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  Know thy selves: Learning to understand oneself increases the ability to understand others

Böckler, A., Herrmann, L., Trautwein, F.-M., Holmes, T., & Singer, T. (2017). Know thy selves: Learning to understand oneself increases the ability to understand others. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, 1(2), 197-209. doi:10.1007/s41465-017-0023-6.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-F474-7 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-B403-E
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Böckler, Anne1, 2, Author              
Herrmann, Lukas1, Author
Trautwein, Fynn-Mathis1, Author              
Holmes, Tom3, Author
Singer, Tania1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634552              
2Julius Maximilian University, Würzburg, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, USA, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Internal family system; Theory of mind; Self; Inner parts; Contemplative mental training
 Abstract: Understanding others’ feelings, intentions, and beliefs is a crucial social skill both for our personal lives and for meeting the challenges of a globalized world. Recent evidence suggests that the ability to represent and infer others’ mental states (Theory of Mind, ToM) can be enhanced by mental training in healthy adults. The present study investigated the role of training-induced understanding of oneself for the enhanced understanding of others. In a large-scale longitudinal study, two independent participant samples (N = 80 and N = 81) received a 3-month contemplative training. This training focused on perspective taking and was inspired by the Internal Family Systems model that conceives the self as being composed of a complex system of inner personality aspects. Specifically, participants practiced perspective taking on their own inner states by learning to identify and classify different inner personality parts. Results revealed that the degree to which participants improved their understanding of themselves—reflected in the number of different inner parts they could identify—predicted their improvements in high-level ToM performance over training. Especially the number of identified parts that were negatively valenced showed a strong relation with enhanced ToM capacities. This finding suggests a close link between getting better in understanding oneself and improvement in social intelligence.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2017-04-102017-05-162017-06
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1007/s41465-017-0023-6
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Funding organization : Max Planck Society
Project name : Plasticity of the Empathic Brain: Structural and Functional MRI Studies on the Effect of Empathy Training on the Human Brain and Prosocial Behaviour / EMPATHICBRAIN
Grant ID : 205557
Funding program : Funding Programme 7
Funding organization : European Commission (EC)

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Title: Journal of Cognitive Enhancement
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: New York : Springer
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 1 (2) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 197 - 209 Identifier: ISSN: 2509-3290
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2509-3290