Brief Report: Difficulty in understanding social acting (but not false beliefs) mediates the link between autistic traits and ingroup relationships

Daniel Y.J. Yang, Renee L Baillargeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Why do individuals with more autistic traits experience social difficulties? Here we examined the hypothesis that these difficulties stem in part from a challenge in understanding social acting, the prosocial pretense that adults routinely produce to maintain positive relationships with their ingroup. In Study 1, we developed a self-administered test of social-acting understanding: participants read stories in which a character engaged in social acting and rated the appropriateness of the character's response. Adults who scored 26 or higher on the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) questionnaire gave significantly lower ratings than comparison participants (AQ < 26). Study 2 found that difficulty in understanding social acting, but not false beliefs, mediated the link between autistic traits and perceived ingroup relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2199-2206
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume43
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013

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Autistic Disorder
Sociological Factors
Surveys and Questionnaires

Keywords

  • Asperger syndrome
  • Autism
  • False beliefs
  • Social acting
  • Social relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

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