chapter  8
24 Pages

Reinterpreting the Mentality of Apes

As a soccer player, one of us was often confronted with the challenging dilemma of taking penalty kicks. Up to about age 13,1 (T. S.) could quite reliably convert the shot by simply peeking briefly to one corner of the goal, running up and then casually placing the ball in the other corner. I relied not on the accuracy or velocity of my shot, but almost entirely on fooling the keeper that I intended to shoot in the opposite direction. But then some clever keepers picked up on this simplest of tricks and tried to thwart my attempt by jumping in the opposite corner to the one I looked to. Some even tried to turn the tables by offering one side (moving closer to the other post). The battle became increasingly more challenging as I was sizing up the keeper's ability to read my intentions and do the opposite of what I thought he thought. For example, I pretend to place it right, but I think that he thinks I am only pretending to place it right-so I may chose to place it right after all. This is theory of mind in action.