When I was a college student, I took a "Methods in Social Research" course. One of the first things that we were presented with was the proposition that the purpose of social research was "to understand, predict, and control human behavior."

Fortunately, our professor encouraged us to develop a healthy skepticism about this. Most days, I would settle for being able to understand human behavior . Never mind about being about to predict or control it.

The irony, of course is that we believe that in order to understand human behavior, we have to understand other people. A more likely place to start would be to understand ourselves.

Of course, that we think this is one component of human nature--we continually forget that we're human too...


Well put, Icehart! Nicely said.
The superficial goal of attempting to know other people can lead to a better Understanding of oneself.

We can't read minds, all we know of a person is what we hear from their lips, and what our minds fill in the blanks, they leave with.

In Not knowing others we give them aspects of ourselves, our biases or a reverse of our biases if they're someone you don't like.

Learning what assumptions you make, points to your own underlying structure.

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