Baron-Cohen et al. (1997)

HideShow resource information
Title of the study?
'Another advanced test of Theory of mind: evidence from very high functioning adults with autism or Aspergers Syndrome'
1 of 35
Context of the study?
Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Theory of Mind (TOM) and Previous Research
2 of 35
What is Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD)?
A possible spectrum with autism one end and Aspergers the other, they all share certain characteristics (e.g. lack of emotional + social skills and desire for sameness)
3 of 35
What is Theory of Mind (TOM)?
The ability to infer in other people a range of mental states, (beliefs, desires, intentions, imaginations and emotions)
4 of 35
What did Baron-Cohen previously test?
Using the Sally-Anne test the demonstrated that children with autism lack TOM.
5 of 35
What did other studies show?
Adults can pass Sally-Anne test because it's designed for children
6 of 35
2 aims of the study?
To assess the mindreading abilities of high-functioning ASD adults using a new test designed for adults called The Eyes Task and To support past findings linking autism to a lack of TOM.
7 of 35
How many groups were in the sample?
3 groups of P's
8 of 35
Group 1?
16 (13 male, 3 female) P's with autism/AS and had normal intelligence
9 of 35
Sampling methodology of Group 1?
Self-selected drawn from an advert in National Autistic Society magazine as well as through doctors.
10 of 35
Group 2?
50 normal adults age matched with individuals in group 1
11 of 35
Sampling methodology of Group 2?
Random sample from general population of Cambridge drawn from a subject panel at Cambridge University.
12 of 35
Group 3?
10 (8 males, 2 females) P's with Tourette's syndrome.
13 of 35
Sampling methodology of Group 3?
Self-selected from a clinic in London.
14 of 35
Which groups were controls?
2+3 to see if 'normal' adults + adults with other disorders (TS) could cope with tasks.
15 of 35
2 strengths of the sample?
Included control groups and included AS adults so they could show that adults lack TOM as well as children
16 of 35
2 weaknesses of the sample?
Many P's were volunteers (Biased) and small sample so difficult to generalise
17 of 35
Research method of the study?
Quasi experiment using independent measures design and Snapshot study
18 of 35
Independent variables?
ASD group, 'normal' control group and TS control group
19 of 35
Dependent variables?
Performance on Eyes Task (and other tasks)
20 of 35
Appropriate hypothesis?
P's in group 1 do less well on Eyes task than the other 2 groups of P's.
21 of 35
2 strengths of the research method?
Objective testing reduces bias and independent measures so avoids any possible order effects.
22 of 35
2 weaknesses of the research method?
Cannot claim that IV effected DV in Quasi and Hard to replicate
23 of 35
What were the tasks? (4 tasks)
Eyes task, Strange stories task, Gender recognition of eyes, Basic emotion recognition task
24 of 35
What was the Eyes task?
25 different faces showing eye region (male + female) shown for 3 secs and P had to select between 2 mental state terms printed below (foil e.g. unconcerned, Indecisive and target e.g. concerned, decisive)
25 of 35
How were the photos standardised?
Same size (15x10cm), All Black and white, All of same region of face
26 of 35
What was the Strange stories task?
AS and TS P's asked Q's on what the characters in the story were thinking + Q's about physical events
27 of 35
What was the Gender recognition of eyes?
A control task where AS P's identified gender of eyes - involved face perception, NOT mindreading
28 of 35
What was the Basic Emotion Recognition of eyes?
A control task where AS P's identified basic emotions in whole faces to demonstrate they could recognise emotional states in a simple test
29 of 35
Findings of Eyes Task?
Mean scores: AS group - 16.3/25, Normal - 20.3/25, TS - 20.4/25. Range of scores: AS: 13-23, Normal+TS: 16-25
30 of 35
Were there any ceiling effects? If so why?
Yes on eyes task because some people in 'normal' and TS groups scored full marks.
31 of 35
Findings of Strange Stories task?
AS group had more difficulty than TS group 3 - Supports validity of eyes task as a test for autism
32 of 35
Findings of Control tasks 3+4?
Group 1 performed normally on Gender recognition of eyes + basic emotion recognition task
33 of 35
What does this show?
They could perceive facial features + could identify basic emotion from eyes BUT couldn't interpret what this means in terms of internal state.
34 of 35
What do the results show? (2 details)
Adults with autism/Aspergers lack TOM and within normal population females do better on TOM tests than men
35 of 35

Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Context of the study?

Back

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Theory of Mind (TOM) and Previous Research

Card 3

Front

What is Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD)?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is Theory of Mind (TOM)?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What did Baron-Cohen previously test?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
View more cards

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Core studies resources »