Theory of mind (ToM) in children with autism or typical development: Links between eye-reading and false belief understanding

Peterson, Candida C. and Slaughter, Virginia (2009) Theory of mind (ToM) in children with autism or typical development: Links between eye-reading and false belief understanding. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 3 2: 462-473. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2008.09.007


Author Peterson, Candida C.
Slaughter, Virginia
Title Theory of mind (ToM) in children with autism or typical development: Links between eye-reading and false belief understanding
Journal name Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1750-9467
Publication date 2009-04
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.rasd.2008.09.007
Volume 3
Issue 2
Start page 462
End page 473
Total pages 12
Editor Johnny L. Matson
Place of publication United States
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
1701 Psychology
970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Abstract Previous research shows that high-functioning children with autism are slow to pass “litmus” false belief tests of ToM but how this may relate to other aspects of mindreading (e.g., discerning thoughts from facial expressions) is less clear, partly for methodological reasons. Thus the joint methodological and conceptual goals of this study were: (1) to devise and psychometrically validate a new, simplified eye-reading test for preliterate children with or without autism and (2) to use the new test to explore links of false belief understanding with eye-reading in children with autism and matched control groups. A false belief battery and the new eye-reading test were given to 87 Australians: 22 children with autism aged 6–13 and 65 typical developers in three control groups (11 age-matched primary-schoolers; 37 ToM-matched preschoolers and 17 adults). Results supported the new test’s psychometric validity and showed that, for children both with and without autism, false belief and eye-reading were significantly correlated. A hierarchical multiple regression showed this association was independent of age, gender and diagnosis. Although adults earned higher eye-reading scores overall, children equalled them on 44% of items. Implications of the findings for future use of the new test, and for explanations and interventions on behalf of ToM development in autism, were considered.
Keyword Autism
Theory of mind
Emotion perception
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 08:28:04 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of School of Psychology