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Brett Heasman

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Mr Brett Heasman is a doctoral student at the London School of Economics. His academic work focusses on discovering new techniques for maximising the communicative potential for people with social interaction difficulties. He has extensive experience of working with charities that support people with autistic spectrum conditions and has recently begun campaigning for better care-pathways at regional level. As well as his academic work, Brett has also worked as a copywriter producing online content for a number of FTSE 100 companies.

Brett holds an MSc in Social and Public Communication (2014, 1:1) from the London School of Economics; an MSc in Linguistics (2011, 1:1) and an MA in English Language (2010, 2:1) from the University of Edinburgh. In 2014 he was awarded a full scholarship from the Economic and Science Research Council (ESRC) to complete his doctoral studies. His research interests include perspective-taking, cognition, socio-linguistics and rhetorical analysis.

 

Research projects
Taking who's perspective on what? Assessing Theory of Mind in adults with Asperger's syndrome
Adults with Asperger’s syndrome (AS) have difficulties taking the perspective of others yet understanding the details of this deficit manifest in everyday social relations remains unclear. Theory of mind (ToM) literature has focussed on investigating abstract mental ability, with the question of ‘who’ or ‘what’ is being mentalised rarely addressed. We combine traditional measures of ToM ability with the Interpersonal Perception Method (IPM), which enables us to assess perspective taking within familiar relationships on topics that are meaningful to that relationship. Twenty AS/neurotypical dyads will be examined (n=60), with each participant in each dyad rating (a) themselves, (b) their partner, and (c) how they anticipate their partner will rate them on 20 identity topics. The study is currently ongoing.

 

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