Babies know what you are thinking. New research shows that at around 10 months, young infants can detect if someone has changed their mind. Before they can walk or talk, babies can see inside your mind. So why does this happen? Why is it that trying to get to grips with what is going on in someone else’s head is more important to our development than learning to speak or getting up on our own two feet? According to the researchers who did this study, “beliefs guide behavior, but it would be difficult to explain another person’s behavior without explaining his or her mental state.” In other words, we need to understand each other in order to get along and function as human beings.
Most days of the week you will meet people who don’t quite “get” you – sometimes they are almost “misfits”, people who simply do not understand the point of view of those around them, who almost seem to be in another world. Indeed, there’s a good chance you say “what planet is he/she on?” at least once a day…! The people who don’t quite understand those around them and the way they think tend to have a much harder time in integrating, working with others, socialising and so on. So, the researchers who conducted this new study on babies do have a point – understanding each other is fairly fundamental to success in life, which probably explains why it is a focus for our developmental processes during infancy.
But what has all this to do with your blog? Well, take a look at many blogs that exist – they appear to have been written without any consideration for the reader. The author has not, it seems, tried to understand their readers. Instead, they bang on about irrelevancies, or they give no consideration to any sensitivities, nor do they bother with things like spelling and grammar sometimes.
Yet, a quick peek into the minds of their readers and you’d find people who only want material that is directly relevant to them, people who are sensitive on certain issues – such as the use of foul language – and who do mind if things are not grammatically correct. A simply peek inside the minds of a blogger’s audience could make them write differently.
Essentially, this new baby study shows us how important it is to understand another individual’s thinking. So why is it that so many bloggers are not like babies? Instead, they appear to care not a jot about what is in the minds of their readers – resulting, no doubt, in a constant battle to attract new readers. Save yourself that effort – think like a baby and focus on what is going on inside the heads of your readers. Your blog will be all the better for it.
- Babies understand how people think at just ten months old [Psychology] (io9.com)
- 7 Reasons No One Reads Your Blog (Except Maybe Your Mom) (problogger.net)
- Find Out What Readers Think (and Feel) About Your Blog (problogger.net)
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+