Autistic people are more rational and morally stable

The Alarm Game, a classic psychological experiment, reveals even more differences. The player receives a sum of money and is supposed to divide it between himself and another player. If the latter accepts the offer, the amount will be distributed accordingly; If he refuses, they both go empty-handed. The latter often occurs when the supply is no more than 30 percent. It is clear that the feeling of injustice is so strong that the other player would rather give up his share than allow himself to be treated unfairly. Autistic people are twice as likely to accept the offer.

How do these differences occur? Neurobiologist Leron Rosenkrantz and colleagues suspect that people with autism are less susceptible to the effects of emotions that disrupt rational thinking and can lead to faulty conclusions. The neural basis is already known: decreased activity in areas of the brain such as the tonsils that process emotions. Although this would have drawbacks in social interaction, it would allow information to be presented without being influenced by emotions. In addition, people with autism have a better ability to focus on details and ignore context.

Autism: rational and incorruptible

The authors complain that research to date has focused more on the difficulties associated with autism spectrum disorders. Even in the studies they cite, rationality is portrayed as a weakness: “The autism group failed to include emotional contextual information in the decision,” states one point. And: The framing effect shows the inference that “normal people” (quote) allow to allow additional emotional information to flow into decisions.

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