The autism spectrum as a source of cognitive and cultural diversity

Belmonte, M.K. ORCID: 0000-0002-4633-9400, 2011. The autism spectrum as a source of cognitive and cultural diversity. Ranchi Institute of Neuro-Psychiatry and Allied Sciences Journal, 3, S46-S54.


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Individual differences in perception and in social cognition are products of both biology and cultural experience. Many of the same differences that typify autism when they occur in extremes also underlie normal human cognitive variation when they occur to more subtle degrees. In particular, autism spectrum conditions are characterised by low degrees of two linked capacities: level of construal, meaning the tendency to represent percepts as individual details rather than as whole contexts; and psychological distance, meaning the tendencies to perceive objects and events in distant rather than peri-personal space, to recall or to anticipate past or future time rather than the here-and-now, to approach social interactions in the allocentric frame of other people rather than one's own egocentric frame, and to represent hypothetical, counterfactual, or fictional beliefs that are at odds with actual facts. Significantly, culture also exerts linked effects on level of construal and psychological distance, which are relatively increased in more contextual, socially focussed cultures and decreased in more individualistic, self-focussed cultures.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Ranchi Institute of Neuro-Psychiatry and Allied Sciences Journal
Creators: Belmonte, M.K.
Publisher: Ranchi Institute of Neuro-Psychiatry & Allied Sciences (RINPAS)
Place of Publication: Kanke Ranchi, Jharkhand, India
Date: 2011
Volume: 3
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:25
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2024 08:54

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