Publication Date


Document Type

Student Project

First Advisor

Wiemer, Katja

Degree Name

B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)


Department of Psychology


Concrete concepts (e.g., BUTTON) can be experienced directly by the senses, whereas abstract concepts (e.g., FRIENDSHIP) cannot. Additionally, the mind may represent abstract concepts using more introspective, social, and emotional information than concrete concepts. Social difficulties are one defining feature of autism, and autistic individuals may use social camouflaging to hide these difficulties, but the precise nature of social processing in autism is not known. This study aims to explore possible links between autistic traits, autistic camouflaging, and mental representations of concepts. Participants gave open-ended definitions for concepts varying in concreteness and social content via an online survey. Responses were coded for social information and interactions between people. Preliminary evidence suggests that social and interactive content of concepts may depend more on levels of autistic camouflaging than levels of autistic traits.