OCR AS Psychology: Core Studies - Baron-Cohen (2)

  • Created by: Majid
  • Created on: 14-03-13 20:34

Baron-Cohen (2)

Asperger Syndrome: People with severe autism, suffer from severe communication and language difficulties and they're often accompanied by severe learning difficulties. People with Asperger's syndrome usually have a fewer problems with language than those with autism, often speakinf fluently, though their words can sometimes sond formal or stilled. They don't have learning disabilities unlike people with autism.Theory of Mind: According to Baron-Cohen, the core deficit of autism is the autistic person's inability to employ a theory of mind. Having a theory of mind is he ability to understand that other people have independent minds of their own. This is therefore a cognitive deficit. Developing a theory of mind allows an individual to begin to understand other people, and to predict what other people are likely to do and believe. Its the ability to think about other peoples, or one's own thoughts.The Sally-Anne Task (First order test): Sally puts her ball in the basket>Sally goes away>Anne moves the ball from the basket to her box>Where will Sally look for her ball? Baron Cohen found that "normal" 4 year old children could correctly state Sally would look in her basket, whereas Autistic children said the box, as whatever they feel/think/know, they expect others to be the same. This suggests that children with autism can't employ a theory of mind. However, adults with autism can be found to pass the first order theory of mind test. Baron-Cohen argued that just cause an adult with autism passes this test, it doesn't mean that they have an intact theory of mind, since such tests can be passed by a 4 year-old child.Second order theory of mind test: This is a test which involves the participant reasoning about what one person thinks about another person's thoughts. Baron-Cohen argued that the 2nd order test can't be used as a demonstration that adults with autism and Asperger syndrome have an intact theory of mind because such tests have a ceiling effect. These tests have a "ceiling effect" because they only measure skills the same level as a 6 year old.

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