NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1050945
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Feb
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1362-3613
Better to Be Equal? Challenges to Equality for Cognitively Able Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in a Social Decision Game
Schmitz, Eva A.; Banerjee, Robin; Pouw, Lucinda B. C.; Stockmann, Lex; Rieffe, Carolien
Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, v19 n2 p178-186 Feb 2015
Much controversy surrounds questions about whether humans have an aversion to inequity and how a commitment to equality might play a role in cooperation and other aspects of social interactions. Examining the social decisions of children with autism spectrum disorders provides a fascinating opportunity to explore these issues. Specifically, we evaluated the possibility that children with autism spectrum disorders may be less likely than typically developing children to show a prioritisation of equality. A total of 69 typically developing (mean age 11;6 years) and 57 cognitively able children with autism spectrum disorders (mean age 11;7 years) played a social decision game in which the equality option was pitted against alternatives that varied in instrumental outcomes. Results showed that both groups were more likely to choose the equality option when there was no cost to the self. However, even though children with autism spectrum disorders appeared to view equality as preferable to causing explicit harm to others, they departed from an equality stance when there was an opportunity to increase instrumental gain without any obvious harm to the self or the other. Typically developing children, in contrast, showed similar prioritisation of equality across these contexts. Future research needs to address the question of how differences in the commitment to equality affect children's social behaviour and relationships in daily life.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A