😒 Cognitive ability

Fuels preconceived notions about cognitive ability

Steer clear of pandering to misconceptions and biases about the capacity to think and reason.

Basic Example

Advanced Example

Our society has countless negative terms for describing cognitive function. And we use them every day in jest and in anger, to express displeasure or frustration, in conversations with and about others. But this language makes figurative use of harmful real-life biases that misrepresent, pigeonhole, and marginalize people with a disability or chronic disease that influences their cognitive ability. You may not be aware who on your team goes about their life and job with managing barriers to their cognitive ability. How cognitive ability manifests is different, from person to person, and invisible to most.

Dig deeper

We tend to overlook that cognitive abilities are not all or nothing. None of us work at full cognitive capacity 24/7. Countless factors can affect our ability to think and process. And fewer than you may think are caused by a disability or disease like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.

Cognitive ability declines, for example, when we...

  • don't drink enough water. With as little as 1% dehydration, thinking ability declines by 5%.
  • live with chronic stress and burnout symptoms.
  • age - according to a US study, it starts once we hit age 27.
  • have not learned to keep our brain active throughout life
  • avoid physical activity
  • sleep too little
  • take certain medications, even over-the-counter sleeping pills or painkillers like acetaminophen affect cognitive performance.
Why we shouldn't make assumptions about people and their cognitive abilities

Michael J. Fox is a famous actor. If you haven’t heard about him, check out Back to the Future. Diagnosed with Parkinson at age 29, he stopped acting in 2000 and founded the Michael J. Fox foundation for Parkinson’s research. At 51, he successfully returned to full-time acting for another decade, until Parkinson’s started to affect his speech.