What impacts does human psychological variation have on usage of evolutionarily-novel, online technological platforms? Autism spectrum disorder and psychotic-affective spectrum disorders, such as positive schizotypy, represents two suites of neurodevelopmental disorders that can be conceptualized as opposite, diametrical ends on a single continuum of socio-cognitive development, with autism characterized by hypo-development in social (i.e., mentalistic) domains and hyper-development in non-social (i.e., mechanistic) domains, and vice versa in positive schizotypy. This thesis investigates how autistic and psychotic-affective phenotypes are associated with usage of two virtual, online media: video games and social media. In line with the diametrical model of social brain disorders, the results show that: 1) females with higher autistic traits exhibit higher video game usage, as well as male-typical genre preferences and motivations, and 2) increased social media usage is associated with a greater prevalence of psychotic spectrum phenotypes, especially those characterized by self-perturbations.
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Thesis advisor: Crespi, Bernard
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