Predicting people's behaviour

creds (@creds) 9 years, 8 months ago

I have a feeling that people’s behaviour are mostly pretty easy to predict. With that includes what they feel, think, are going to do, and if I want to I can tweak them to do what I prefer. Do anyone else have this feeling? Or do you think it’s only a feeling a lot of people have, and not a real fact?

May 27, 2012 at 9:40 am
Dan (890) (@danfontaine) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

I think it depends on the person for how easy it is to predict their behavior. Subjective personalities are easy to manipulate of course, you can intuit their thought processes based on your observance of external factors effecting them. A form of empathy.
Objective personalities tend to be more imaginitive rather than reactive in their behavior and therefore are highly spontaneous.
Since everyone slides left and right in the spectrum of subjective/objectivity constantly, at things as common place as say, a member of the opposite sex walk into the room you’re in, you can’t ever truly trust your ability to read peoples’ minds.
Also, personalities aren’t constants and there is a whole headspace of invisible factors invisible to you in any given person.
It isn’t healthy to try defining and manipulating people either.


If people’s behavior was that easy to predict we would have far fewer problems in our lives.

Anonymous (2,654) (@) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

Yes, it’s easy to predict a behavior you already know, and they know you, because you know each other’s “capabilities” and you agreed upon what you are. But you must not forget that everyone is always learning, which means, that even when you “predict” someone’s behavior based on what you already know about them, you are also just observing and learning their observations and ways to learn about you.

And that’s how overestimation and underestimation work. It also explains how mistakes are made. It’s not about two extremes of someone’s behaviour, just because extreme balance also doesn’t exist.

Thanks for coming. Come back for more magic!

Kidd (1,059) (@kidd) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

I think it’s a bit of both: sometimes it’s just a feeling and nothing more, but sometimes you’re dead right.

That being said, I think it’s MOSTLY that it’s a false feeling. Everyone likes to think that he can see right through people while being completely impenetrable and unreadable himself. Every person perceives others in a different way.

It’s just important to know that you only know you and only you knows you, and that it’s the same for everyone else. Keeping that in mind, I try not to be quick to judge an individual (but I’m still only human).

creds (36) (@creds) 9 years, 8 months ago ago

Dan, love your last sentence about it not being healthy trying to predict and manipulate others. I agree with you. I just find it interesting that a lot of people are very similar and thus easy to predict. However, there are some complex individuals that will just blow your mind in trying to predict their feelings and or behaviour. I guess this is what you’re referring to ass subjective and objective personalities?

General: I guess you’re right. However, the fact that everyone try to predict each other is just creating too many variables which leads to conflict. That’s why I prefer 1 on 1 interaction, otherwise this chess of life gets too complicated I think.

Sas. Thank you! That are really good points to keep in mind. I far too seldom consider the fact that others are learning and therefore changing. Also that others predict, explain and manipulate me, whether subconsciously or consciously, the same way I do.

Kidd: Yup, what you are pointing out is just the fact I’m trying to get proven wrong. I was hoping people indeed had the feeling they could predict and see through others. But I do believe I have to reject my hypothesis about being able to predict people. There are just too many occasions that we’re wrong – and theres none telling which few occasions we’re right. Thanks for the input!

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