What if we could read minds? What if you could know what your partner was really thinking about that dinner last night? Is your spouse hiding something from you? This all comes down to psychology – the science of the mind and that science is ever changing through constant advances.
Although we can’t ever tell exactly what they’re thinking, which is disappointing; what we can do is distinguish a positive or negative response from someone. With the right knowledge and attention to detail, we can even spot the difference between whether someone is telling the truth or lying. There are some people, believe it or not, who are born able to ‘read minds’. By that, I don’t mean Psychic Susan who lives down the road from your Mum, but something called ‘mindsight’ or ‘empathetic accuracy’. Mindsight is the ability to map someone’s thought processes based on their use of words, emotions or body language.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? For example, take the psychology behind a police interrogation. You’d look for the usual signals; some people who are nervous or lying might be unable to remain still in their seat, they may sweat, or avoid eye contact. Many psychologists believe that when a person looks up to their right, they are likely to be telling a lie. Glancing up to the left, on the other hand, is said to indicate honesty. According to these theories, when subjects look up to their right they are likely to be constructing an imagined event. However, when they look up to their left they are likely to be visualising a memory.
Criminal psychologists are employed for £20,000 to £70,000 per year to study the behaviour of criminals and what turns them to committing crimes. This can involve looking into the subject’s background, from their childhood environment to psychological stress. For instance, someone may react to psychological stress by robbing a bank in order to deal with financial problems.
Studies show that it all comes down to a few theories depending on the individual. One of which is ‘choice theory’ which is the belief that someone might choose to look at the opportunities, weigh up the positives and the negatives, and then decide whether to proceed or not. Because of the potential punishments, most people tend to just avoid committing the crime.
There are loads of other theories that open up a whole new world of looking at the way people think. Why take my word for it when you can complete a course that enables you to look at the minds of some of the most intelligent (or unintelligent) criminal minds of all time? Or even just if you want to be able to tell which one of your kids drew all over the bathroom mirror with a green crayon!