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  • Baron-Cohen
    • Aim
      • To investigate if high-functioning adults with Autism/AS are impaired on an advanced TOM test (eyes task)
    • Background
      • Earlier research by Baron-Cohen showed that children with Autism/AS had difficulties with tests such as Sally-Anne - but adults can pass this.
      • Some adults with Autism/AS couldn't pass Happe's strange stories task, this was initially designed for children.
    • Participants
      • 50 (25 male, 25 female) 'normal' people.
      • 16 (13 males, 3 females) with high functioning autism/AS
      • 10 (8 males, 2 females) with Tourette Syndrome.
    • Procedure
      • Task A - Eyes task. Showed 25 different sets of eyes showing different emotions.
      • Task B - Strange stories task. This validated the results of the eyes task. The participants had to read a story and then asked questions about the context of the study and  character emotions.
      • Task C - Gender recognition of eyes, only given to the Autistic/AS group. They had to guess the gender of the eyes shown.
      • Task D - Basic emotion recognition task, only given to the autistic/AS group. Participants were shown 6 pictures of whole faces showing basic emotions.
    • Results
      • The mean score in Task A for Group 1 was 16.3, for group 2 it was 20.3, and surprisingly, group 3 scored highest with 20.4.
    • Conclusions
      • Results provide experimental evidence for subtle TOM deficits in individuals with autism/AS.
    • Evaluation
      • No manipulation of the IV so the experiment has good ecological validity.
      • The eyes task has criterion validity as it was validated by Task B.
      • The eyes task wasn't very lifelike. Video's could've been more realistic and more like a situation that the participants would find themselves in.
      • Quantitative data was collected, but qualitative data could've given a more in depth explanation for their choices of emotions.


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