Brief Report: Perspective Taking Deficits, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Allaying Police Officers’ Suspicions About Criminal Involvement

Robyn L. Young, Neil Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examined whether perspective taking (or Theory of Mind) deficits that characterize autistic individuals predict whether they have trouble extricating themselves from situations in which police officers erroneously suspect them of a crime. Autistic and typically developing adults listened to scenarios in which they were placed in situations where the police erroneously believe they had been involved in crime. Each scenario contained critical information that, if recognized and provided to the police, would confirm non-involvement in the crime. Autistic adults performed markedly worse than controls on perspective taking measures and the extrication task. Verbal IQ and memory performance accounted for significant variance in extrication performance, and perspective taking explained an additional and significant 15% of variance in extrication performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2234-2239
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume50
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Criminal involvement
  • Perspective taking
  • Theory of Mind

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