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Can you spot a liar? Deception, mindreading, and the case of autism spectrum disorder

Williams, David M., Nicholson, Toby, Grainger, Catherine, Lind, Sophie E., Carruthers, Peter (2018) Can you spot a liar? Deception, mindreading, and the case of autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research, 11 (8). pp. 1129-1137. ISSN 1939-3792. E-ISSN 1939-3806. (doi:10.1002/aur.1962) (KAR id:66986)

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Detection of deception is of fundamental importance for everyday social life and might require “mindreading” (the ability to represent others’ mental states). People with diminished mindreading, such as those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), might be at risk of manipulation because of lie detection difficulties. In Experiment 1, performance among 216 neurotypical adults on a realistic lie detection paradigm was significantly negatively associated with number of ASD traits, but not with mindreading ability. Bayesian analyses complemented null hypothesis significance testing and suggested the data supported the alternative hypothesis in this key respect. Cross validation of results was achieved by randomly splitting the full sample into two subsamples of 108 and rerunning analyses. The association between lie detection and ASD traits held in both subsamples, showing the reliability of findings. In Experiment 2, lie detection was significantly impaired in 27 adults with a diagnosis of ASD relative to 27 matched comparison participants. Results suggest that people with ASD (or ASD traits) may be particularly vulnerable to manipulation and may benefit from lie detection training.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/aur.1962
Uncontrolled keywords: autism spectrum, disorder deception, lie detection, metacognition, mindreading, social cognition, theory of mind
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Developmental Psychology
Depositing User: David Williams
Date Deposited: 10 May 2018 15:24 UTC
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2020 04:10 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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