25 votes

Autistic people care too much, research says

19 comments

  1. [5]
    ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    oh that fucking explains it Yep. Been there. Quit jobs because of it. Good jobs, too: positions where I'd be able to thrive without any experience, with a good salary and good working conditions....

    oh that fucking explains it

    Non-autistics reading this may think I mean I don't Want to do these jobs. But I genuinely cannot. I Can't let that stuff slide, even if I try.
    Believe me, I've tried. My brain and body shut down on me, I panic, I lash out at the system, I quit or get fired.

    Yep. Been there. Quit jobs because of it. Good jobs, too: positions where I'd be able to thrive without any experience, with a good salary and good working conditions. Because I can't fuckin' upsell.

    17 votes
    1. [4]
      lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I received a government grant once. By the end of the project, I managed to be a lot more efficient than I initially thought. So I had about 1/5 of the budget to spare, which I simply returned to...

      I received a government grant once. By the end of the project, I managed to be a lot more efficient than I initially thought. So I had about 1/5 of the budget to spare, which I simply returned to the government. It seemed obvious, it was not my money to use anymore. I told this story in a group of my peers, even to some people that are close to me, and they were horrified by my attitude. They started telling me ways to make use of the money, basically fraud. Why's being honest so controversial?

      10 votes
      1. [3]
        ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        I'm going to wager a guess here. It could be completely off-the-mark, and it may not apply to whole swathes of people, but something tells me it's worth considering: It may well be that the reason...

        I'm going to wager a guess here. It could be completely off-the-mark, and it may not apply to whole swathes of people, but something tells me it's worth considering:

        It may well be that the reason autistic folks deal so much better in morality questions is that morality is a system of rules, and autism makes you so much better at handling systems.

        And if failing at a rule makes you feel bad, and "failing" (from one's personal perspective) at a morality question makes you feel bad, how can you not follow the rule that's backed by a morality question?

        For what it's worth, if I didn't know it would be fraudulent to keep the money after I no longer it for the project, I'd keep it. If I did know before deciding to keep it, I'd return it. If I learned after deciding to keep it, I'd cringe (because oh fuck I did something bad these people are in their right to judge me for it and I may have committed a crime) but return it, with an apology note.

        11 votes
        1. [2]
          lou
          Link Parent
          That is true. Also, lying is tiresome as hell.

          That is true.

          Also, lying is tiresome as hell.

          8 votes
          1. FishFingus
            Link Parent
            I can't put the effort into mine, so I forget them and my mum remembers them and oh god she's bringing them up again three weeks later, nooooo...

            I can't put the effort into mine, so I forget them and my mum remembers them and oh god she's bringing them up again three weeks later, nooooo...

            5 votes
  2. [2]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
  3. [13]
    post_below
    Link
    That's an interesting study, and the author of the post makes good points about the way the researchers unecessarily framed the results negatively. Reading the comments here, I'm curious how...

    That's an interesting study, and the author of the post makes good points about the way the researchers unecessarily framed the results negatively.

    Reading the comments here, I'm curious how people on the spectrum look at the sometimes relative nature of morality and ethics.

    For example, in the case of honesty, there are situations where being honest is objectively a bad choice. One example of this is talking to the police. Any lawyer will tell you that the right choice is usually to say as little as possible.

    This would not be true if both individual police officers and the systems they operate within were perfectly altruistic. Sadly, much of the time neither are.

    Another example is ethics in relation to systems, as opposed to individuals. There are laws which apply to situations where they don't make sense. The same is often true of corporate policies. Is it still ethically correct to follow rules which are unfair or shortsighted?

    9 votes
    1. [8]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [4]
        lou
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I have a profound hatred for any games of this kind, and will not play them again under any circumstances. I can't read anyone, and, while everyone is having a great time making jokes and...

        One bonus example: Social deduction games like Werewolf, Mafia, Secret Hitler, Among Us, etc.

        I am awful at these games. I've been told that I'm very easy to read

        I have a profound hatred for any games of this kind, and will not play them again under any circumstances. I can't read anyone, and, while everyone is having a great time making jokes and innuendo, I'm sitting there completely tense trying to figure out how to not look like a dummy, or if the banter is actually serious and for some reason they're all out to get me. It's miserable.

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          teaearlgraycold
          Link Parent
          They're my favorite! I'm typically pretty bad at Among Us cause I play with people that know the game much better than me. But my friend group had to outright ban strategies I used with The...

