People estimate their own abilities based on others' performance

Ratings of our own abilities are strongly influenced by the performance of others, according to a study published July 20 in Neuron. Interacting with high performers makes us feel more capable in cooperative team settings, but less competent in competitive situations. Moreover, the degree of “self-other-mergence” is associated with activity in a brain region previously implicated in theory of mind–the ability to understand the mental states of oneself and others.

“We found that although people estimated their abilities on the basis of their own performance in a rational manner, their estimates of themselves were partly merged with the performance of others,” says first author Marco Wittmann (@mkwittmann), a doctoral student in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Oxford. “The findings potentially have implications for social interactions in the workplace as well as clinical disorders such as depression.”

Estimating the abilities of ourselves and others is key for survival, guiding decisions about which social groups to join and whether to attack or retreat. In daily life, we constantly judge ourselves and others about everything from intellectual merit to athletic prowess. A wealth of psychology research has shown that comparisons with other people can be used as an effective means for self-evaluation, and conversely, people base judgments of other people on knowledge of their own traits. However, relatively little is known about which brain regions are involved in estimating the abilities of oneself and others.

In the new study, Wittmann and his colleagues set out to address this question by combining behavioral experiments with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Twenty-four subjects participated in two games that involved either assessing the colors of shapes or estimating elapsed time. They were also told that two other players were performing the same task at the same time. After each trial, the subjects were given feedback on their own performance and the performance of the other two players. Before the next trial began, the subjects were asked to rate the expected performance for themselves and the other players.

The researchers also assessed how the subjects’ expected performance ratings were influenced by cooperative and competitive contexts. During cooperative trials, the scores of the subjects and the other players were summed together for points that could translate into a monetary reward at the end of the experiment. But during competitive trials, points were awarded based on the difference between the subjects’ score and the scores of the other players.

In cooperative situations, the subjects evaluated themselves more positively when the other players performed well and more negatively when the other players performed poorly. But in the competitive context, the subjects evaluated themselves more negatively when interacting with high performers compared to low performers. “Our behavioral findings match well with what people experience in their workplace,” Wittmann says. “They might feel better or worse about themselves depending on how well the group they are working with is doing, or they might feel worse about themselves when facing a strong competitor.”

The brain imaging data revealed that two distinct regions in frontal cortex tracked the estimated abilities of oneself and others. Activity levels in the perigenual anterior cingulate cortex depended on how well subjects performed in recent trials. Past studies have shown that this brain region is involved in judging one’s own traits and thinking about oneself and similar others.

On the other hand, dorsomedial frontal area 9 tracked the performance of the other players and integrated this information with estimates of one’s own abilities. Specifically, activity in area 9 reflected “self-other-mergence,” predicting the degree to which the subjects’ self-ability ratings changed as a result of engaging with high performers. This brain region is part of the theory-of-mind network in humans, and research in monkeys has shown that the structure and function of area 9 are influenced by social dominance status and social network size. Taken together, these findings suggest that area 9 may integrate information about oneself and others to compute one’s own position in a social network.

“Learning about oneself and others is not only important for humans,” Wittmann says. “For example, choices to attack or retreat are vital for many animals and these choices can be based on how strong you think you yourself and another competitor are. In a way, when you think about dominance hierarchies in animals, for them it is very important to know about the value of themselves and others in that hierarchy. In humans, social hierarchies exist but they are less pervasive and depend on quickly changing social reference groups, for example, within one’s family, or at work, or in a sports team.”

According to Wittmann, the next step is to test how self-other-mergence and area 9 activity are affected in clinical populations. “We are wondering whether the brain mechanisms underlying self and other evaluation might be altered in clinical syndromes such as depression, where people can feel helpless when facing their daily tasks,” he says. “It seems intuitive that people with depression might judge how well they are doing differently compared to non-depressed people. I think it would be worth following this up.”

For those not keeping up with NJPW, this might be new news for you, but Matt Sydal (formerly Evan Bourne in WWE) has gone missing. He missed a flight four days ago, and has not been heard from since. No social media activity, no reports of people seeing him, nothing. 

This is the last tweet he had sent out as of the time of this post:

It’s incredibly weird for him to no show shows, especially big ones like the NJPW Destruction Tour and its getting incredibly worrying. 

He was booked to win the Never Openweight 6 man tag belts along with Ricochet and Satoshi Kojima, but since he was not heard from since he was swapped out for David Finlay Jr. 

I just hope he isn’t found dead or something, that would be an absolute tragedy.

-taps mic-  when will this blog come back from war  ?  also good night babes.

Interceptions in the Houses (Aries/Libra)

●Aries/Libra Interception: “Who Am I and Where Do I Fit Among the Rest?”

What’s Missing Here?
•General sense of self
•A desire to be among others

A/L Intercepted in The 1st/7th Houses: You’ll feel a lack of identity and may be drawn to bold individuals to combat your lack of “self.”

A/L Intercepted in the 2nd/8th Houses: You may feel an inability to support yourself or others as a result of insufficient character development.

