Article by Ingela Visuri • Published 2010
This case study explores Asperger’s syndrome, religion and spirituality from a cognitive perspective. Asperger’s syndrome (AS) is a high functioning form of autism, and research has shown that the theory of mind (sometimes called ‘mindreading’) is reduced in individuals with AS. According to theories from the psychology of religion, this ability is needed to ’communicate’ with supernatural and invisible forces, such as gods or spirits. In interviews with four informants who are diagnosed with AS, this question, as well as their general reasoning on religion and spirituality is explored, examining if cognitive tools such as theory of mind (ToM), existential theory of mind (EToM) and hypersensitive agency detection device (HADD) seem to be at work.