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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 49, Issue 10, pp 4079–4096 | Cite as

Theory of Mind Performance in Broad Autism Phenotype Groups: Between-Group Differences and Predictor Variables

  • Amy CamodecaEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Investigated between-group differences in cognitive/affective theory of mind (ToM) and predictors of cognitive ToM both within broad autism phenotype/non (BAP/Non-BAP) groups as well as across the sample. The BAP group (n = 45) performed worse than the Non-BAP group (n = 102) on the unexpected outcomes test (UOT), but groups were similar regarding reading the mind in the eyes test (RMET). Stepwise regression indicated RMET best predicted UOT for the BAP group; block design best predicted UOT in the Non-BAP group. BAP traits did not mediate the relation of RMET to UOT performance. While RMET and UOT appear similarly related in BAP/Non-BAP samples, use of emotion recognition abilities in a cognitive ToM task may reflect over-reliance on this skill in the BAP.

Keywords

Broad autism phenotype Theory of mind Reading the mind in the eyes Unexpected outcomes Autism traits 

Abbreviations

ASD

Autism spectrum disorder

BAP

Broad autism phenotype

BAPQ

Broad autism phenotype questionnaire

P-ASD

Parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder

P-ODD

Parent of a child with other developmental disability

RMET

Reading the mind in the eyes test

ToM

Theory of mind

UOT

Unexpected outcomes test

Notes

Acknowledgements

Data were collected as part of the first author’s dissertation. The author would like to thank Andrea Patrucco, Ph.D., for contributions to statistical analyses.

Funding

This study was partially funded by a grant from Autism Ontario.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants prior to participation in this study.

Supplementary material

10803_2019_4126_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (315 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 315 kb)

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentThe Pennsylvania State UniversityMonacaUSA
  2. 2.University of WindsorWindsorCanada
  3. 3.The Pennsylvania State UniversityMonacaUSA

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