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So here's a basic relationship update(since Alan is kinda the biggest deal in my life right now) and one of my current favorite things.

So yeah, that robot from the future I was dating? Best deal ever. We get along so fabulously it hardly even makes sense to me. We're awesome friends and perfect partners. He's vaguely dyslexic, has an adorable cheesy sense of humor, and is a sociopath in the literal sense of the word. He's so awkward at first blush because he doesn't understand social mores, and until recently honestly didn't care about them. I had to explain to the dear various methods of being polite and why you have to shower more often than "when you're really dirty".

"Because people don't like the way sweat and skin smell."
"I don't mind. I kinda like it."
"Yes, but see, people make assumptions about you if they think you smell sweaty and gross."
"...Huh? Why?"

He HONESTLY didn't believe that people made deep, lasting assumptions based on first impressions, because HE doesn't. It's amazing. He came across like a robot because he is the most honest, genuine, true-seeing person I've ever met. He just needs a little guidance sometime to navigate the rest of the world full of jerks. I love 'im. <3

Anyway, one of our current favorite things is this song:


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 8th, 2010 10:46 am (UTC)
Sounds a little like autism... there was a study I had to... well, study... for my psychology course at A-level. (Here it is (PDF file - having a little trouble opening at time of posting this)) It's by Baron-Cohen, among others, who is the cousin of the man who did Borat. :)

Basically, the experimenters describe how they used a 'doll paradigm' as a method of measuring autistic children's levels of empathy. They'd place a doll on the other side of a table with some objects on it, and ask the child what the doll would see if it could, and to draw a picture from the doll's perspective.
"Normal" (for lack of a better word) children would draw the picture from the doll's angle -- so if there's a toy car on the child's left, they'd draw it on the doll's right, if the doll is directly opposite them. The autistic children would not do this, instead drawing what they themselves see. The authors suggest this is why autists have such difficulty in empathising with others, or understanding why others do things differently from them: because they lack this 'theory of self', the idea that other people have selves too and see things from different angles.
Apr. 8th, 2010 11:13 am (UTC)
Okay, I got slightly confused -- the drawing-what's-on-the-table thing was from Hobson (1982) ('The question of childhood egocentrism the coordination of perspectives in relation to operational thinking') and Piaget & Inhelder (1956) (The Child's Conception of Space).
It's a similar idea, though.
This one by Baren-Cohen, Leslie and Frith was more about what would happen in a particular situation: namely, there are two dolls, Sally and Anne; Sally puts a marble into a basket, then leaves; Anne moves the marble from the basket into the box, then Sally comes back. The question is: where will Sally look for her marble?
16 of the 20 autistic children (80%) failed this task, by pointing to where the marble actually is, not where Sally would think it is, and therefore look for it. The four who didn't, the experimenters think, could be a subgroup of autistic children who do have a theory of mind; but this study shows that mainly autistic children don't have this.
Apr. 8th, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC)
I've considered the possibility of vague Aspergers, but he doesn't really fit any other symptoms. He can emotionally empathize and does so very well, and definitely has a sense of mind and self. It's the big, overarching rules that he doesn't compute. For instance, I always thought he had some kind of strange fetish because he so easily accepted my gender identity without having any transsexual people in his family. It's just that he instantly understood it on a personal level, with absolutely NO concept of the big societal "this is how people are supposed to be".

Interestingly, his younger brother is diagnosed as autistic but seems a little similar. He got the diagnosis because of his troubles with language - he's 4 and can only say a few words at a time. But he's incredibly emotional and friendly and loves making eye contact, which doesn't match up.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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