• Is there a link between autistic people being perceived unfavorably and having a mind that is difficult to read?

      Alkhaldi, R.S.; Sheppard, E.; Mitchell, Peter (2019-10)
      The link between autistic people having a mind that is difficult to read (by neurotypical participants) and being perceived unfavorably was investigated. Videoed Autistic and neurotypical targets from Sheppard et al. (PLOS ONE 7(11):e49859, 2016) were scored for how readable they were when reacting to a distinctive greeting from the experimenter. These videos were presented to new groups of perceivers (neurotypical adults) who rated neurotypical targets more socially favorably than autistic targets irrespective of whether details of the experimenter’s greeting were concealed (Study 1) or disclosed (Study 2). Target readability correlated with ratings of target favorability (r = .58 and r = .63), independent of target diagnosis. Perceivers might rate targets unfavorably because they experience difficulty reading them, though other interpretations of the correlation are also possible.