• Call Now: 405.341.3554
  • Connect

Edmond Family Counseling Articles

Articles by the Counselors at Edmond Family Counseling

Bias

Friday, July 27, 2018

By: Audrey Woods, LCP Candidate

I’m reading this novel about a man who was born in the 16th century and is still alive today. With lifetimes of experience the main character, Tom, observes “what defines a human being is being a human.” I believe we are too often picking apart or overthinking new people or experiences to an unhelpful degree. Or at least I am.

It’s completely natural for your brain to try and define something new. Think of your brain like a file cabinet. From day one, it’s filing every single one of your experiences. The more experiences you have, the more sub-sections. Babies recognize dogs, cats, and pigs only as “animals” until they have enough experience (and cognitive ability) to begin breaking that information into groups of information like domesticated animals, farm animals, wild animals, etc. So when you encounter a new person or experience, your brain is trying desperately to find the right drawer by searching through your experiences and knowledge to date. Likely, those experiences and that knowledge are based on third party information you’ve gathered from friends, family, media, and other places. Your brain is also pretty lazy. It’s going to stop trying to file new information if it believes it’s found the correct spot. Enter bias.

Bias is different from any of the “isms.” It isn’t inherently hateful or negative, but it can be those things. It can also be overly positive or optimistic. Bias is simply the tendency for your brain to prematurely file information away without actually putting any effort into investigating the new experience. This tendency is especially strong when we meet new people. It’s impossible not to have bias because we’re humans. So you’re not alone.

As a social scientist, I encourage thoughtful and holistic analysis. Slow your brain down enough to obtain the full picture: Where did this person grow up? What were his or her parents like? What resources does this person currently have? In short, put this person into context. If you are unable to garner enough information to paint the full picture, then your picture will never be as bright or intricate as reality. It will be an ugly half-truth.

How do you get the full picture? You investigate with an open mind! You start by becoming more aware of your biases, challenging them when necessary, and re-filing information to a more appropriate place in your head. This requires practice and exposure to the ‘new.’ Bias is usually intensified during situations that evoke fear or anxiety… like new situations. A helpful way to calm that anxiety or fear could be to remind yourself of Tom’s realization. First and foremost, new people are people who deserve the same respect, compassion, and dignity that you deserve. Your ‘people file’ should automatically enact a series of beliefs that lead to the inevitable conclusion that this person, this new person, this different person, is a human being.

 

 



Comments
Post has no comments.
Post a Comment



Captcha Image

Trackback Link
http://www.edmondfamily.org/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=17125&PostID=1529249&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.

Recent Posts


Tags

Audrey Woods Suicide Prevention for Teens Teens and cell phones list The Golden Years Children Risk taking Aggregated News for Teens Personality Test Early Treatment of Depression Fear Drugs Exercise treatment for depression Drug Abuse Instagram Impact of Suicide Waxing Dating fads Divorce with minor children Teenage Boys Consequences Self Investment Summer time parenting personal growth high school Addiction Organization Gun violence and mental health Millenials Presidential debate Snapchat Freshman Year How common are panic attacks AARP Edmond Municipal Court Discipline Child Abuse Political Correctness Family Roles What is domestic violence Edmond What Really Matters Tumblr Brain Research Sexual Abuse Stress Depression and social media Self Image 5 Love Languages 710 Parenting through Divorce What to do when you are laid off Co-Parenting Strong Willed Child Suicide Prevention Recommendations Divorce School Oklahoma Department of Human Services Retirement Planning Oklahoma drug use GirlStrong Prevention Suicide Joshua and Rebecca Weigel Golden Child Supersurvivors Teens and Smartphones Setting Boundaries for Your Teen Teens and Time Management The Butterfly Circus Chores for Teens Codependency Therapy Boundaries Holiday stress Cell Phones Teen Safety Grandparenting Lee Daniel Kravetz ADA Twenty Somethings Quinton Ellis Teen Parenting Donald Miller Nutrition and stress Funding Drug Use United States Drug Enforcement Agency Peers Disability Prescription Drugs Drinking in high school Americans with Disabilities Act Unemployment ADHD parenting college age kids bucket list Panic Negative Thinking Choices Community Suicide Prevention Programs Ridley Scott Happiness Adult Children Mental Health New year’s resolution How long should counseling take Family Theory Marriage Communication techniques for couples David Feldman Al McCormick When Teens Should Get a Cell Phone College Campus Grandparents as parents Links between unemployment and depression Twitter Family Systems Theory Anger Summer Plans for Teens Decision-Making School Panic Disorder Dr. Rhonda Patrick Emotional Development Jackie Shaw Amanda Percival School Anxiety Technology The Martian Movie Bullying Belinda Crosier How to control panic attacks self-sabotage The Amazing Race Jay Asher Gender Roles Why did the system fail Teen Jobs Feldman and Kravetz Isolation in teens 13 Reasons Why How to manage anxiety Time Management Sanjay Gupta Parent peer pressure Great Depression How to recognize domestic violence Is therapy forever Confidentiality Culture Self-Esteem Prom safety Domestic violence resources College Transitions How many sessions do I need Chad McCoy Parenting with purpose Parkland Shooter Depression Disasters Heroin in the Suburbs World Health Organization Panic attacks Enabling Adult Children Childhood depression Newsletter Emotions Social anxiety Retirement Terrorism and children Wax Co-Parenting Class Bias and memory Managing substance abuse Fidget Spinners College Age Children HB 2249 Developmentally appropriate strategies for grief counseling Prom James Dobson Tetra-Amelia Syndrome Movies for Teens Butane Hask Oil Siblings in Conflict National Drug Threat Assessment Summary Annie Sullivan Grandparent Initiative spring Andy Weir Michael Jackson Parenting and Cell Phones Goal Setting Teen Suicide Captain of Your Ship What Matters Most Program Oklahoma Statute on Marijuana Apps for Teens Anxiety gadgets Food Allergies Parenting Teenagers How to talk to your kids about terrorism DIY Marriage counseling Eating Disorder Holidays How do children process trauma Child Development Medical Use of Marijuana in Oklahoma Detox Diet Social Media Butane Honey Oil Setting Boundaries with Adult Children Will counseling work quickly Alcohol Death The Martian Book Call of Duty Edmond Family Counseling Underage Drinking Parenting Learning Role Models Scapegoating Micro-aggression Entitlement Syndrome Opiods Support Group Disciplining Teens Divorce Edmond Character Council Character Development Teen Drug Use How to detect signs of depression Speaker Listener Technique Legalization of Marijuana Hanna Baker History Spanking Mild-Depression Ben Carson Procrastination Elizabeth Loftus Darcy McConnell Back to School Normalcy Heroin Crisis non-verbal communication Marriage counseling Seniors Communicating with your teen Bong privilege Prom guidelines for teens Marijuana Girl Strong Grounded Hope Summer Learning Disabilites Reading Schedule 1 Drug The Miracle Worker 13 Reasons Why NOT Communicating with your child Trauma John Goetz Limitations of counseling Misconceptions of Smoking Marijuana Unemployment and depression Facebook Independent Living goals Edmond drug use Mayme White Miller Positive Thinking Sheila Stinnett Dr. Ben Carson Positive Illusions Young Adults Teens Use of Technology Help for panic and anxiety How prevalent is domestic violence HK pen Bias Substance Abuse Microagression Helen Keller College Communication Political bias Teenage Development Conflict Changing Problem Behavior Working Parents Relationships Teenagers Positive Reinforcement Teenage perception of drug use Affluenza

Archive

Call Us Now!