A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study found out that high-functioning individuals suffering from autism may have a hard time understanding the intentions of other people.
The study noted that the inability to understand others’ intentions may cause autistic adults, to harshly judge others which may result in difficulties building and keeping healthy relationships.
For the study, 26 participants were asked questions regarding moral issues where a person with good intentions ends up doing harm. One group was made up of 13 adult individuals with an average IQ of 120. The individuals in this group were high-functioning, much like Asperger’s syndrome. The other group comprised of neurologically healthy and normal adults.
Results of the tests showed that people who have autism were more angry at a person who caused harm but intended to do well. On the other hand, people in the ‘healthy group’ were able to assess the situation differently, putting more importance on the person’s intentions than the end result.
Some experts noted that autistic adults do not usually take into consideration the intention information when assessing situations involving moral quandaries.
The study appears can be found in an online issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.