The effect of autism on information sampling during decision-making: An eye-tracking study

George Farmer, Paula L. Smith, Simon Baron-Cohen, William J. Skylark

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Abstract

Recent research has highlighted a tendency for more rational and deliberative decision-making in individuals with autism. We tested this hypothesis by using eye-tracking to investigate the information processing strategies that underpin multiattribute choice in a sample of adults diagnosed with autism spectrum condition. We found that, as the number of attributes defining each option increased, autistic decision-makers were speedier, examined less of the available information, and spent a greater proportion of their time examining the option they eventually chose. Rather than indicating a more deliberative style, our results are consistent with a tendency for individuals with autism to narrow down the decision-space more quickly than does the neurotypical population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-637
Number of pages24
JournalJudgment and Decision Making
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Decision-making
  • Deliberation
  • Eye-tracking
  • Rational choice

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