A Theory of Mind Study and its Presentation by Spectrum News

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The_Znof
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13 Dec 2021, 3:08 pm

Link to Actual Study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3041087/

Link to SpectrumNews Article: https://www.spectrumnews.org/news/mind- ... in-autism/

The spectrumnews article interviews Uta Frith in a way that I thought she was involved in the study, and when quoting the last four paragraphs of the article as is, some questions are raised.

Quote:
The study doesn’t explain whether high-functioning adults with autism truly understand false beliefs over time, or whether they merely learn to solve the tasks, Bernier notes. But it does suggest that in the case of the moral scenarios, their ability to reason is not just delayed, but absent entirely. “If these are delays, they are persistent delays that last well into adulthood for people with typical cognitive ability,” he says.

Frith says she is delighted that these researchers have come up with a strategy that validates the theory she helped develop 25 years ago. “It does make sense of the social behavior,” she says, “and it can be linked up to certain abnormal activations in the brain.”

Impaired moral judgment is associated with distinct neural systems, including the right temporal parietal junction4. Gabrieli says his group is working on an imaging study focusing on which brain regions are active in these individuals while they are engaged in moral reasoning.

They’d better work quickly: Frith predicts that the utility of the new test may be limited. “I have no doubt that the Asperger’s community will get hold of the test, study it, and learn the scenarios,” she says.



The last sentence in particular gives me alarm, as it indicates a behind the scenes squabble between these researchers and "the Aspergers community"

The study itself is hard to follow, but I wonder if I can find any of the 24 subjects, to see if they know what Uta Means.

Because she cant be talking bout us on this! :jester:



The_Znof
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13 Dec 2021, 3:58 pm

I will have to make an ad I guess. :jester:

Quote:
Participants were recruited from the local MIT community (NT participants) or via advertisements placed with the Asperger's Association of New England (ASD participants).


found a more sympathetic study that may be worth a look on topic.

Neurotypical Peers are Less Willing to Interact with Those with Autism based on Thin Slice Judgments


Quote:
Abstract
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including those who otherwise require less support, face severe difficulties in everyday social interactions. Research in this area has primarily focused on identifying the cognitive and neurological differences that contribute to these social impairments, but social interaction by definition involves more than one person and social difficulties may arise not just from people with ASD themselves, but also from the perceptions, judgments, and social decisions made by those around them. Here, across three studies, we find that first impressions of individuals with ASD made from thin slices of real-world social behavior by typically-developing observers are not only far less favorable across a range of trait judgments compared to controls, but also are associated with reduced intentions to pursue social interaction. These patterns are remarkably robust, occur within seconds, do not change with increased exposure, and persist across both child and adult age groups. However, these biases disappear when impressions are based on conversational content lacking audio-visual cues, suggesting that style, not substance, drives negative impressions of ASD. Collectively, these findings advocate for a broader perspective of social difficulties in ASD that considers both the individual’s impairments and the biases of potential social partners.



https://www.nature.com/articles/srep40700



MetroidSocrates
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20 Dec 2021, 11:42 pm

The problem I have with the first study, as well as many other autism studies, is that the researchers failed to take alternative explanations of the autistic participants' behavior into account. Maybe the reason why they put more blame on people with good intentions is that autistic people often get blamed for behaviors they have difficulty controlling, so they have internalized that intention doesn't really matter when judging people's actions.



Mona Pereth
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23 Dec 2021, 6:24 pm

MetroidSocrates wrote:
Maybe the reason why they put more blame on people with good intentions is that autistic people often get blamed for behaviors they have difficulty controlling, so they have internalized that intention doesn't really matter when judging people's actions.

Yep. Or we get blamed for misunderstandings.


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blazingstar
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23 Dec 2021, 7:02 pm

We have impaired moral judgment?! !!

And if we find out what the tests are, we can learn to fake it?

The more I read of this type of research, the more horrified I am at being looked at as something other than human.

Impaired moral judgment? geez.


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HighLlama
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25 Dec 2021, 8:18 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
MetroidSocrates wrote:
Maybe the reason why they put more blame on people with good intentions is that autistic people often get blamed for behaviors they have difficulty controlling, so they have internalized that intention doesn't really matter when judging people's actions.

Yep. Or we get blamed for misunderstandings.


These are both good observations. It's interesting with the Theory of Mind idea...no one seems to consider how much difficulty NTs have understanding those on the spectrum. Or that people on the spectrum probably understand each other more easily due to being more similar. I wonder how often any of these studies take that into account.