The first step in the development of our model concerns the state of the psyche in INFANCY, from one to two years. It is agreed that at this point an infant has no theory of mind – that doesn’t become available until 4 years old or thereabouts. Theory of mind refers to the realisation that other people have their own thoughts and feelings and that, although we can guess or make inferences about them, we can never directly know another person’s perception or experience.
So in the years of infancy we are calibrating our sensory information, learning language and forming simple categories for things and events in the world.
Thus you can see the emergence of the senses in our diagram and the initiation of our SENSORY FILTERS.
Sensory filters are partly inherited and partly learned. It is likely that adults will influence children in their use of eyes, ears, kinaesthetic senses, taste and touch. A musical child will be encouraged to prioritise the auditory sense, a cuddly child his kinaesthetic capabilities, a child good at ball games will be encouraged visually (‘keep your eyes on the ball’).
You may have a sense of which of your senses dominates, but if not, please use the link below and perform the assessment for yourself.
This test originates in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). For our purposes here it is the first step in calibrating how your own perception is biased in the arena of sensations. Are you are visual person, an auditory or a kinaesthetic? How balanced or skewed are your sensory tools? I personally have my kinaesthetic system as primary, closely followed by my auditory channel. So I’m not the best guy to spot things visually when we’re out and about.
I recommend doing this test because the basis of the model and the ability to use it is sourced in self-awareness. One of my key principles in training researchers is: “you must work on your self-awareness because anything that you cannot identify with or perceive in yourself will be difficult for you to identify, understand or work with in others.”
Another important reminder at this stage is that this model uses ordinary, everyday language, the kind of words we use when we’re talking about our lives, experiences, hopes and fears. It does not refer to territories that can only be measured by machines and so is discussable and flexible to use with each other – because we all know what we’re talking about!
So the model as it emerges will talk about thoughts and feelings, about our sense of ourselves and identity, our personal concerns, beliefs and values. We all have all these and though we can never experience them all at the same time, we notice them and their influence in our lives – including on our choices and decisions – on a daily basis.