Comparison of choose-a-movie and approach-avoidance paradigms to measure social motivation.

Motiv Emot. 2018;42(2):190-199

Authors: Dubey I, Ropar D, Hamilton A

Abstract
Social motivation is a subjective state which is rather difficult to quantify. It has sometimes been conceptualised as “behavioural effort” to seek social contact. Two paradigms: approach-avoidance (AA) and choose a movie (CAM), based on the same conceptualisation, have been used to measure social motivation in people with and without autism. However, in absence of a direct comparison, it is hard to know which of these paradigms has higher sensitivity in estimating preference for social over non-social stimuli. Here we compare these two tasks for their utility in (1) evaluating social seeking in typical people and (2) identifying the influence of autistic traits on social motivation. Our results suggest that CAM reveals a clear preference for social stimuli over non-social in typical adults but AA fails to do so. Also, social seeking measured with CAM but not AA has a negative relationship between autistic traits.

PMID: 29563653 [PubMed]

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