Detecting discounts (Transactional analysis / TA is an integrative approach to the theory of psychology and psychotherapy).
Manu Melwin Joy
School of Management Studies
CUSAT, Kerala, India.
Phone – 9744551114
Mail – email@example.com
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• The discounting, not
observable in itself, can be
inferred by the person’s
showing any of the four
• There are many other ways
of detecting discounts.
• Driver behavior always
indicates a discount.
• Remember that when I show a
driver, I am internally replaying
the script belief : “ I am only OK
if I try hard / please others etc.
• The reality is that I am OK
whether or not I follow these
• Schiff specify certain thinking
disorders as clues to
• One of these is over detailing.
• Asked a simple question , the
person showing this disorder
will reply with a long tirade of
• Over generalization is the opposite of
over detailing in which the person
expresses ideas only in
sweeping, global terms.
• Ex : “Well, my problem is something
huge. People are after me. Things are
getting me down”.
• One of the skills of TA is to
identify discounting by
listening to the words people
• The difficulty in practice is
that everyday speech is full of
discounts, so much so that we
become desensitized to them.
• We need to re learn the skill
of listening to what is really
being said and testing each
statement against reality.
• When someone says “ I
can’t..”, he will most often be
• “I will try to…” is usually a
discount, since what it implies
is usually “ I will try to, but I
won’t do it”.
• The same is true will all driver
wordings. Be strong discounts
are particularly common. Ex:
“What you say is boring to
• Sometimes, a discount is
signaled by leaving out a part
of the sentence.
• For instance, a member of the
TA group may ask “I want a
• She doesn’t say from whom
she wants hug from.
• She is omitting information
relevant to the solution of the
Non verbal Clues
• Equally important is the skill
of identifying discounts
from non verbal clues.
• Here, the discount is
signaled by a mismatch
between the words being
said and the non verbal
signals that go with them.
• This mismatching is called
Non verbal Clues
• For example, teacher asks his
pupil : “Do you understand the
assignment I have set you?”.
• The pupil replies : “Sure”.
• But at the same time, he
puckers his brow and scratches
• If teacher is aware about the
thinking martian, he will ask
more questions to check
whether his pupil is
• One frequent indication of a
discount is gallows laughing.
• Here, the person laughs when
making a statement about
• Ex: “That was silly of me, ha
• In gallows, there is incongruity
between the laugh and the
• When someone gives a gallows
laugh, he is making a non
verbal invitation to the listener
to reinforce once of his script
• The straight response to
gallows is to refuse to join in
• You may also say : “That is not
funny”, if you are in a situation
where it is socially appropriate
to do so.
Stroke Filter / Discount
• When someone gets a stroke that
doesn’t fit in with her preferred
stroke quotient, she is likely to
ignore it or belittle it.
• Discounts are an internal
mechanism by which people
minimize or maximize
(grandiosity) an aspect of
reality, themselves or others.
• In other words they are not
accounting for the reality of
themselves or others or the
• Think about the strokes you gave and received.
• Was it counterfeit, marshmallows, straight?
• Who received it openly, who discounted it?
• Which strokes you received and which one you discounted?
Strokes Vs Discounts
• A discount always entails some distortion of reality unlike a straight negative
• NCS – You spelled the word wrong.
• Discount – I see you can’t spell
• NUCS – I hate you.
• Discount – You are hateful.
• Unlike a straight negative stroke, a discount gives me no signal on which I
can base constructive action.