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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Linking metacognition and mindreading: Evidence from autism and dual-task investigations.
Author(s): Nicholson, Toby
Williams, David M
Lind, Sophie E
Grainger, Catherine
Carruthers, Peter
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Keywords: autism spectrum disorder
theory of mind
Issue Date: 10-Sep-2020
Citation: Nicholson T, Williams DM, Lind SE, Grainger C & Carruthers P (2020) Linking metacognition and mindreading: Evidence from autism and dual-task investigations.. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
Abstract: Questions of how we know our own and other minds, and whether metacognition and mindreading rely on the same processes, are longstanding in psychology and philosophy. In Experiment 1, children/adolescents with autism (who tend to show attenuated mindreading) showed significantly lower accuracy on an explicit metacognition task than neurotypical children/adolescents, but not on an allegedly metacognitive implicit one. In Experiment 2, neurotypical adults completed these tasks in a single-task condition or a dual-task condition that required concurrent completion of a secondary task that tapped mindreading. Metacognitive accuracy was significantly diminished by the dual-mindreading-task on the explicit task but not the implicit task. In Experiment 3, we included additional dual-tasks to rule out the possibility that any secondary task (regardless of whether it required mindreading) would diminish metacognitive accuracy. Finally, in both Experiments 1 and 2, metacognitive accuracy on the explicit task, but not the implicit task, was associated significantly with performance on a measure of mindreading ability. These results suggest that explicit metacognitive tasks (used frequently to measure metacognition in humans) share metarepresentational processing resources with mindreading, whereas implicit tasks (which are claimed by some comparative psychologists to measure metacognition in nonhuman animals) do not.
DOI Link: 10.1037/xge0000878
Rights: This article has been published under the terms of the Creative Com-mons Attribution License (,which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Copyright for this article is retained by the author(s). Author(s) grant(s) the American Psychological Association the exclusive right to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher.
Notes: Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online
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