Social Recognition

Commander, we the field agents of the great Tallamy Specie of planet Iskavahu, have now finished our field investigations of this specie called humans who inhabit this smallish blue planet, encircling the medium range star Totem 4.

Per your instructions to find out if they have any weaknesses that can be exploited in conquering them we have to report something strange to you. We found that this specie though intensely social undertakes unusual gymnastics of recognition when they meet and greet each other. Unlike us, they are not neutral and objective in their perceptions but categorize, weigh and respond to their others based on situations and contexts. So in other words they do not see others as they are but through some strange cognitive lenses.

Funny thing is that they have documented these anomalies however still fail to correct for them in their behavior. This we believe, makes them vulnerable as a specie. To give you a sample of these idiosyncrasies here is a list of edits and distortions they perform, all reported in their own terminology:

1) Stereotyping :
Since their mental faculties are limited so they use shortcuts to perceive others. Using it they categorize others quickly based on the physical cues and social roles. Once they have drawn a quick inference on the person based on first impressions they find it very hard to revisit it with more information. Also what complicates this non addition of rich details to another persons profile is, that they tend to exaggerate the similarities of the people who they think are like them and exaggerate the differences of others who are unlike. Thus they do not see people but categories of their minds.

2) Hawthorne effect :
Humans have a tendency to alter their behavior when they are being observed. They become more productive, conform more and generally fall in line with expectations when their conduct is supervised. So if we conquer them and then keep them under a watch they should be fairly docile.

3) Pratfall effect :
Under this strange effect Commander, the desirability of a competent individual increases after s/he commits a blunder. So it is like if you are good but you make a mistake, paradoxically they tend to like you more.

4) Spotlight effect :
Individuals of the specie routinely mistake the amount of attention others are giving them. Ignoring that everyone is busy in their world to pay attention, they systematically overestimate their own TRP ratings ( their media viewership term) and thus very many of them are prone to social anxiety and illusions of transparency of their feelings to others.

5) Halo effect:
People who are considered good or attractive by the society have a huge rub off effect on their overall attributes. So when a person is perceived as physically attractive person they tend to believe s/he is more moral and intelligent as well or if a person is considered intelligent this rubs off on his/her conversation and relationship skills too. They see good as very very good and bad as very very bad without any complicated shades of grey.

So overall commander, as outlined the specie occupying the landmass make horrible mistakes and miscalculations in assessing themselves and others, under social conditions. All we have to do is build on these errors and strategize around them, when we plan for our invasion.
Over and Out.

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