Pring_Ryder_Crane_Hermelin_Autism_r1.doc

The mld group comprised eight adults with a variety

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The MLD group comprised eight adults with a variety of developmental disorders and general learning difficulties. A brief screening measure, adapted from the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (Lord et al., 1989) was used to ensure that none of the participants in this group had an undiagnosed ASD. These participants were recruited from a local adult education centre. Although individuals with mild/moderate learning disabilities tend to have IQs of around 50 to 70 (Wechsler, 1999), one further participant (recruited from the University of London) was included in this group, to match the relatively high IQ of one of the savants (whose mean VIQ was 111 and PIQ was 114). Although the VIQ of the MLD group is slightly higher than that of the two groups with ASD (savant and non-savant), this difference did not reach statistical significance ( p > . 6 6
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Creativity in savant artists 05). The MLD group was individually matched to the savants for age (within three IQ points), gender and PIQ (within three IQ points). None of this group displayed any artistic ability. The artistically talented group comprised ‘A’ Level art students who were selected for inclusion in the study by their art teacher. The art students were in the top 10% of their year for artistic ability and were consistently receiving A and B grades for their coursework. Each had previously received an A or B grade for their GCSE art course. These participants were younger than the other groups as, although several of the savant group received formal training in art, this would not compare to the training of adult professional artists. The art students and savants also spent a comparable amount of time on their artwork (approximately ten hours per week), and the output of the art students was judged to be of a similar standard to that of the savants by an independent art examiner. Materials To explore creativity in the savants’ domain of expertise, the incomplete and repeated figures tasks of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT) (Torrance, 1974) were used. In the incomplete figures task, participants were presented with ten meaningless squiggles and were instructed to make each of the squiggles into a picture; drawing anything they wanted, as long as they used the squiggle within the picture. Participants were also asked to provide a title for each picture. Each appropriate response was congratulated, and each inappropriate response (not incorporating the squiggle into the picture, repeating a previous response) resulted in a warning (i.e., a reminder of the 7 7
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Creativity in savant artists task instructions). If participants could not complete an item, they were told to move onto the next item, with the opportunity to complete any omitted figures at the end. No time restriction was imposed. A training period was also included, prior to the experimental trials, to establish that the instructions had been fully understood, and to stress the need for a different response on each trial. This also ensured optimal performance in the mixed ability groups (Leevers and Harris, 1998).
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  • Spring '17
  • william james
  • savant artists

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