Paper - Implicit and explicit Theory of Mind reasoning in autism spectrum disorders: The impact of experience

  • Metadata:
    • author: Tobias Schuwerk, Maria Vuori, Beate Sodian
    • title: Implicit and explicit Theory of Mind reasoning in autism spectrum disorders: The impact of experience
    • year: 20152015

    • url: Weblink
  • Research Question:
    • Do people with Autism Spectrum Disorder differ from neurotypicals in their performance in explicit and implicit ToM tasks?
    • Does experience and learning impact the performance in implicit ToM tasks?
  • Method:
    • Both neurotypical adults and those with ASD were compared in 3 different ToM tasks (25 years old on average)
    • Strange Stories Test (SST) -> Explicit ToM
    • Reading the Mind in the Eyes (RME) -> More implicit ToM
    • false belief based anticipatory looking task
      • 2 Familiarization trials and 2 (!) test trials to see if learning effects take place
  • Results:
    • SST NT = ASD
    • RME NT > ASD
    • Anticipatory Looking: NT > ASD in first trial, NT = ASD in second trial, significant difference between ASD1 ans ASD2, but ASD2 was not above chance level
  • Interpretation:
    • ASD perform the same as NT in explicit ToM tests, but fare worse in implicit ToM tests, replicating previous findings in the area
    • learning/experience could have an effect (the difference in performance is significant), but it cannot be stated decisively (neither the % of correct looks nor the ratio of correct first looks was above chance level)