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Naive


An unpopular yet common and accurate description of individuals on the Spectrum is that they can be naive when it comes to people's intentions. It is actually a quality I enjoy about working with people on the Spectrum, but it is also something that I have to be acutely aware of much of the time as I, as a psychologist, can wield a lot of authority and, at the same time, be less than genuine in what I say. My "never lie, always answer questions directly and honestly" rule has helped a lot.

I have found that one area individuals on the Spectrum (and most of the human population) are struggling related to being naive or overly trusting has to do with the media and their reporting on politics. Bias has existed as long as the news has existed, but bias and deception are especially important now as so much hangs in the balance of people's opinions. Someone asked me the other day how I sift through political news: how do I choose who and what to believe and to form my opinion? My answer was "triangulation" in that I consult multiple media sources, including international media. Research is very clear that we all have biases and that biases are normal and a tool our brains use to sort information and increase cognitive efficiency. We can, however, get into trouble with our biases when we fail to acknowledge them and objectify them. Biases are most useful when we are aware of them and can incorporate them into decision making.

An interesting website was forwarded to me about media bias:

https://www.adfontesmedia.com/

I was surprised at where some of the media outlets placed, and also found interesting the broad categories represented.


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© 2020 by Andrew Schlegelmilch