Thursday, July 26, 2007

Autistic People Cannot Lie (Easily)

I found this essay by Simon Baron-Cohen (the psychologist whose cousin is Borat's Sacha Baron-Cohen) about people with autism and Asperger's syndrome and their lack of lying skill very interesting.

From the essay:

"And then there are people with autism. Their neurological condition leads not only to difficulties socializing and chatting but also to difficulties recognizing when someone might be deceiving them or understanding how to deceive others. Many children with autism are perplexed by why someone would even want to deceive others, or why someone would think about fiction or pretense. They have no difficulty with facts (version 1 of reality) and can tell you easily if something is true or false (“Is the moon made of rocks? Yes! Is the moon made of cheese? No!”). But they may be puzzled by version 2 of reality, that “John believes the moon is made of cheese.” Why would a person believe something that is untrue?"

By the way, the inventor of BitTorrent, Bram Cohen also has Asperger's syndrome.

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