NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1178773
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1362-3613
What's the Story? A Computational Analysis of Narrative Competence in Autism
Lee, Michelle; Martin, Gary E.; Hogan, Abigail; Hano, Deanna; Gordon, Peter C.; Losh, Molly
Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, v22 n3 p335-344 Apr 2018
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder demonstrate narrative (i.e. storytelling) difficulties which can significantly impact their ability to form and maintain social relationships. However, existing research has not comprehensively documented these impairments in more open-ended, emotionally evocative situations common to daily interactions. Computational linguistic measures offer a promising complement to traditional hand-coding methods of narrative analysis and in this study were applied together with hand coding of narratives elicited with emotionally salient scenes from the Thematic Apperception Test. In total, 19 individuals with autism spectrum disorder and 14 typically developing controls were asked to tell stories about six images from the Thematic Apperception Test. Both structural and qualitative aspects of narrative were assessed using a hand-coding system and Latent Semantic Analysis, an automated computational measure of semantic similarity. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder demonstrated significant difficulties with the use of complex syntax to integrate their narratives and problems explaining characters' intentions. These and other key narrative skills were strongly related to narrative competence scores derived from Latent Semantic Analysis, which also distinguished the autism spectrum disorder group from controls. Together, results underscore key narrative impairments in autism spectrum disorder and support the promise of Latent Semantic Analysis as a valuable tool for the quantitative assessment of complex language abilities.
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: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD); National Institute of Mental Health (DHHS/NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Thematic Apperception Test; Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule; Wechsler Intelligence Scales Short Forms; Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1R01DC01019101A1; 1R01MH09113101A1; 3R01MH09113103S1