Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Autism Dev Disord. 2016 Mar;46(3):862-81. doi: 10.1007/s10803-015-2623-2.

Is Social Categorization the Missing Link Between Weak Central Coherence and Mental State Inference Abilities in Autism? Preliminary Evidence from a General Population Sample.

Author information

1
Research School of Psychology, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, 0200, Australia. Daniel.Skorich@anu.edu.au.
2
Research School of Psychology, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, 0200, Australia.

Abstract

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.

KEYWORDS:

Autism; Categorization; Self-categorization; Social categorization; Theory of mind; Weak central coherence

PMID:
26438641
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-015-2623-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center