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Social desirability judgments based on conversational style in neurotypical adults, neurotypical children, and autistic children: No evidence that autistic children have different conversational preferences

McGuinness, Lauren, Abbot-Smith, Kirsten, Gambi, Chiara (2023) Social desirability judgments based on conversational style in neurotypical adults, neurotypical children, and autistic children: No evidence that autistic children have different conversational preferences. In: British Psychological Society Cognitive and Developmental Sections Annual Conference 2023, 12-14 Sep 2023, Bristol, England. (Unpublished) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:103098)

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Abstract

Objectives: 

To determine whether unconventional conversation behaviours associated with Autism are underpinned by a preference for a distinct conversational style.  

Design & Method:   

Study 1 included 193 neurotypical adults who rated the social desirability of a speaker in enacted conversations.    

Study 2 included 36 autistic and 36 neurotypical 9-13-year-olds who rated social desirability as above. 

2A manipulated the relevance of responses (On- vs. Off- topic).

2B manipulated the response latency of the speaker (200-ms vs. 3000-ms).

There were two rating types: Personal judgements vs. Societal preferences.

A conversation production measure was used to observe participants’ tendency to provide off-topic or ‘slow’ responses themselves.

Results: 

Study 1 adults rated atypical conversational responding as less socially desirable. Those with higher AQ scores rated on-topic responses less favourably, and off-topic responses more favourably, than those with lower AQ scores. 

Studies 2A and 2B children also rated atypical conversational responding as less socially desirable, whether it was off-topic or delayed. Importantly, this was the case for both neurotypical and autistic children. Children’s own personal preferences (I would like to be friends with X) correlated highly with their understanding of societal norms (Most other people would like X).   

Autistic children provided more off-topic conversational responses, and were marginally slower to produce a verbal reply, than their neurotypical counterparts.

Conclusions: 

Autistic children aligned with their neurotypical peers in dis-preferring atypical conversational responding. Despite this, autistic children were more likely to respond atypically in their own conversation. It is possible that distinct preferences may emerge in autistic adults.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Speech)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF41 Psychology and philosophy
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Lauren Mcguinness
Date Deposited: 24 May 2024 10:16 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2024 10:00 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/103098 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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