• 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

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

Archive

Call Us Now!