Objectives: To identify if those with ASD require more information before making a decision than matched controls and to see if this relates to degree of autism symptoms.
Methods: The present study assessed jumping to conclusions in a sample of 23 adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder and 20 age-matched controls using the beads task. Short assessments of social and non-social processing were also undertaken. IQ was indexed using the WASI.
Results: Even though both groups showed equivalent levels of confidence in decision-making, the ASD group required more beads than controls before making their decision. Furthermore, a positive correlation was found between increasing information requirements and a greater degree of non-social autism symptoms. No relationship was found with social autism symptoms or IQ.
Conclusions: This is the first study to use the beads task from psychosis research with an ASD sample. The results show a more circumspect decision making bias in ASD, suggesting a more analytic cognitive style when making decisions. This is the opposite bias to that seen in psychosis, which is consistent with the Autism-Psychosis model.
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See more of: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Phenotype