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30-05-2018 | Brief Report

Brief Report: Risk-Aversion and Rationality in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Corentin J. Gosling, Sylvain Moutier
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10803-018-3616-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


Risk-aversion and rationality have both been highlighted as core features of decision making in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This study tested whether risk-aversion is related to rational decision-making in ASD individuals. ASD and matched control adults completed a decision-making task that discriminated between the use of risk-averse and rational strategies. Results showed that overall, ASD participants were more risk-averse than control participants. Specifically, both groups made similar choices when risk-aversion was the less rational strategy but ASD participants chose more rational options than control participants when risk-aversion was the most rational strategy. This study confirmed that risk-aversion is a core feature of ASD and revealed that ASD individuals can switch their decision-making strategy adaptively to avoid negative consequences.

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Extra materiaal
Online Appendix—Example of a gain trial in the unequal expected value (EV) condition. First, participants received an initial sum of money to play the trial. Second, they were informed that they would not be able to keep the entire initial amount of money and would have to choose between a sure option (framed in terms of gain) and a risky option. In the gain frame of the unequal EV condition, the EV of the sure option (here, EV Sure = 18€) was always inferior to the EV of the risky option (here, EV Risky = 20€) (TIF 2480 KB)
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