          They're my favorite! I'm typically pretty bad at Among Us cause I play with people that know the game much better than me. But my friend group had to outright ban strategies I used with The Resistance in college because they were too powerful.

          5 votes
          1. lou
            Link Parent
            I totally understand how these games can be fun for lots of people. Not my cup of tea 🤷‍♀️

            I totally understand how these games can be fun for lots of people. Not my cup of tea 🤷‍♀️

            2 votes
        2. DrStone
          Link Parent
          Even as a neurotypical, I hate the completely imaginary Mafia / Warewolf games. There's nothing real to base accusations, alibis, and such on, and so it usually boils down to a bunch of "just...

          Even as a neurotypical, I hate the completely imaginary Mafia / Warewolf games. There's nothing real to base accusations, alibis, and such on, and so it usually boils down to a bunch of "just trust me" and metagaming (revenge for previous games, etc.).

          While I haven't played Secret Hitler or Among us, I have played Bang! (social deduction spaghetti western card game) and Coup (board game of bluffing and calling bluffs). There's still plenty of uncertainty (especially early on), leaps of faith, lying, learning people's tells, and all that fun stuff, but there's also enough structure to make the deduction feel like it's meaningfully based on some actual evidence (as flimsy as it may be).

          5 votes
      2. [2]
        post_below
        Link Parent
        Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I appreciate your point about working to make your authentic self something that does less harm, making honesty less of a conflict. This is a core part of my...

        Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

        I appreciate your point about working to make your authentic self something that does less harm, making honesty less of a conflict. This is a core part of my identity as well. I wonder whether a majority of others with an ASD diagnosis would echo this sentiment or if it's just a personality thing.

        I thought your example of games like Among Us was really interesting. It's a perfect example because, as you said, actual ethics or morality aren't factors, and the stakes are low. If you'll humor my curiousity... Do you have any thoughts about the source of your aversion to subterfuge in that context? Is it perhaps a result of previous experience with dishonesty creating a strong negative emotional association? Or is it more fundamental?

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. post_below
            Link Parent
            That makes sense, thanks. It's funny how anxiety about a thing ups the stakes and thus often ends up being a self fulfilling prophecy. In a world of nearly 8 billion people competing for space and...

            I have a lot of social anxiety tied to being unable to perform socially in ways that are expected of me. So, I feel pretty discouraged when I try to play a social game that I'm bad at? I tend to take it very seriously, and have a hard time laughing off being bad at lying. (It also tends to be quite taxing, and wear out my social battery, which isn't something I prefer to seek out?)

            That makes sense, thanks. It's funny how anxiety about a thing ups the stakes and thus often ends up being a self fulfilling prophecy.

            In a world of nearly 8 billion people competing for space and bandwidth, often ruthlessly, I consider "bad at lying, honest to a fault" a strength despite the downsides.

            3 votes
      3. highsomatic
        Link Parent
        I’m not diagnosed, but I do relate to some of the descriptions some of the people on this post and others sometimes write about. With regards to lying, I found very stark results in myself. If I...

        I’m not diagnosed, but I do relate to some of the descriptions some of the people on this post and others sometimes write about. With regards to lying, I found very stark results in myself. If I put myself on the spot telling myself that I am going to lie and becoming aware of this act, I fall into the description that you just portrayed. However, I have developed two approaches around it that have helped me a lot.

        My brain doesn’t panic if I convince myself that I’m not lying. It’s hard to describe, but sometimes, in the heat of the moment, out of a sense of desperation, I’m able to force myself to believe the opinion or the point of view that I want to push. After all, it’s more about whether what I believe what I would be saying is right or wrong rather than what is truly right or wrong. In that sense, I push my mind into being this person that holds this opinion, and whenever this happens, it makes my interaction feel a lot more natural.

        Another workaround I found is to lie seldom, in order to establish a relationship of trust. If people believe you’re honest most of the time, then they’re more likely to doubt themselves rather than your lie when you do choose to lie if they happen to be suspicious.

        Neither of these approaches require focusing on reading the other person, and I find this to help a lot.

        In werewolf for example, at one point I was able to win as a werewolf by accusing the other werewolf masquerading as a villager and getting them eliminated, thus establishing a sense of trustworthiness in myself.

        2 votes
    2. [3]
      lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I'm not officially diagnosed yet, but here's my view. If you're under a modern democratic regime, it is generally true that following rules is moral. So most people will rarely be in a situation...

