Gender and autistic personality traits predict perspective-taking ability in typical adults

Abstract

0191-8869/$ see front matter Published by Elsevier doi:10.1016/j.paid.2011.09.004 ⇑ Corresponding author at: US Army NSRDEC, Attn St., Natick, MA 01760, USA. Tel.: +1 617 306 6262. E-mail address: tbrunye@alumni.tufts.edu (T.T. Br Adopting another’s visual perspective is exceedingly common and may underlie successful social interaction and empathizing with others. The individual differences responsible for success in perspectivetaking, however, remain relatively undiscovered. We assessed whether gender and autistic personality traits in normal college student adults predict the ability to adopt another’s visual perspective. In a task differentially recruiting VPT-1 which involves following another’s line of sight, and VPT-2 which involves determining how another may perceive an object differently given their unique perspective (VPT-2), we found effects of both gender and autistic personality traits. Specifically, we demonstrate slowed VPT-2 but not VPT-1 performance in males and females with relatively high ASD-characteristic personality traits; this effect, however was markedly stronger in males than females. Results contribute to knowledge regarding ASD-related personality traits in the general population and the individual differences modulating perspective-taking abilities. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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