Shared meaning is the human ability to convey information, concepts and emotion such that individuals can essentially share their thoughts with others. The following are illustrative examples.
LanguageLanguage is the foundation of human thought that allows complex ideas to be communicated with sound and text.
CommunicationCommunication is the ability to transmit meaning from person to person. This is mostly based on language but also includes visual communication such as pictures, eye contact and body language.
ConceptsHumans have the incredible ability to think beyond physical reality to form abstract concepts such as freedom, beauty or love that have no physical manifestation.
Shared ExperiencesShared meaning can emerge from the process of spending time together. For example, the process of working on hard problems together as a team that creates shared meaning such as inside jokes.
CultureCulture is the shared meaning that emerges with the experience of groups. For example, a dance or fashion tradition.
NormsNorms are expectations formed by a culture that represent shared rules of behavior that facilitate peaceful and productive coexistence. For example, the norm that you apologize if you bump into someone in a crowd.
SymbolsSymbols are entities that have much meaning to a group. For example, a brand symbol that brings up images of cheap and unhealthy food that is nevertheless tasty and convenient.
StoriesStories are the ability to transmit fact and fiction in an entertaining way. These are important as they allow people to communicate the products of their imagination. This tends to shape the future as people imagine how things could be and share this with groups.
IdentityThe identity of groups and their members. For example, an individual who identifies with a nation, city, neighborhood, ethnic group, school, company, profession, cultures, subcultures and super cultures.
InstitutionsInstitutions are durable elements of society that provide stability and continuation. For example, people who understand themselves to be members of a family that calls for affection, support and loyalty.
SocietyA society is the system that governs life in a place. People are often required to have some basic understanding of the society in which they live and this is enforced with hard power. For example, the requirement that you understand and follow laws and processes required by a state.
RelationshipsRelationships between people that are understood by both sides such as friends.
ValuesValues are interpretations of the worth and the appropriateness of things. These can be shared via culture, society and relationships. For example, a culture that values nature such that it is a shared understanding that destroying ecosystems is a negative thing.
Empathy & SympathyEmpathy is the ability to feel the same as someone else often due to a process of shared experience or communication. Sympathy is the ability to feel bad for someone without necessarily sharing their emotions.
This is the complete list of articles we have written about shared experiences.
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