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Name of study: Autism

Author(s): Baron-Cohen et al

Approach: Cognitive Psychology
Background information (what theories/issues of previous research is the study based on?)

One explanation for autism is that it is caused by a core cognitive deficit ­ an impaired theory of mind which may
explain the social, communicative and…

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Describe the sample and how it was gathered:

Autistic/Asperger's Syndrome ­ (group 1) 13 males, 3 females.

"Normal" ­ (group 2) ­ age matched controls, no history of psychiatric disorders, presumed to be of normal intelligence. 25
males, 25 females.

Tourette Syndrome ­ (group 3) ­ normal intelligence. 8 males,…

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mind reading, used to check whether any errors were due to general difficulties with face perception, perceptual
discrimination or social perception. Maximum score: 25.

Basic Emotion Recognition Task

This involved judging faces on 6 basic emotions:
This was used to assess whether any deficits…

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Mean Range Correct
score gender
Autism /AS 16.3 13-23 24.1

Normal 20.3 16-25 23.3

Tourette 20.4 16-25 23.7

The results suggest that the autistic ps found the task most difficult and therefore got more of the eyes task q wrong than
the other 2 groups.

What kind…

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A weakness is that it is low in ecological validity. The study was conducted in a lab where participants wouldn't be normally
asked to identify emotions from viewing photos of people's eyes. This is a disadvantage because it cannot be generealised
beyond the lab to real life situations.

Ecological validity…

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nor hear the tone of perceived emotion. All tourettes from trial them. however they
voice. done under lab people. to trial. won't do as well as the
conditions. "normal" or Tourettes.
The sample of A selection of 20 people The findings People who There will be more results
participants. This…


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