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Few studies have explored how the cognitive differences associated with autistic spectrum disorder translate into everyday social behaviour. This study investigated pro-social behaviour in students scoring high and low on the autism-spectrum quotient (AQ), using a novel scenario task: ‘Above and Beyond’. Each scenario involved an opportunity to behave pro-socially, and thus required balancing the needs of a character against participants’ own interests. High AQ participants both generated responses and selected courses of action that were less pro-social than those of the low AQ group. For actions of low pro-social value they gave higher self-satisfaction ratings; conversely, they gave lower self-satisfaction ratings for high pro-social actions. The implications for everyday functioning are considered for those with high autistic traits.
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- Going ‘Above and Beyond’: Are Those High in Autistic Traits Less Pro-social?
- Springer US