Objectives: The purpose of this study is to examine how children with ASD make decisions after punishment events.
Methods: 13 children with ASD (12.8±1.6 years, FIQ > 80) and 21 control (11.7±1.1 years) were recruited. All Participants completed BART on laptop computer in quiet room. BART is a task that assess risk-taking propensity (Lejuez et al., 2002). During this task, the computer screen showed “simulated balloon”, “pump button”, “a reset button”, “the temporary bank display” and “the permanent bank display”. With push pump button, simulated balloon is slightly blown up and 3 Japanese yen ware added in the temporary bank display. When a balloon is reached its explosion point, balloon is explored with pop sound and all money in the temporary bank is lost. As participant click the reset button before a balloon explored, all money in the temporary bank is transmitted to the permanent bank and update total earned money. After a balloon explosion or click the reset button, a new balloon is appeared on monitor until 30 balloons (trials) are completed. Each balloon has a different explosion point from 1 to 128 (from 3 Japanese yen to 384 Japanese yen). We adjusted Average explosion point is 64 (192 Japanese yen) through 30 balloons. Our purpose was to analyze Successive strategy change, we divided 30 balloons to 3 blocks consisted of 10 balloons and adjusted average explosion points through each block are in the 60s. In addition, we excluded one participant who exploded more than 20 balloons from ASD group.
Results: The first balloon explosion trial is not significant (ASD = 4.9±2.3 vs. Con = 3.9±1.5, p > .10 ). ANOVA on z-score of the earned money revealed a significant interaction(p < .05).Separate post hoc analysis revealed that control group gradually increased from block1 to block3 (block1 -0.17, block2 0.02, block3 0.26, p < .1), but ASD group did not (block1 0.12, block 2 0.00, block3 -0.15, p > .1).
Conclusions: Children with ASD did not showed a gradually increase in the frequency of clicking pump button. There was no difference the number of trial on first punishment even between ASD group and control group. These suggest that children with ASD made their decision-making norm earlier than control group and that they did not change their decision-making manner once they made their norm was confirmed by themselves.
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