A/L Intercepted in The 3rd/9th Houses: You may feel lost among competing ideas and beliefs. Verbally defining yourself can become a challenge.

A/L Intercepted in the 4th/10th Houses: You’ll have difficulty fulfilling your “role,” both publicly and privately.

A/L Intercepted in The 5th/11th Houses: Asserting yourself in social, creative activities becomes a struggle. The key here is finding your individuality.

A/L Intercepted in The 6th/12th Houses: You tend to lose yourself in other people. Where do they end and you begin?

anonymous asked:

When will people understand that Louis' family's social media activities (mostly instagram) is just all over the place and never means anything, i mean she literally followed Anne on twitter yesterday lol

yeah i mean they’re so confusing on sm lmao so ehhhh. all of louis’s other sisters and jay still follow harry so i’m chillin

anonymous asked:

Everyone on dis ugly site believes in you!!! I've seen you're MJ and Spider-Man drawing and they're AMEEZING!! 99% of great artists start out by copying things, but they take that inspiration of what they love and they say hmmm how can I make this M-E🤔 You could do a drawing of someone in the mirror as an ode to MJ or a drawing relating to you social activism and your stance on Latinx needing to be pro black. Draw things that inspire you but put the FATIMEME™ In it. YOU CAN DO IT BY DECEMBER!!!


It just bothers me that significant pre-colonial societies had relatively loose notions of gender, sexuality, and heteronormativity and it was the imposition of Western colonial systems that informed strict binaries in those spheres, but now… now when post-colonial societies are still stuck in their previously forced yet regressive dichotic norms and the West has only recently begun shedding its entrenched ignorance in the name of social progression, it has also somehow simultaneously become the champion of forward-thinking beliefs. And that’s just bullshit on so many levels.


KAYAPO COURAGE: “The Amazon tribe has beaten back ranchers and gold miners and famously stopped a dam. Now its leaders must fight again or risk losing a way of life.” ~ Chip Brown.  photography by Martin Schoeller - full story & gallery via National Geographic (January 2014)

  • “YNHIRE expresses his identity as a warrior with a headdress of parrot feathers.”
  • “BEPRO wears the beads and cotton-wrapped earrings that boys receive as part of their naming ceremony.”
  • “ROPNI, an internationally known chief, is one of the few Kayapo who still wear the mahogany lip plate.”
  • “PHNH-OTI has an inverted V shaved into her scalp, a ceremonial female practice.”
  • “BEPRAN-TI wears an impressive display of feathers for his betrothal ceremony, a Kayapo rite of passage.”
  • “MEKARON-TI, the great chief, speaks Portuguese and is a powerful advocate for his people.”

Black Lives Matter is held to such a ridiculously high standard. If anyone who is REMOTELY associated with BLM commits an act of violence, white people use it as an excuse to smear the name of the entire movement.

Cops can murder unarmed Black people and many white folks still jump to defend the police force.

This is racism. This is white supremacy culture.

ugh tumblr is such a mess now, so many allies trying to out-liberal each other for the sake of being radical and like

literally no one is saying that marriage is the complete end goal but this is important and it’s not just about weddings, it’s about citizenship and custody and benefits. you wanna focus on healthcare, or immigration, or spousal benefits in the military or any level of government? like jfc this isn’t about wedding planning. the couples who have brought this issue to courts have mostly been ones where one partner is dying and they want their partner to receive benefits or be able to adopt their biological children or be able to make end of life medical decisions.

marriage is important for a lot of reasons so can straight allies on my dash please stop circulating posts like “glad you can flounce around in a floofy dress for a day now” because you are missing the point.

and also no one is done with their activism now, but it’s also okay to take a day or weekend to celebrate before going back to work. you can’t let yourself constantly burn out like that in social justice work.


Hi there, this a very unconventional post on here, so I apologize. However, you may or may not have seen/heard of the new MTV sitcom “Faking It”. I know what you’re thinking, this show is about girls faking being lesbians for popularity, giving awareness to the incorrect idea that being gay is a trend, and I’m with you! The initial concept for the show seemed offensive and problematic.

However, I challenge you to look closer! This show is ground breaking on so many levels. This show was created by a gay man who understands the reality and struggles of the LGBT community. He accurately expresses what it’s like to be trapped in the closet, outed, in love with your best friend, and many other common themes for people questioning and working towards understanding who they and what their sexual orientation is or isn’t. In addition, they consistently challenge conventional stereotypes, create well-rounded characters, and most importantly show sexuality as more than just straight or gay.

Yet, the beauty and truly defining factor in my opinion, is HOW the content is being delivered. IT’S A COMEDY! An amazing and effective way to talk about massive issues like the LGBT community, is through humor. Humor makes these topics seem approachable and create an avenue for conversation. In order to continue to gain rights and social acceptance, this is the kind of representation that is necessary. 

However, in order to get this representation, we need people to watch the show. The ratings haven’t been high enough in order to get renewed, so we need to get people on board. I encourage you to give Faking It a chance, I promise you that it is relatable, it is witty, and it is time for a show like this to be seen and talked about. 

Sorry for the essay, I just think it’s super important to get this representation out there!