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Autistic traits in the general population do not correlate with a preference for associative information

Judith Goris UGent, Eliane Deschrijver UGent, Sabrina Trapp, Marcel Brass UGent and Senne Braem UGent (2017) RESEARCH IN AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS. 33. p.29-38
abstract
Background: Associations and regularities in our environment can foster expectations and thereby help create a perceptually predictable world (e.g., a knife next to a plate predicts with high certainty a fork on the other side). Based on several observations, it has been suggested that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have an above average tendency to prefer well-organized information or structured environments. Surprisingly, however, this tendency has not yet been tested under controlled experimental conditions. Method: A recent study suggested that neurotypical adults prefer associative information, regardless of their semantic content. Therefore, in this study, we examined the relation of this preference bias to the scores of 123 neurotypical adults on questionnaires that measure autistic traits, known to co-vary with typical autism spectrum characteristics. Participants were presented with different configurations of meaningless abstract shapes. Some shapes were always presented in the exact same fixed configuration, and other shapes were always presented in different random configurations. In an unannounced subsequent evaluation task, participants were required to indicate which shapes they preferred. Results: We replicate the observation that people exhibit a general preference for shapes that were presented in fixed configurations. However, there were no correlations between autistic traits and this general preference. Conclusions: Our findings suggest the preference for associative information in ASD might be less general than first thought, or restricted to more complex (social) situations or other levels of information processing. We outline specific guidelines for future systematic investigations into the hypothesized increased preference for associative information in ASD.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
Autism spectrum, Preference, Associative information, Sameness, Predictive
journal title
RESEARCH IN AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS
editor
Sebastian Gaigg
volume
33
pages
29 - 38
publisher
Elsevier
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000390498300004
ISSN
1750-9467
DOI
10.1016/j.rasd.2016.11.001
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
8164319
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-8164319
alternative location
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1750946716301271
date created
2016-11-23 10:23:14
date last changed
2017-08-07 13:21:27
@article{8164319,
  abstract     = {Background: Associations and regularities in our environment can foster expectations and thereby help create a perceptually predictable world (e.g., a knife next to a plate predicts with high certainty a fork on the other side). Based on several observations, it has been suggested that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have an above average tendency to prefer well-organized information or structured environments. Surprisingly, however, this tendency has not yet been tested under controlled experimental conditions.

Method: A recent study suggested that neurotypical adults prefer associative information, regardless of their semantic content. Therefore, in this study, we examined the relation of this preference bias to the scores of 123 neurotypical adults on questionnaires that measure autistic traits, known to co-vary with typical autism spectrum characteristics. Participants were presented with different configurations of meaningless abstract shapes. Some shapes were always presented in the exact same fixed configuration, and other shapes were always presented in different random configurations. In an unannounced subsequent evaluation task, participants were required to indicate which shapes they preferred.

Results: We replicate the observation that people exhibit a general preference for shapes that were presented in fixed configurations. However, there were no correlations between autistic traits and this general preference.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest the preference for associative information in ASD might be less general than first thought, or restricted to more complex (social) situations or other levels of information processing. We outline specific guidelines for future systematic investigations into the hypothesized increased preference for associative information in ASD.},
  author       = {Goris, Judith and Deschrijver, Eliane and Trapp, Sabrina and Brass, Marcel and Braem, Senne},
  editor       = {Gaigg, Sebastian},
  issn         = {1750-9467},
  journal      = {RESEARCH IN AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS},
  keyword      = {Autism spectrum,Preference,Associative information,Sameness,Predictive},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {29--38},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  title        = {Autistic traits in the general population do not correlate with a preference for associative information},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2016.11.001},
  volume       = {33},
  year         = {2017},
}

Chicago
Goris, Judith, Eliane Deschrijver, Sabrina Trapp, Marcel Brass, and Senne Braem. 2017. “Autistic Traits in the General Population Do Not Correlate with a Preference for Associative Information.” Ed. Sebastian Gaigg. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 33: 29–38.
APA
Goris, Judith, Deschrijver, E., Trapp, S., Brass, M., & Braem, S. (2017). Autistic traits in the general population do not correlate with a preference for associative information. (S. Gaigg, Ed.)RESEARCH IN AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS, 33, 29–38.
Vancouver
1.
Goris J, Deschrijver E, Trapp S, Brass M, Braem S. Autistic traits in the general population do not correlate with a preference for associative information. Gaigg S, editor. RESEARCH IN AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS. Elsevier; 2017;33:29–38.
MLA
Goris, Judith, Eliane Deschrijver, Sabrina Trapp, et al. “Autistic Traits in the General Population Do Not Correlate with a Preference for Associative Information.” Ed. Sebastian Gaigg. RESEARCH IN AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS 33 (2017): 29–38. Print.