A Theory About Intuition | INFJ Forum

A Theory About Intuition

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Poetic Justice, Jan 27, 2009.

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  1. Poetic Justice

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    I have just had a bit of a Eureka! moment. It's regarding INFJ's ability to feel other people's emotions.

    First I have to tell you about an experiment I read about around a month ago. They got a chimpanzee and put electrodes on it's head to measure what parts of it's brain it was using during various activities. They had the chimp reach for a banana and watched what happened. They then had a man reach for a banana while the chimp watched. It was discovered that watching the man reach for a banana used almost identical parts of the brain as the chimp reaching for it himself.

    This led to further research and they found that we have a part of our brain that gives us an internal representation of what it is like to do something that we are watching someone do (for the men here: have you ever seen someone on telly get hit the groin? makes you flinch doesn't it?)

    What emotional state we are in and what information we are internally accessing is shown in our bodies. This includes eye movements, muscle tension in the face and other body parts, colour change in the face, lip size (yes our lips change size), posture and breathing etc.

    Now finally to my point. I think our subconscious is picking up all these subtle changes that most people aren't aware of and giving us an internal representation of what it would be like to give off those signals. So we temporarily enter the same state as the person we are watching. and can even access some of the same information they are accessing.

    Comments please
     
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  2. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    Makes sense, I suck at knowing what others are thinking/feeling, I usually assume it's something negative in regards to me, stupid paranoid tertiary Ni. :doh:
     
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  3. IndigoSensor

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    That is a great realization. It is amazing that parts of the brain are reused for seemingly very different processes, and as such things get muttled together.

    This makes alot of sense to me because that ties into alot of how I use my intuition to "read" people, I sort of project myself into them. And this brain discovery just further confirms that.
     
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  4. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Do we actually feel their emotions? Or do we just pick up subconsciously on what they are feeling and understand what may or may not be being said? I never feel what the other person is feeling, I always maintain my own emotional stance in a situation.

    For example, at my work a woman came in who was forced into prostitution and she was very timid and teary eyed. I did my best to cheerfully offer her all the best soap products I could find for her when she asked for some. As soon as I handed them to her, she began crying. I had to try really hard not to cry myself, but it wasn't because I felt what she was feeling, I was more outraged at what had been done to her and her feelings of what I perceived to be shame for what had been done to her. That's the most intense emotional interaction I'd had in a few weeks.

    So, do we literally feel what they're feeling, or identify with it from our own stance?
     
  5. IndigoSensor

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    That doesn't really apply to me. I will pick up what someone is feeling and apply it to myself, and feel how they feel. I usually can seperate my own emotional feelings from those of others, but not always. They still effect me all the same though.
     
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  6. KingOfSpades

    KingOfSpades Community Member

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    there's a distinction between "sympathy" -- which is maybe the outrage you felt merry trees -- versus "empathy" -- which is feeling what someone else's feeling. or it sounds as if it was a combination of the two, since you felt her shame. i think poetic justice is describing pure empathy.
     
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  7. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Yeah. I'm confused... emotions.. confuse me.
     
  8. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Maybe because I'm pretty much right inbetween F/T I try to rationalize them all. Anyway!
     
  9. OP
    Poetic Justice

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    Merrytrees I notice that you aren't sure if you are an INFJ or an INTJ. Perhaps this is an indicator that you are in fact an INTJ. I would assume any INFJ would know exactly what I am talking about.
     
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  10. OP
    Poetic Justice

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    Damn! You posted that while I was writing my last post
     
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  11. KingOfSpades

    KingOfSpades Community Member

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    Sounds like a crazy experience tho. I don't get the soap?
     
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  12. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Yeah, she came to the office window to ask for some soap and hair care products etc.. to clean up. We get so many donations for all that kind of stuff and more, being a shelter...

    Other staff said this girl was really rude to them when she first came in, real stand-offish. So when she came to the window I went out to get the stuff for her, knowing her situation. I tried to overcome her standoffishness by being cheerful and offering her the best we had. It was weird because she waited patiently and as soon as I handed the stuff off to her she started crying. I just thought, "She must feel ashamed", or maybe she feels grateful that someone's being nice to her after what happened, but mostly I thought she felt ashamed. But I didn't feel shame in myself from the interaction, just outrage but at the same time this quieting sadness. Yeah, I'm prob. an INTJ with a well developed F. Or an INFJ with a well developed T. Who knows.
     
  13. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Permanent Fixture

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    Poetic, I believe you are referring to the limbic system of the brain. It allows us to 'tune' into others via things by reading things like eye expressions, body language and vocal intonations. It is represented abstractly as 'energy'. Autists, lack activity of the limbic system, compared to dogs which rely quite a bit on their limbic system to 'read' the energy levels of their owners. If you ever watch the Dog Whisperer, you can realize that the best way to win a dog over is to exert calm and forceful energy -- if you exert hyper or tense energy the dog reacts by mirroring your state. Humans are very much the same due to their reliance on the limbic system -- since, after all, humans are social animals.
     
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    #13 Zero Angel, Jan 27, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  14. OP
    Poetic Justice

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    I love the dog whisperer. He undoubtably practices NLP.
     
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  15. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    That's why dogs are such good judge of characters and why they love me. :m171:
     
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  16. OP
    Poetic Justice

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    I've been trying to find some info about the limbic system but it keeps coming up with stuff about where in the brain it is. I can't find anything that goes into detail about what it does. You couldn't point me in the right direction could you?
     
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  17. NephilimAzrael

    NephilimAzrael Regular Poster

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    Just one thing. I do not think that this operation is sub-conscious.

    The process would be pre-conscious (active prior to conscious awareness), subordinate to conscious processing. Then again, I can hear alarm bells for impetuous "No" or "WTF" statements coming from such a minute fact-check, so...:bolt:
     
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  18. NephilimAzrael

    NephilimAzrael Regular Poster

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    Functions of the Limbic System, from the most readily available source.
    Where are you having trouble with?
    It is a system of different parts that operate together.
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. OP
    Poetic Justice

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    I disagree with you on this. Most people don't know what most of the non verbal signals a person gives of are so how can they interpret all these subtle changes and decide what they mean in consciousness. The working out happens in the subconscious and the result is given to us in consciousness.
     
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  20. OP
    Poetic Justice

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    I saw lots of stuff like this but I couldn't find anything relating to how zero angel described the limbic system. That is what I was asking for clarification of
     
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