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Metacognition may be more impaired than mindreading in autism

  • David M. Williams (a1), Sophie E. Lind (a2) and Francesca Happé (a3)

This commentary focuses on evidence from autism concerning the relation between metacognition and mindreading. We support Carruthers' rejection of models 1 (independent systems) and 3 (metacognition before mindreading), and provide evidence to strengthen his critique. However, we also present evidence from autism that we believe supports model 2 (one mechanism, two modes of access) over model 4 (mindreading is prior).

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N. Fisher , F. Happé & J Dunn . (2005) The relationship between vocabulary, grammar, and false belief task performance in children with autistic spectrum disorders and children with moderate learning difficulties. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 46:409–19.

S. Kazak , G. Collis & V Lewis . (1997) Can young people with autism refer to knowledge states? Evidence from their understanding of “know” and “guess.” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 38:10011009.

V McGeer . (2004) Autistic self-awareness. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 11(3):235–51.

S. Nichols & S Stich . (2003) Mindreading: An integrated account of pretence, self-awareness, and understanding other minds. Oxford University Press.

D Raffman . (1999) What autism may tell us about self-awareness: A commentary on Frith and Happé. Mind and Language 14(1):2331.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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