ERIC Number: EJ1090363
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Is Social Categorization the Missing Link between Weak Central Coherence and Mental State Inference Abilities in Autism? Preliminary Evidence from a General Population Sample
Skorich, Daniel P.; May, Adrienne R.; Talipski, Louisa A.; Hall, Marnie H.; Dolstra, Anita J.; Gash, Tahlia B.; Gunningham, Beth H.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, v46 n3 p862-881 Mar 2016
We explore the relationship between the "theory of mind" (ToM) and "central coherence" difficulties of autism. We introduce covariation between hierarchically-embedded categories and social information--at the local level, the global level, or at both levels simultaneously--within a category confusion task. We then ask participants to infer the mental state of novel category members, and measure participants' autism-spectrum quotient (AQ). Results reveal a positive relationship between AQ and the degree of local/global social categorization, which in turn predicts the pattern of mental state inferences. These results provide preliminary evidence for a causal relationship between central coherence and ToM abilities. Implications with regard to ToM processes, social categorization, intervention, and the development of a unified account of autism are discussed.
Descriptors: Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Theory of Mind, Inferences, Classification, Social Cognition, Intervention
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A