Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The World of the Imprecise

Before I get in to today's topic, I want to say a few words.  To my readers who have been following my Autistic Stories, I am sorry to say that I will have to postpone the next post involving Chris's story for a while.  I am back in college now and I just don't have the time necessary to put together a good piece of fiction about autism.  It is just too much to handle on top of everything else I am doing.  Again, I apologize to my readers.

My professor in my marketing research class mentioned today that social sciences, such as research for marketing, are very imprecise when compared to other sciences such as physics.  It is next to impossible to get an answer from a single individual that is not different in a separate situation.  You can ask a person the same question, but their answer may vary depending on their mood among a variety of other reasons.  I'm sure many of you have been faced with online surveys.  Your answers for a survey while you are happy probably won't be the same as your answers while you are sad or angry.  This point has nothing to do with autism, but this is important because it leads into my main topic of my post today.

The imprecision of social science brings to mind something that I think is significant. Autistic individuals are not very good with imprecision.  In a social environment, many aspects are imprecise.  A single spoken statement can be interpreted by different people in different ways.

While I can perceive this social imprecision I am uncomfortable with it.  It doesn't make complete sense to me that a person's statement can be seen in many ways by many people, especially in a dynamic environment where I have to communicate, such as my retail job.  It is one thing discussing the topic while sitting at my computer, it is another thing entirely to be in a work environment and deal with that imprecision of the social world. 

If I may be bold, I think that this is why many individuals with autism are uncomfortable in social situations.  My first inclination is to take something as a precise statement.  That is the same as taking something literally.  I feel much more comfortable with the idea that there is a right answer and a wrong answer.  I have been taught differently, and the experience is still relevant.  However, I don't know if I will ever get used to all the imprecision in the world today.

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