A Yale study from September 2019 asserts that people with autistic traits make good or even slightly better social psychologists as compared to individuals who do not have traits of autism.

Social psychologists deal with the factors that lead us to behave in a given way in the presence of others, and look at the conditions under which certain behavior/actions and feelings occur. Social psychology deals with the way these thoughts, feelings, goals are constructed and how they, in turn, influence our interactions with others.

Researchers found that the ability to make general predictions about how others think, feel and behave (social psychology traits) are positively related with autism spectrum disorder traits. People with traits of autism may be able to view situations more analytically, without needing to assess the emotional or mental states of individuals. Gollwitzer and colleagues analyzed the results of a quiz taken by 6595 respondents from 104 countries. The quiz attempted to predict how individuals will react in a social situation.

“People with ASD traits seem to be able to analyze how people in general will react in a social situation, even if they have difficulties judging the mental states of individuals,” reported Anton Gollwitzer.

According to the researchers, because social psychology skill is about generalized predictions about behavior rather than individual interactions, people who possess autism traits might actually be very good at social psychology.

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