Speeded reasoning as moderator of the negative relationship between autistic traits and emotion recognition

Bertrams, Alexander Gregor; Schlegel, Katja (2020). Speeded reasoning as moderator of the negative relationship between autistic traits and emotion recognition (Unpublished). In: 38th Symposium of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy of the German Psychological Society (DGPs).

Previous studies found a negative correlation between autistic traits and the recognition of other people's emotions. One explanation is that high autistic traits are associated with a low ability to recognize emotions automatically-intuitively. It is also believed that such lower social intuition can be compensated for by analytical information processing. Therefore, we hypothesized that individual differences in the ability to quickly and correctly draw conclusions regarding visual stimuli (hereafter referred to as speeded reasoning) moderate the relationship between autistic traits and emotion recognition.

Our study was conducted on a crowdsourcing marketplace (N = 217; US residents; 54%/46% male/female; age: M = 37.96, SD = 11.07, range = 21-72). Participants completed the Autism Spectrum Quotient-10 (AQ-10; measuring the extent of autistic traits), the Geneva Emotion Recognition Test-Short (GERT-S) as well as the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET; measuring the ability to recognize emotions), and Baddeley's 3 min reasoning test (measuring speeded reasoning).

Multiple regression analyses regressing emotion recognition performance revealed significant interactions between the predictors autistic traits and speeded reasoning for both the GERT-S and the RMET (e.g., RMET: B = 0.06, SE B = 0.02, beta = .18, p = .003). Simple-slope analyses showed that the negative relationship between autistic traits and emotion recognition performance was significantly weaker at high (+1SD) than at low (-1SD) speeded reasoning (e.g., RMET: B = -0.58, SE B = 0.37, beta = -.13, p = .12 vs. B = -2.21, SE B = 0.38, beta = -.51, p < .001).

The pattern found is consistent with the view that low social intuition associated with autism can be compensated by analytical information processing. Our findings may be relevant for the psychological assessment of autism, in which the RMET is often used.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Personality Psychology, Differential Psychology and Diagnostics
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Education > Educational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Bertrams, Alexander Gregor and Schlegel, Katja

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education

Language:

English

Submitter:

Alexander Gregor Bertrams-Pencik

Date Deposited:

15 Sep 2020 08:42

Last Modified:

15 Sep 2020 08:42

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/146525

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