Meta model questions
The first Meta Model pattern that we're going to use is an example of distortion and is known as the Mind Read.
In this context a Mind Read is simply a claim by another person that they know your thoughts and/or feelings, without specifying the process by which they came by that information as in:-
- 'I know what you're thinking.'
- 'You don't like me.'
- 'You always feel the same way about that.'
Consider the second example Surface Structure for a moment - You don't like me.
This Surface Structure makes an assertion - You don't like me and claims it to be true, without specifying how the person making the claim has come to know this to be true. Native speakers of English will intuitively recognise that this second part of the communication is missing i.e. has been deleted from the underlying Deep Structure.
Native speakers of English will also have in their intuition possible Deep Structures which could form the basis of the Surface Structure used, for example:-
'I know that you don't like me because of the way you always look at me.'
It is these very intuitions, available to each and every native speaker of English, that provide the basis of the corresponding Metal Model questions that can be used gain specificity and clarity.
In this particular example an appropriate response to 'You don't like me' by a person wishing to recover the deleted information could be 'How do you know?'.
As the Meta Model questions are intended to gain clarity and specificity the questions themselves tend to use very specific language, and so the appropriate Meta Model response to the mind-read of 'You don't like me' is 'How specifically do you know that I don't like you?'
This specificity inherent in the Metal Model questions tends in turn to solicit more specific and useful responses.
In summary, the Metal Model response to a mind read is:-
'How specifically do you know X?', where X is the deleted information that we wish to recover.