Dictionary of Arguments

Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute

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Disputed term/author/ism Author
Autism Bettelheim Slater I 148
Autism/Bettelheim: Bettelheim’s theory of the “refrigerator mother,” (…) posited that emotionless parenting style causes autism to develop. VsBettelheim: This theory, which notoriously turned out to be unfounded, went on having an important impact on families and patients alike and influenced research on autism for a significant number of years. Concomitantly though, researchers influenced by the cognitive revolution strove to find cognitively based explanations of autism through rigorous experimentations on perception, memory, and language (for a review of these early cognitive studies, see Prior, 1979)(1). Until the mid-1980s however, such approaches remained relatively scarce and there were virtually no cognitive theories accounting for autistic symptomatology. As Baron-Cohen et al. themselves put it in 1985: “So far, nobody has had any idea of how to characterise [underlying cognitive] mechanisms of autism in even quasi-computational terms” (Baron-Cohen, Leslie, & Frith, U. 1985(2) , p. 38).>Autism/psychological theories.

1 Prior, M. R. (1979). Cognitive abilities and disabilities in infantile autism: A review.Journa! of Abnormal Child Psychology, 7,357—380.
2. Baron-Cohen, S., Leslie, A., & Frith, U. (1985). Does the autistic child have a “theory of mind.” Cognition,21, 13—125.

Coralie Chevallier, “Theory of Mind and Autism. Beyond Baron-Cohen et al’s. Sally-Anne Study”, in: Alan M. Slater and Paul C. Quinn (eds.) 2012. Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies. London: Sage Publications

Slater I
Alan M. Slater
Paul C. Quinn
Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2012