Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Reputation management and the 'observer effect' in persons with high-functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome
Author: Gaynor, Danielle
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The literature suggests that opportunities for reputation enhancement can elicit pro-social behaviour. Public declarations of moral judgments can provide just such opportunities. Even subtle surveillance cues have been associated with more disapproval of anti-social behaviour in typically developed and intact adults (Bourrat, Baumard et al., 2011). However this has not been tested in adults with autistic spectrum presentations. The current qualitative study explored these questions using a semi-structured interview incorporating a Retrospective Verbal Protocol, based upon an on-line social evaluation survey, which was simultaneously piloted for potential future use in quantitative research. Two groups of adults, with and without diagnoses of autistic spectrum presentations, evaluated behaviours in four social domains (‘moral’, ‘convention’, ‘disgust’, and ‘ambiguous’), using two sets of vignettes. One set had ‘eyes’ embedded in a logo (the other was plain). Qualitative and quantitative data were collected. Thematic analysis and descriptive statistics suggest that both groups tended to perform similarly on the overall social evaluation tasks, with subtle differences appearing in some social domains and in consideration of some moderating factors. However, the qualitative data suggests that the groups did not always use comparable strategies to reach similar conclusions. The current study appears to support theoretical social domain distinctions and predictions (e.g. Nichols, 2002; Leslie et al., 2006) that both explicit and implicit processing routes may be used in moral evaluation. ‘Observer effect’ quantitative results were inconclusive, indicating that the pilot survey tool is inadequate in its current form. However, an interesting finding was the similar performance by both groups on the tasks. Qualitative data suggests that participants from both groups were aware of and actively engage in reputation management. For the ASP group this appears to challenge Theory of Mind theories of autism and assumptions about reputation issues. These findings have potentially important theoretical and clinical implications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available