Monday, October 17, 2011

Mirror Thinking

I came across this concept, mirror thinking, while reading a thriller written by W.E.B. Griffin. Mirror thinking is when you think a person will react to a situation the same way that you would. And in the intelligence field it is a very dangerous way to think, because it does not take into consideration a wide range of differences in the way humans react to the same situation.

I find it a rather interesting concept. I have noticed it in my interactions with others; I just never had a name for the phenomena. I've noticed it primarily when I have someone squawking at me about something I supposedly did that leaves me wondering WTF they're talking about. Further reflection usually leads to the conclusion that it's either what they would do in that situation or they're imposing their experience onto my world. (A rather dangerous exercise as there are many days that I wonder what planet I come from. It doesn't seem to be Earth.)

This kind of thinking can give a writer trouble. If their characters respond the way they would respond in a given situation, then they're not going to end up with a rich diversity of characters in their stories. The characters will all be some version or aspect of the writer or the way the writer would like to be.

Something to think about.


  1. This isn't a problem for me as I assign a different one of my personalities to write each character. ;)

    1. Mike,

      Well said, I suppose I am the same. :))