Heuristics and biases in autism: Less biased but not more logical

Abstract

In this study we compared the performance of autistic and typically developing adolescents on three well-known tasks from the heuristics and biases literature. As heuristic reasoning is based on the contextualisation of problems (e.g., Stanovich, 2003) and autistic people are known to be less sensitive to contextual features (e.g., Frith & Happé, 1994) we expected them to exhibit less bias on these tasks. In line with our predictions, autistic children were less susceptible to the conjunction fallacy, and they also gave more base rate responses in one version of the engineers and lawyers task. However, their performance on the control tasks indicated that they were not any more sensitive to probabilistic information than the control group (i.e., they were not more logical in a normative sense).


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