Is "attention to details" a stereotype?

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Dandansson
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24 Oct 2021, 3:46 am

Is "attention to details" a stereotype?



autisticelders
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24 Oct 2021, 4:55 am

not necessarily, the need to break things down to examine them closely seems to be part of autism, it just depends on what things we select to examine.

At the time I got my diagnosis, the psychologist showed me a portfolio of drawings by each of the individuals he had diagnosed as autistic.

It was amazing... he had collected the drawings over the years, as he asked clients to draw anything for him as part of the diagnosis process.

none of the drawings were one big image, if there was one image it was highly detailed (even to drawing individual hairs on animals and people, clothing details, or similar things)

The majority of the drawings (more than 100) were pages filled with smaller detailed images, usually all one subject (birds, faces, trees, trucks, trains, airplanes, dogs... you name it) It was remarkable how similar they were in format although subject matter was extremely varied.

The doctor told me that he looked for clues that his clients were gathering details of information in discussions as part of the diagnostic process. ( of course my own drawings fit right there with the others) Darn interesting!


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Dandansson
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24 Oct 2021, 5:17 am

autisticelders wrote:
not necessarily, the need to break things down to examine them closely seems to be part of autism, it just depends on what things we select to examine.

At the time I got my diagnosis, the psychologist showed me a portfolio of drawings by each of the individuals he had diagnosed as autistic.

It was amazing... he had collected the drawings over the years, as he asked clients to draw anything for him as part of the diagnosis process.

none of the drawings were one big image, if there was one image it was highly detailed (even to drawing individual hairs on animals and people, clothing details, or similar things)

The majority of the drawings (more than 100) were pages filled with smaller detailed images, usually all one subject (birds, faces, trees, trucks, trains, airplanes, dogs... you name it) It was remarkable how similar they were in format although subject matter was extremely varied.

The doctor told me that he looked for clues that his clients were gathering details of information in discussions as part of the diagnostic process. ( of course my own drawings fit right there with the others) Darn interesting!

I miss details all the time. It seems like I cannot be as good as others with ASD. I suck at being a person with ASD and I miss details all the time.



babybird
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24 Oct 2021, 5:30 am

There are different ways of paying attention to details.

I wouldn't have said that I pay particular attention to details because I do everything at 100 mph but it has recently been pointed out to me that I dissect things so with that I guess I do pay more attention than I realised. Its just something I do without thinking about it.

So maybe you do do it more than you think.



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25 Oct 2021, 2:41 pm

Autistic people, on average, tend to notice small details more readily, especially in areas of interest. That's not a stereotype, it's true.

However, the idea that autistic people's attention to details impairs our ability to see the big picture has not been borne out by research. For example, autistic people on average show strengths in the Block Design subtest of the Weschler IQ test, and that requires integrating details into a coherent whole.



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25 Oct 2021, 2:51 pm

I pay a lot of attention to details, but I'm still not super great at actually doing anything with or making anything with those details. I have other issues besides for ASD though like dyscalculia, dyspraxia, and ADHD.


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Garry
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25 Oct 2021, 3:11 pm

I think that attention to detail is a very good quality, much better than absent-mindedness.



Ettina
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25 Oct 2021, 3:28 pm

Garry wrote:
I think that attention to detail is a very good quality, much better than absent-mindedness.


Those two are not mutually exclusive. I'm both attentive to detail and absent-minded, depending on the context.



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25 Oct 2021, 4:44 pm

I think my attention to detail exists but is incomplete. Some types of details interest me more than others. And, in some situations, my attention is sort of randomly selecting details to pay attention to--for instance, in a room I might notice some small detail others would miss, but there'd likely be other comparably small details there I'd miss.


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12 Dec 2021, 9:24 pm

Ettina wrote:
Autistic people, on average, tend to notice small details more readily, especially in areas of interest. That's not a stereotype, it's true.

However, the idea that autistic people's attention to details impairs our ability to see the big picture has not been borne out by research. For example, autistic people on average show strengths in the Block Design subtest of the Weschler IQ test, and that requires integrating details into a coherent whole.


Uta Frith missed the big picture and created a myth!

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13 Dec 2021, 12:43 am

Certainly my mind is on details for much of the time, and I'm aware of a difficulty in switching easily to the big picture. I keep getting locked into the minutiae of some part of a subject and tend to forget about what I was originally trying to do. In a way my brain feels rather blind because it only seems able to see a narrow window of a very small part of whole world at any one time, like a microscope. Obviously I've got some kind of control of it or I wouldn't have survived this long with so little help, but I'm certainly aware of the "attention to details" thing as a strong trait in myself. I guess I must have learned that it can do a lot of damage and so got more into the habit of deliberately pulling away from the details and stepping back to examine the overview. Sometimes I think I'm as good as anybody at working with overviews, just that I have to remember to look at them. It would be interesting to take that Block Design test somebody mentioned.



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13 Dec 2021, 3:47 am

A very true stereotype in my case. I do perceive things others may not notice.


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Jon81
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13 Dec 2021, 1:26 pm

It's not a stereotype at all. My kids notice the smallest things. Especially food.
You can also see it when you mix up 200 different toys and they will just look at the pile and pick up a tiny piece of something they need. They single out just about anything they are interested in. But they don't see the bigger picture, the main object you're pointing to.


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15 Dec 2021, 1:27 pm

It depends on what kind of things. If someone touched the stuff on my desk or bathroom counter I'd notice right away. If someone I know well dyed their hair or shave their beard off, I might not notice for a couple days. But overall I'm not a details person. Even when I was doing painting I was the "impressionist" style. :D


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15 Dec 2021, 3:40 pm

I still don't know what attention to details actually means. Anyone can notice details. Some NTs who are talented in art or even cooking spend a lot of time working on the details. And movies and cartoons have so many little details put in that even I couldn't think up. And some NTs even notice tiny details in movies and cartoons, like little goofs and stuff that I always miss because I'm following the plot, not looking for goofs (unless they're really obvious).


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15 Dec 2021, 4:53 pm

^
If I understand it right, it's not a black-and-white thing. It's not a case of NTs never seeing any details and Aspies seeing nothing but details. It's just a general tendency in that direction, with a fair degree of overlap between the two groups. And it may be that, to a degree, NTs find it easier to flip between the overview and the details, while Aspies tend to cone down on details and have trouble stepping back to see the overview. But only to a degree, and there will be exceptions.