esteem and stuck in an inner world without understanding how one could meet the demands of an outer world
- need to better understand the no error condition they discuss between being completely wrong, and being right about being wrong.
- metacognition can be connected to theory of mind. how we know that other people have different perspective, emotions, and beliefs is a similar connection to what we can know about our own inner world.
- in the brain, metacognition can be seen as early as 12 months when they have error monitoring for likelihood to find a toy. examining brain waves and understanding how much perserverance one has. more here with dave neale's work (research)
- self deception or willful ignorance starts with theory of mind because we need to understand a false belief can be held as true for another, which can seed
- the earliest this can be tested is with 3 or 4 year olds with dolls and an object. if one doll is taken out of the room and the second hides the object. when the first doll comes back, where do they think it is? if they understand that doll thinks it's where it was last (versus where it was moved) then they can understand that doll can hold a false belief to be true.
- theory of mind is a precursor for deception, because it requires understanding false beliefs can be held true.
- public private mapping includes what is said in certain contexts. for instance, when an aunt gives a bad gift and is internally disliked, externally it can be complimented to deceive bad feelings from the aunt.
- we make narratives about what's happening in other people's minds and in our mind.
- i wonder how using other people's perspectives (outer observation) could help in measuring metacognition outside of self reported confidence (inner narrative) against performance of a task.
- reasoning is different than reflection. these are different muscles to build in the mind. intelligence is different than metacognition.
- social activity is important for development for one's self understanding. knowing others helps better understand one's self.
future action items
- explore difference between self awareness and self knowledge
- check out stephen's book
- check out neale's research
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