      I'm not officially diagnosed yet, but here's my view.

      If you're under a modern democratic regime, it is generally true that following rules is moral. So most people will rarely be in a situation in which it is moral to disobey.

      There are, of course, situations in which one has a moral duty to disobey, I don't think I would have trouble doing so, even if something deep in my brain tells me to conform.

      However, in pratice, in most situations, the impact of our actions is hard to ascertain. What use will the government make of the money I gave back? I honestly don't know, maybe they embezzled it. But why should I care? I cannot control the actions of others, I can only do my part in such a way that I can sleep soundly at night. Rules are meant to be followed unless you have a very strong moral reason to disobey. That is usually not the case.

      EDIT: you can even frame this in terms of rule following. I do tend to follow the rules to the best of my ability, but moral guidelines can be encoded as rules as well, both implicit and explicit. So it's not that I'll eventually go against the rules, but some rules (ethics) sometimes supersede other kinds of behavior codes, such as laws and regulations. By the way, I don't think that's specific to those in ASD. That is the behavior of any moral individual. Those with autism are just more literal about it.

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        post_below
        Link Parent
        It's the literal aspect that I find interesting, given how much nuance is involved in making a value decision much of the time. I think very often there are good moral reasons to disobey rules....

        It's the literal aspect that I find interesting, given how much nuance is involved in making a value decision much of the time.

        I think very often there are good moral reasons to disobey rules. Obvious examples include abortion laws in some places, many standards of decency based on religion, drug laws in some places, laws targeting non mainstream lifestyles (homosexuality for example) and so on.

        On a more subtle note, there are also a lot of unspoken, or uncodified, rules in a given culture which arguably create a net negative impact. For example, social norms often have dishonesty as a core principle, sometimes in ways that make sense, sometimes not. Western cultures have norms arising from materialism and consumption that are destructive both to the environment at large and to mental health. Individuals are compelled to follow those norms or risk inadvertantly self labeling as subversive or maladapted.

        Some of the latter examples are, as I understand it, things which some autistic people have trouble identifying and conforming to. Which, incidentally, I find to be wonderful (though I don't mean to disregard the challenges this creates for them).

        I suppose I'm trying to tease out some nuance in an attempt to better understand the ways in which austistic people's experience differs from neurotypicals.

        4 votes
        1. lou
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Ironically, I'm not sure what you're talking about :P

          Ironically, I'm not sure what you're talking about :P

          2 votes
    3. wervenyt
      Link Parent
      I don't believe I was ever diagnosed ASD, but I tested for borderline aspergers back when that was a real diagnosis. The rules matter to me insofar as everyone plays along. So, modern laws? Really...

      I don't believe I was ever diagnosed ASD, but I tested for borderline aspergers back when that was a real diagnosis. The rules matter to me insofar as everyone plays along. So, modern laws? Really couldn't give a damn. The president helped to incite an insurrection. Billionaires get away with murder and rape daily. My own business's policies? Very important, since if I don't follow them, who will respect them? Same for board games. Table rules matter just as much as box rules, but someone at the table complaining about a rule just because it inconveniences them is infuriating.

      In the situation of poorly-designed systems of rules, one can usually find some throughline of moral value and principle the broken guidelines were trying to get at.

      7 votes
    4. ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      Coming from an abusive environment, I've learned a fair degree of self-preservation tactics, mostly in communicational situations. I tend to just... talk about things I find interesting, but...

      Coming from an abusive environment, I've learned a fair degree of self-preservation tactics, mostly in communicational situations. I tend to just... talk about things I find interesting, but growing up with my parents taught me to (1) think before speaking around them, (2) don't mention some things sometimes.

      I hate to do this, but I'd rather suffer less pain than be perfectly honest in this particular situation.

      The problem is, I think I learned it too well, so now every situation that threatens me with pain or embarrassment or shame demands the reaction above. Usually I can work through it and be honest when I must.

      Having been growing up relatively lonely (what with me being "weird"), I was learning to appreciate systems over people because systems don't shun you (as well as don't lie to you, are predictable and so on). It took me being thrust into the social systems the university puts upon oneself to start learning the value of empathy. Then I started valuing people over systems. (To be fair, I don't think it's purely environmental: I had an empathetic core before that was being stiffled, and was now being let to flourish.)

      I'd hate to break laws or workplace rules or whatever, but I'd much rather help someone. The human connection is precious, and setting an example of "Humans are more important than ink on paper" is good.

      7 votes