mind reading kids


Mind reading ability might be the next data gathered on school children.  From Kids who ‘mind read’ tend to learn more effectively:


Everyone mind reads to some degree, using intuition and context clues to empathize with and interpret the thoughts, words and actions of others.

Young children do this too. And according to a new study, those that do it best tend to be better selective learners.

In an experiment conducted by researchers from Concordia University and the University of Ottawa, children with better mind-reading abilities were more likely to absorb information from trustworthy figures and disregard info offered by those who were less trustworthy.

“We already know that some preschoolers are more likely to learn from individuals with a history of making accurate claims over individuals who have been inaccurate or ignorant,” senior study author Diane Poulin-Dubois, a psychology professor at Concordia and researcher with the university’s Center for Research in Human Development, explained in a press release(MEW note: this ‘press release’ link is broken and information on the Concordia study may be found here.)

…Researchers say their study shows children with better mind-reading or intuition and empathy skills are less gullible. But they also said mind-reading ability is likely only one of many reasons why kids trust some sources of information over others.


While mind-reading ability is likely only one of many reasons why kids trust some sources of information over others, just imagine the amount of money The Gates Foundation could award organizations trying to find the Holy Grail of student achievement if mind reading is indicative of a discriminating learner!  abcnews.com also reports on the power of mind-reading in Mind Reading’ May Be Possible With Brain-to-Brain Interface, New Study Finds:


Researchers are hoping to find out if a certain kind of “mind reading” might be possible, with the help of some serious computers.

Scientists from the University of Washington published a new study examining the feasibility of a “brain-to-brain” interface between two people that may allow them to communicate with brainwaves and a specially designed computer.

The research team set up a game similar to “20 Questions,” where one person would ask a question of the other respondent. In a different room, the respondent would focus on the answer to that question by looking at either a “Yes” or “No” flashing light. The two participants were in separate rooms nearly a mile apart, according to the paper, published today in the prestigious journal PLOS One.

…The team said that their research had limits but that they hope to continue these experiments in the future.

“Evolution has spent a colossal amount of time to find ways for us and other animals to take information out of our brains and communicate it to other animals in the forms of behavior, speech and so on,” Stocco said in a statement. “What we are doing is kind of reversing the process a step at a time by opening up this box and taking signals from the brain and with minimal translation, putting them back in another person’s brain.”


What wonderful opportunities this will open up for the non-governmental organizations to supply the necessary technology to teach ‘grit’ to students!  Maybe those contraptions mentioned in the Federal government’s report on measuring student attitudes and beliefs can be utilized or new ones invented and students can be tracked as to their thought processes and mind reading abilities.   Mind-reading 101 would fall under EEG brain wave patterns and connections to neuroscience are beginning to emerge in the field of affective computing:


grit and mindreading 1

Fortune Magazine reports on this new mind-reading study and mentions how NGOs could invest in more trials to determine effectiveness. Other companies may actually trump Gates in their zeal to discover a new frontier in education reform. From Research shows a path to reading each other’s minds:


mind reading 2

In a University of Washington news story on the experiment, one of the researchers, Chantel Prat, suggests this type of technology could transmit brain states from person to person. For example, she said, a student without ADHD might be able to help a student with ADHD concentrate by sending signals that stimulate the proper areas of his brain. That sort of capability might also apply to a broad range of disorders that we would like to get under control in certain situations.

However, pulling off these ideas at any significant scale would likely require some major investments in both the gear involved (everything would probably have to fit in a small, comfortable package, for example) and in the methods for actually sending the proper signals between devices. So maybe a realistic first application would be something like virtual reality, where companies such as Facebook FB -1.90% and Microsoft MSFT 0.07% are already investing a lot of money, including on headset technology that’s both functional and feasible to wear.

The prospect of letting headset-wearers read each other’s minds might be the kind of game-changing technology that convinces these companies to fund its development across the finish line.


The Onion parodies this new discovery of mind reading and its effect on public education.  From Report: 40 Percent of American High-School Students Mind-Reading At Sixth-Grade Level:


onion and mind reading


We might actually see a newly created data set measuring telepathy/mind reading abilities within the next few years.  If mind-reading creates more selective learners, ed reformers will be eager to implement this new technology.  How thrilling this will be for the reformers and technology companies to measure a skill which can supposedly determine outcome.  Imagine the PR campaign from the USDOEd and NGOS:  students will need this ability to be discriminating learners to become globally competitive in the labor force.  The Onion might actually be predicting future mind reading experiments and expanded data sets  in public education classrooms.



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