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Understanding advanced theory of mind and empathy in high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder

Mathersul, D., McDonald, S. and Rushby, J.A. (2013) Understanding advanced theory of mind and empathy in high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 35 (6). pp. 655-668.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1080/13803395.2013.809700
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Abstract

It has been argued that higher functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have specific deficits in advanced but not simple theory of mind (ToM), yet the questionable ecological validity of some tasks reduces the strength of this assumption. The present study employed The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT), which uses video vignettes to assess comprehension of subtle conversational inferences (sarcasm, lies/deception). Given the proposed relationships between advanced ToM and cognitive and affective empathy, these associations were also investigated. As expected, the high-functioning adults with ASDs demonstrated specific deficits in comprehending the beliefs, intentions, and meaning of nonliteral expressions. They also had significantly lower cognitive and affective empathy. Cognitive empathy was related to ToM and group membership whereas affective empathy was only related to group membership.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Group Ltd
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/55604
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