Aspergers and an interest in psychology?

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Sylvastor
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12 Jan 2013, 3:45 pm

Night_Shade917 wrote:
He said that aspies are the best at understanding other aspies when they are a psychologist :D

My psychologist said the same.
She noticed my interest in psychology (it's just a small hobby I would say and whenever I feel like doing so, I browse the net to find out what the motives behind certain actions of humans are) and recommended that if all fails, I should become a psychologist myself. :lol:


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IdahoRose
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12 Jan 2013, 6:37 pm

I've been diagnosed with AS and I'm interested in psychology. For me it has less to do with understanding the way other people work, and more to do with understanding how my own mind works, because I have a lot of comorbid conditions that go along with my AS.



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13 Jan 2013, 3:23 am

I'm extremely interested in psychology, I just love to observe, analyze, (try to) understand, build, destroy, re-build, make my own theories... I've seen many psychologists since my childhood and have always been told that I have skills in psychology but I've never felt the need to study it at university and make it a career, I don't want to be drained by people's problems kind of. So my interest will remain as a sort of "personal hobby".



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13 Jan 2013, 8:05 am

KatherineBates wrote:
Is it normal to have aspergers and be interested in psychology - the study of BEHAVIOUR? I asked my psychologist and she said yes because of my fear of people (I also have social phobia) but isn't one of the symptoms of aspergers a lack of interest in people, not to mention difficulties in recognising non verbal cues?

It has nothing to do with having AS. I have Asperger's and I'm not at all interested in psychology, but I don't see why there can't be people with Asperger's that are interested in psychology. Not everything people with AS do is connected to their disorder.



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13 Jan 2013, 9:40 am

Quote:
Is it normal to have aspergers and be interested in psychology - the study of BEHAVIOUR? I asked my psychologist and she said yes because of my fear of people (I also have social phobia) but isn't one of the symptoms of aspergers a lack of interest in people, not to mention difficulties in recognising non verbal cues?


Two problems with that statement.

First, not all AS people have a lack of interest in people. The required criteria is poor intuitive understanding, not lack of interest. Wing and Gould have described three patterns of interaction in autistic people - aloof, passive and active-but-odd. Of those, aloof and sometimes passive involve reduced interest in people, but not active-but-odd. And although all three styles can be present in any functioning level, active-but-odd gets more common the higher functioning the person is.

Secondly, there are different kinds of interest in people. I have no interest in the latest gossip about who got drunk and who's dating who. But I was realizing lately that all of my intense interests have focused on some kind of living creature, human or animal (and often human). Instead of wanting to know random details about people's lives, I want to analyze how people work on a deeper level, and that's exactly what psychology is about.

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If you are going for a Doctorate though, eventually you will have to do a residency and then be in a hospital around patients.
I would think it important a psychologist to recognize non verbal cues, yet no one is perfect and even NTs can miss them i guess sometimes.


I actually think being autistic would be an advantage. See, as a psychologist, you don't need social intuition. In fact, that can lead to bias. You need to consciously analyze people's behavior instead of making assumptions, and if you have any social success as an autistic person you've probably learnt to do that already. Autism means not depending on the unverbalizable intuition about people, and instead taking a scientific approach to understanding others. (At least, that's how it is for me. I guess more severe social impairment might affect your ability to analyze behavior scientifically as well, such as if you still haven't got a first or second order theory of mind. You may need a certain minimum ability, I'm not sure.)

But in my case, I find other things that most people just assume, I ask questions about. For example, what do people think evil is? (I don't seem to be able to consider anyone evil if I understand them.) Or, what disabilities are visible in what situations? (Most people just assume it's obvious, but I don't know what cues out a person as disabled if they're not using some obvious aide of some kind.)

So not intuitively understanding others means I ask more questions about them.



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13 Jan 2013, 10:14 am

I don't know if it's typical for people with AS to be interested in psychology. I can only speak for myself. Yes, psychology is one of my lifelong on-off special interests. I'm a very curious person, and think the human mind is a very fascinating thing. Plus, it is helpful in learning social skills,.



Logicalmom
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13 Jan 2013, 11:30 am

I am intensely interested in philosophy for much the same reasons - particularly language and the mind. I have a relentless need to figure out myself, the world, and the universe. I think my thoughts are my greatest special interest ... I am in there and I go "hhhmmm' :wink:


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