Psycho-Logic pp 85-102 | Cite as


  • Jan Smedslund


Only the triad has sufficient complexity to incorporate all the basic aspects of human interaction. A main reason for this is that much of what people do involves communication to someone about a third person. The realization of this is expressed in the prototype example described in the Introduction, p.3. The indispensability in everyday life, not only of first- and second-, but also of third-person formulations in descriptions of what goes on between people also illustrates this very well. The triad becomes automatically incorporated in the present system when this is fully expanded into the set of “mirror propositions” described in Chapters, p.67. The “mirroring” means that every person believes that every other person believes that every person believes in the commonsense propositions of the present system. For a triad of persons, A, B, and C, this means that, for example, A believes that B believes that C believes in each valid commonsense proposition, and so on. This has definite consequences for the description, explanation, and prediction of the interaction of any group of three persons. In spite of what has been said programmatically above, only two-person interactions will be treated in this chapter. The main reason for this is that these are more elementary and more easily accessible intuitively. The rough conceptual apparatus developed here needs to be consolidated and refined before it can be used to face the complexity of groups of three or more persons.


Scenic Spot Ulterior Motive Present Oneself Suspicious Person Commonsense Psychology 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Smedslund
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyUniversity of OsloOslo 3Norway

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