Autistic Adults May Be Erroneously Perceived as Deceptive and Lacking Credibility

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Abstract

We hypothesized that autistic adults may be erroneously judged as deceptive or lacking credibility due to demonstrating unexpected and atypical behaviors. Thirty autistic and 29 neurotypical individuals participated in video-recorded interviews, and we measured their demonstration of gaze aversion, repetitive body movements, literal interpretation of figurative language, poor reciprocity, and flat affect. Participants (N = 1410) viewed one of these videos and rated their perception of the individual’s truthfulness or credibility. The hypothesis was partially supported, with autistic individuals perceived as more deceptive and less credible than neurotypical individuals when telling the truth. However, this relationship was not influenced by the presence of any of the target behaviors, but instead, by the individual’s overall presentation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-507
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume52
Issue number2
Early online date2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • autistic adults
  • Credibility
  • deceptive
  • atypical behaviors
  • interview process
  • Gaze avoidance
  • Autism
  • Deception
  • Perceptions

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