Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

2013 Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Embedded Figures Test (EFT)

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1698-3_1726


The Embedded Figures Test (EFT) was designed by Witkin in 1971 to assess his concept of “field dependence – independence” (e.g., Witkin & Goodenough, 1981). Good performance on the EFT was taken as a marker of field independence, the ability to disembed information from context or surrounding gestalt. The test requires the participant to spot a simple form within a more complex figure; the color and form of the latter create a gestalt within which the part is hidden (see Fig. 1). In the Children’s EFT, the complex figure is also meaningful (e.g., a pram, within which the triangle to be found is hidden in the hood). Group-administered and short versions are also available.
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References and Readings

  1. Happé, F., & Frith, U. (2006). The weak coherence account: Detail-focused cognitive style in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 5–25.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Shah, A., & Frith, U. (1983). An islet of ability in autistic children: A research note. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 24, 613–620.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Witkin, H. A., & Goodenough, D. R. (1981). Cognitive styles: Essence and origins. New York: International University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Witkin, H. A., Oltman, P. K., Raskin, E., & Karp, S. (1971). A manual for the embedded figures test. California: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College LondonLondonUK