Reasoning on the autism spectrum: a dual process theory account

Mark Brosnan, Marcus Lewton, Chris Ashwin

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70 Citations (SciVal)
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Dual process theory proposes two distinct reasoning processes in humans, an intuitive style that is rapid and automatic and a deliberative style that is more effortful. However, no study to date has specifically examined these reasoning styles in relation to the autism spectrum. The present studies investigated deliberative and intuitive reasoning profiles in: (1) a non-clinical sample from the general population with varying degrees of autism traits (n = 95), and (2) males diagnosed with ASD (n = 17) versus comparisons (n = 18). Taken together, the results suggest reasoning on the autism spectrum is compatible with the processes proposed by Dual Process Theory and that higher autism traits and ASD are characterised by a consistent bias towards deliberative reasoning (and potentially away from intuition).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2115-2125
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number6
Early online date9 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


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