Asperger’s / autism and ‚black-and-white thinking‘

the silent wave

Recently, the subject of „black-and-white thinking“ has come up in the (awesome!!) comments section of a couple of the posts on this blog.  Today, I thought it might be useful to expand on this topic a little bit.  „Black-and-white thinking“ is a frequently-listed trait in many books on Asperger’s/autism, and it’s also commonly-used term within the Asperger’s/autism spectrum community.  It appears to be taken as sort of a „given“ that people on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum are prone to thinking in terms of black and white.

What is black-and-white thinking, anyway?

A commenter in a discussion over on the Wrong Planet forum defines it rather well:

„when you think in absolutes, sort of all or nothing and seeing the world in extremes“

The commenter goes on to give a few examples, for which I’ll issue a Content Advisory (ableist language for those who find it particularly offensive); in the interest of…

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