In this study, Shabbat draws upon the expertise of sociological epistemology in an attempt to answer a central question, namely why do we care so much about what others think of us? The study addresses the sometimes contradictory needs and desires whetting one's curiosity to discover the mental and emotional states of others: from the need to reach mutual understandings with others, the desire to explore the self through getting to know others, to the Machiavellian propensity to try to gain control over the other. The scientific basis of such exploration is almost entirely bound up with interpretive and conjectural readings of emotions and thoughts of others. Assumptions made thus vary according to the instruments and strategies used. Khabbash argues that if one were to rely upon pejorative strategies and pre-conceived judgments, one will likely come up with stereotyped and possibly racist formulations. Resorting to an intuitive strategy, on the other hand, risks putting oneself at an experiential distance from others, transforming the other into a subject of investigation. Khabbash suggests instead that relying upon analogy allows one to put oneself in the other's place and deal with the other's circumstances and sufferings, which are part and parcel of our own. In this way, argues the author, we can shift from the level of understanding others to the level of reaching a mutual understanding with them.