Faux Pas Detection and Intentional Action in Asperger Syndrome. A Replication on a French Sample
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In the present study, we investigated mindreading abilities in a group of adults with Asperger Syndrome (AS) by using the faux pas task, an advanced test of theory of mind (Baron-Cohen et al. (1999). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 29, 407–418). The faux pas is a particular case of a non-intentional action reflecting an involuntary socially inappropriate behavior. Here, individuals with AS over-detected faux pas stories, failed to provide correct justifications of the speaker’s behavior and were unaware of the mistaken belief and of the resulting emotional impact, whereas they appeared to be responsive to social rule violations. We hypothesized that because of an impaired theory-of-mind, individuals with AS may develop compensatory cognitive strategies based on overlearned abstract knowledge about normative rules.
KeywordsMindreading Empathy Intentional action Moral judgment Theory of mind
The authors wish to thank Dick Carter, Emmanuel Dupoux, Pierre Jacob, Joshua Knobe and two anonymous reviewers for very helpful comments on an earlier draft of the article. The authors are also grateful the Autism Research Centre for providing test materials. This work was made possible by the Fondation Orange and the Fondation FondaMental.
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