The Strange Stories test

Lillehammer University, College Faculty of Social Sciences, Gudbrandsdalsvegen 350, 2624 Lillehammer, Norway.
European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.34). 04/2005; 14(2):73-82. DOI: 10.1007/s00787-005-0434-2
Source: PubMed


The aim of the present study was to assess the ability of 21 children and adolescents with Asperger syndrome (AS) of normal intelligence to infer mental states in a story context using Happe's Strange Stories test. The participants in the AS group were compared with an age-matched control group (N=20) of normally developing children and adolescents on a test of social understanding. The test material comprised social communication such as Pretence, Joke, Lie, White Lie, Figure of Speech, Misunderstanding, Persuasion, Irony, Double Bluff and Contrary Emotions, Appearance/Reality and Forgetting. As compared to the controls, the participants in the AS group performed less well on these tasks, and answered fewer correct mental state inferences, but performed well on a physical state control task. This study supports the main finding of earlier studies, showing that even individuals with AS of normal intelligence have problems in using mental state terms context-appropriately when tested on the Strange Stories test.

    • "Our findings are in contrast to previous studies reporting no ASD-related difficulties in making physical inferences in participants with ASD ages 8–45 years (Happé 1994) and participants with Asperger syndrome ages 10–20 years (Kaland et al. 2005). However, in both of those studies, the physical scenarios were used either as a screening tool (Happé 1994) or to check for possible comprehension deficits (Kaland et al. 2005). The physical stories in the Table 3 Correlations and 95 % CIs between PIT and TLC-E Raw Scores in individuals with ASD (n = 86) "
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    ABSTRACT: Studies investigating inferential reasoning in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have focused on the ability to make socially-related inferences or inferences more generally. Important variables for intervention planning such as whether inferences depend on physical experiences or the nature of social information have received less consideration. A measure of bridging inferences of physical causation, mental states, and emotional states was administered to older children, adolescents, and adults with and without ASD. The ASD group had more difficulty making inferences, particularly related to emotional understanding. Results suggest that individuals with ASD may not have the stored experiential knowledge that specific inferences depend upon or have difficulties accessing relevant experiences due to linguistic limitations. Further research is needed to tease these elements apart.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
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    • "Individuals with ALMS in the relatively better ToM subgroup provided incomplete mental inferences in the mental condition, possibly reflecting poorer mental state -understanding. Individuals with ALMS and a relatively poorer ToM displayed a performance level that is similar to individuals with high functioning autism, with a higher frequency of incorrect inferences [9] [52] [55]. Individuals with high functioning autism only deviate in the mental condition, which excludes general difficulties in reasoning as an explanation to poor mental state understanding [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective The study focuses on Theory-of-Mind in adolescents and young adults with Alström Syndrome (ALMS). ALMS, an autosomal recessive syndrome causes juvenile blindness, sensorineural hearing loss, cardiomyopathy, endocrinological disorders and metabolic dysfunction. Theory-of-Mind (ToM) refers to the ability to impute mental states to one self and to others. Clinical observations have revealed an increased occurrence of deviances in mental state understanding in ALMS. In the present study ToM will be examined and related to working memory (WM), verbal ability and sensory loss. Methods Twelve young individuals (16-37 years) with ALMS and 24 nondisabled individuals matched on age, gender and educational level participated. ToM was assessed by means of a multiple task that taxes the ability to understand thoughts and feelings of story characterś. WM was examined by means of a reading span task and verbal ability by means of a vocabulary test. Results The ALMS group performed at significantly lower levels in ToM tasks and displayed a higher variability in performance than the control group. Individuals with ALMS and a relatively poor level performance provided fewer correct mental state inferences in ToM tasks than ALMS individuals with relatively higher performance levels. ALMS individuals with relatively high performance levels made as many correct inferences in ToM tasks as the control-group, but their inferences were more often incomplete. Vocabulary skills and educational level, but not WM-capacity predicted ToM performance. Degree of deafblindness did not have an impact on ToM. Age of onset of visual loss but not hearing loss related to ToM. Conclusions The individuals with ALMS display a high degree of heterogeneity in terms of ToM, where some individuals reached performance levels comparable to nondisabled individuals. The results are discussed with respect to how cognitive and verbal abilities and factors related to the disability affect ToM.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology
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    • "Global integration test, rare homographs, strange stories, local coherent inferences * Common homographs WAIS-R all subtests Jones et al. (2009) WORD * WORD WASI-(block design and matrix reasoning) Kaland et al. (2005) (2008) Strange stories, stories from everyday life * * WISC-III all subtests LaPointe-Speer (2007) Reading short paragraphs-[content: "
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    ABSTRACT: This meta-analysis examined 36 studies comparing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and control groups in reading comprehension. Three moderators (semantic knowledge, decoding skill, PIQ) and two text types (high vs. low social knowledge) were examined as predictors of reading comprehension in ASD. The overall standardized mean difference for reading comprehension was g = -0.7 SD. The strongest individual predictors of reading comprehension were semantic knowledge (explaining 57 % of variance) and decoding skill (explaining 55 % of variance). Individuals with ASD were significantly worse at comprehending highly social than less social texts. Having ASD alone does not predict reading comprehension deficits. Instead, individual skills, especially language ability, must be considered before one can accurately predict whether a given individual with ASD will experience difficulties in reading comprehension.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
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