Saturday, September 15, 2007

Words of Contempt

Reading Blink which describes the theory of "thin-slices" or how we utilize and gather relevant information quickly to come to rapid, seemingly instinctive, conclusions. Basically, we often make decisions in the blink of an eye and then continue gathering information to try to justify that position. It's fascinating and starts out with information about relationships which is timely and of great interest. Having done some video research myself, I enjoyed reading about how the researcher watched and coded interactions between couples second by second for different emotional cues. The number one indicator for a relationship breaking up was contempt, often shown by rolling of the eyes, and this occurred as often in men as in women.

They described contempt as closely related to disgust, though Webster (below) uses the synonym disdain. I think this is also related to condescension (also below). In my own life, I'm so sensitive to people seeming to condescend or patronize me that I often jump to conclusions and assume everything they say is meant in that way. This is also described in the book - the pattern of how things are received, which can be general to all people or specific to a single person and is another independent predictor for the success of a relationship. I wonder if these things can be changed? I shall read on.

1 a: the act of despising : the state of mind of one who despises : disdain b: lack of respect or reverence for something2: the state of being despised3: willful disobedience to or open disrespect of a court, judge, or legislative body

1 a: to descend to a less formal or dignified level : unbend b: to waive the privileges of rank2: to assume an air of superiority

2 : to adopt an air of condescension toward : treat haughtily or coolly

No comments: