Neurotypical people are better at generalized problem solving, about +1.5SD after controlling for IQ, but they become disenchanted with things they understand. They can think quite well but strongly prefer not to because it ruins the enjoyment of magical thinking. Hence, they tend to be novelty-seekers unless they are forced into problem solving by necessity.
People with Asperger’s are worse at generalized problem solving but they become enchanted with things they understand. They don’t think well, after controlling for IQ, but they enjoy the process of thinking and engage in analysis as much as possible as a leisure activity. Because they are enchanted by things they understand and dislike things they don’t understand, they are familiarity-seekers unless driven to new places and perspectives by necessity. The combination of familiarity-enchantment and analysis-as-leisure leads to the observed tendency to extreme specialization and obsessive “drilling-down”. The lack of generalized problem-solving ability leads to very low adaptiveness in low-trust groups where specialization is not economically viable. Or, it would be more correct to say they are generally low in adaptiveness, where high-trust groups that allow for specialization are the exception.
The difference between the two populations’ attitudes toward analysis explain most of their inability to get along, except as driven by necessity (as recently witnessed in the 2016 election, for example). A neurotypical must shut off his brain to enjoy the experience of a rainbow, whereas an aspie will begin to analyze it as an expression of engagement. There is a sort of Jungian shadow function at work here, where the NT’s understanding of the rainbow experience’s implications are subconscious, and he resists becoming consciously aware of them as long as possible. And vice versa for aspies, hence the observed disingenuousness of fixated idealists regarding generalities and observed disingenuousness of overflexible pragmatists regarding details.
This “shadow function” theory is another possible explanation for the observation that aspies tend to see all the individual trees before seeing the forest (if indeed they ever step far enough away from the forest to see it), and vice versa for NTs.
>”People with Asperger’s… become enchanted with things they understand”
And it is this quality in particular that I must learn to cultivate in myself.
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