• 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://edmondfamilycounseling.org/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=17125&PostID=1529249&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.

Recent Posts


Tags

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

Archive

Call Us Now!