Relationship between autism and mind perception of selves, others, and toy objects
Keywords:Autism Spectrum Quotient, autism, autism spectrum conditions, mind perception, mind attribution
Autism is found to be associated with mind perception, in particular reduced perception of human agency. Prior work has shown that more autistic individuals in the general population tend to view others as less capable of doing and thinking. Autism is, by contrast, not meaningfully associated with the mind attribution to other types of entities examined in past work, including children, nonhuman animals, supernatural agents, and so forth. In this paper, more types of entities—toy objects and selves—were investigated. Across two normal adult samples and a meta-analysis, autism was found to be associated with decreased perception of both experiential and agentic mental capacity in other adult humans, as well as in oneself. More autistic individuals tend to consider others and themselves less capable of both doing and feeling. Autism was also associated with increased mind perception of toy objects, such that more autistic individuals tend to consider toy objects more capable of doing and feeling. These findings partially replicated and meaningfully extended previous work on autism and mind perception, thus providing insight into the relationship of autism with potentially different perceptions and treatments of others, selves, and toy objects.
Copyright (c) 2021 Rachel Hoi Yan Au
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