Thursday, February 3, 2011

Moral Reasoning, Or Why Nancy Grace May Be Autistic

I saw this article on Disability Scoop about moral reasoning and a study that shows that people with autism struggle with this skill.

The study found that those with autism were "more likely than others to assign blame based on a situation’s negative outcome, whether or not malice was intended".


Here is an example of a situation that participants were asked about:
Two friends are kayaking in the ocean. “Janet” tells her friend that it’s OK to swim after reading that the jellyfish nearby are harmless. But Janet’s friend ends up dying after being stung by a jellyfish while swimming.

The study found that those with autism blamed Janet for her friend's death even though she didn't intend to harm her.  And your reaction is...?
A)  I must be autistic because I would totally blame Janet too.  And what does it make me if I would not only blame her, but torment her for the rest of her days with packages containing dead jellyfish, jellyfish on her pillow in the morning, her car covered in dead jellyfish...
B)  This situation is not applicable to my autistic child because they would know the exact genus, class, and phylum of the jellyfish and whether or not it was of the deadly variety just by looking at it.
C)  If I tried to administer this test to my autistic child, their answer would be "Swimming!  Yes!  Let's go!"

29 comments:

  1. And the purpose of this study was for........? What did they expect to gain from it?

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  2. A,B and C are totally my exact top three reactions. Get out of my head!

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  3. Thank God you put up a picture of jellyfish and not Nancy Grace!

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  4. I just read a similar article using the same kind of example. I have tried reading them to Katie but she usually gets lost and has no idea what I am even talking about. I did ask her if she would blame the friend and she said yes, but who knows if she really gets it...and, yeah, if that was me I would come back as a jellyfish and kill the idiot friend who took some random person's word for it.

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  5. My answer is: None of the above. Janet's friend is an idiot and should have read up on jelly fish herself. Perhaps if Janet's friend had autism, she would be alive!

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  6. My God, Woman! Aren't we dealing with enough on our plates? Don't add Nancy Grace into the mix. It is more than i can bear!

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  7. Dan would be all in on the swimming thing however he would be punching the jellyfish while screaming. Danger? What's That?

    That Nancy gives all us other Nancys a bad name.

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  8. Queen Bee's answer: "You can die from jelly fish stings? Why didn't you tell me this! I'm never going in the ocean again! Or a lake! Or a pool! I'm never even wearing a swimsuit again just in case a jellyfish hunts me down on dry land and kills me. Wait? What's that behind you? Is that a jellyfish disguised as a kitten? AUGGHHHHH!!!"

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  9. My daughter's reaction would likely be "I want Jellyfish"... she's a little Elvira-esque. Hoarding Jellyfish, yes. Danger of Jellies.. no. She may or may not proceed to run into the water clothes and all depending on if the mood struck her. Blame? Danger? Not so much.

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  10. My answer is all of the above.

    However, I think this whole post is just an elaborate cover up for your own disturbing fantasy about me. Let me put the example back to how it really should read and then you decide;

    Two friends are walking past a donut shop. “Lynn” tells her friend, BD, that it’s OK to eat a dozen jelly donuts after reading that the jelly donuts nearby are organic and EMF free. But Lynn’s friend ends up dying from diabetic shock after eating a dozen jelly donuts.

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  11. This is the most ridiculous question. It seems like they could have come up with a better example, don't you think? And I didn't exactly see Janet in the water, hypocritical bitch.

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  12. Hilarious! Based on this test, I've now identified several other autistic people in my extended circle of acquaintance. They like to refer to themselves as "extremely conservative" and they would probably think the jelly fish were gay.

    Billy's answer is D: "No hair wash! No hair wash tonight!"

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  13. Right, I've just googled Nancy Grace to find out what the hell you're all talking about, and I definitely wouldn't go to her for information about jellyfish.
    What do you mean, I've missed the point?

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  14. Ok, I'm with Cheryl D. on this one. I'm Autistic and, as I pointed out in my post today, there's no way in hell I'm taking Janet's word for it.

    As a matter of fact, if I'm Janet's friend the example goes something like this.

    "Two friends are kayaking in the ocean. “Janet” tells her friend that it’s OK to swim after reading that the jellyfish nearby are harmless. But Janet’s friend questions her incessantly about her acquisition of this knowledge causing Janet to jump in the ocean in an attempt to escape. There JANET ultimately dies after being stung by a jellyfish."

    Just sayin'...

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  15. I'll take A & C, but I prefer A because torturing people with dead jellyfish is just good, plain fun.

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  16. @bbsmum: It did occur to me that my non-American friends wouldn't know who the hell Nancy Grace is. She is this crazy criminal prosecutor type with a talk show who presumes that everyone is guilty until proven innocent...and even then, she never takes anything back that she said to disparage them. Should would give both Janet and the jellyfish the electric chair.

    @AutismMom: You'll always have Nancy Sinatra.

    @neverthetwain: Oops.

    @Melissa: I think D could have been "Janet's advice is moot because our kids would have jumped in regardless of what she said".

    @BigDaddy: See my response to Melissa. In your example, Lynn's input is moot because BD was eating a dozen donuts regardless of her advice.

    @Laura: I like that story very much. In your version, Janet gets what she deserves.

    @JennieB: I assumed that Janet's Aunt Flo was visiting.

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  17. Janet knew the jellyfish were deadly and sent her friend to her certain death for sleeping with her boyfriend.

    Duh.

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  18. Why can't they have examples like, Sally said the ice cream was tasty, but when her friend tried it it was sour. Why does it have to be about DEATH! Katie gets death obsessed and this would probably send her over the edge...hehe.

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  19. The study found that those with autism were "more likely than others to assign blame based on a situation’s negative outcome, whether or not malice was intended".

    What's funny is when i read this? I started thinking about some of those parents out there that blame everyone, including the mailman and their local fire department, for their kid's autism. And the stars and the moon and the tide the night their kid was born...

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  20. Nate says C. Definitely C. If he sees a puddle, he tries to jump out of our arms and, in the attempt, assumes the swimming position.... Jellyfish be damned!

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  21. The responses to your post are hilarious.

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  22. The comments are just as hysterical as the post! I would blame both Janet for telling her friend to swim with the cute and cuddly jellyfish and her friend for being stupid enough to swim with jellyfish just because her friend says they are not fatal. And why are we asking kids with autism about death? A little morbid to screw with their minds? Good luck getting little Susie in the ocean or lake ever again!!

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  23. I've always loathed Nancy Grace. She always struck me as one of the "all men are bad" type of feminist. The last straw for me was her taking up for that criminal prostituting attorney Nifong in the Duke false rape case.

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  24. GL would definitely answer C. And have a meltdown because we aren't going to the beach RIGHT THIS SECOND despite the fact that there's a foot of ice covering the lake, and three feet of snow on top of that.

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