Explicit versus implicit social cognition testing in autism spectrum disorder.
Bottom Line: A sample of 19 adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and 19 carefully matched typically developing controls completed the Dewey Story Test. 'Explicit' (multiple-choice answering format) and 'implicit' (free interview) measures of social cognition were obtained.Autism spectrum disorder participants did not differ from controls regarding explicit social cognition performance.Findings suggest that social cognition alterations in autism spectrum disorder are primarily implicit in nature and that an apparent absence of social cognition difficulties on certain tests using rather explicit testing formats does not necessarily mean social cognition typicality in autism spectrum disorder.
Affiliation: Stockholm County Council, Sweden Örebro County Council, Sweden.Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus
Mentions: In line with our hypotheses, explicit social cognition (Dewey’s multiple-choice total score) did not differ between the ASD (mean = 6.9, SD = 5.2, range = 1–22) and TD groups (mean = 6.2, SD = 4.1, range = 0–15) (t = .694, p = .50) (Figure 1). In addition, as expected, the ASD group differed from the control group in the implicit social cognition measures. Spontaneous perspective-taking scores were significantly lower and on average 5.1 (SD = 3.6, range = 0–15) in ASD and 7.4 in controls (SD = 3.3, range = 1–13) (t = −2.2, p = .04). For implicit social awareness, there was a trend (t = −1.92; p = .07) for decreased performance in the ASD group (mean = 16.4, SD = 4.4, range = 8–22) compared to the control group (mean = 18.8, SD = 2.5, range = 15–24). In the ASD sample (n = 16, three ADOS missing), ADOS scores for social interaction and communication correlated positively with the Dewey’s multiple-choice total score explicit social cognition measure (r =.53 and .35, p < .03), but negatively with spontaneous perspective taking (r =.−32 and −.40, p < .03) and implicit social cognition measure.
Affiliation: Stockholm County Council, Sweden Örebro County Council, Sweden.