Heuristics and biases in autism: less biased but not more logical

Kinga Morsanyi, Simon J. Handley, Jonathan S. B. T. Evans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


In this study we compared the performance of autistic and typically developing adolescents on three well-known tasks from the heuristics and biases literature. As heuristic reasoning is based on the contextualisation of problems (e.g., Stanovich, 2003) and autistic people are known to be less sensitive to contextual features (e.g., Frith & Happé, 1994) we expected them to exhibit less bias on these tasks. In line with our predictions, autistic children were less susceptible to the conjunction fallacy, and they also gave more base rate responses in one version of the engineers and lawyers task. However, their performance on the control tasks indicated that they were not any more sensitive to probabilistic information than the control group (i.e., they were not more logical in a normative sense).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
EditorsNiels Taatgen, Hedderik van Rijn
Place of PublicationAustin, TX
PublisherCognitive Science Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780976831853
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (31st : 2009) - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 29 Jul 20091 Aug 2009


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (31st : 2009)
CityAmsterdam, Netherlands


  • cognitive development
  • psychology
  • reasoning


Dive into the research topics of 'Heuristics and biases in autism: less biased but not more logical'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this