Brief Report: Intuitive and Reflective Reasoning in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Mark Brosnan, Chris Ashwin, Marcus Lewton

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Dual Process Theory has recently been applied to Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to suggest that reasoning by people with ASD and people with higher levels of ASD-like traits can be characterised by reduced intuitive and greater reflective processing. 26 adolescents and adults with ASD and 22 adolescent and adult controls completed an assessment of ASD-like traits, the cognitive reflections test (CRT) to measure intuitive and reflective reasoning and an index of general cognitive ability. The ASD group produced less intuitive responses, and the degree of ASD-like traits showed a negative correlation with intuitive responses and positive correlation with reflective responses on the CRT. Together, these results are consistent with ASD being associated with reduced intuitive reasoning and greater deductive reasoning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2595 - 2601
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number8
Early online date4 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • Autism
  • Dual process theory
  • Intuition
  • Reasoning
  • Reflection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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