Challenges to the social motivation theory of autism: The dangers of counteracting an imprecise theory with even more imprecision

Abstract

The arguments offered by Jaswal & Akhtar to counter the social motivation theory do not appear to be directly related to the SMT tenets and predictions, seem to not be empirically testable, and are inconsistent with empirical evidence. To evaluate the merits and shortcomings of the SMT and identify scientifically testable alternatives, advances are needed on the conceptualization and operationalization of social motivation across diagnostic boundaries.

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