Faux Pas Test (Adult and Child Versions)


Author of Tool: 

Stone, V.E., Baron-Cohen, S. & Knight, R.T.

Key references: 

Stone, V.E., Baron-Cohen, S. & Knight, R.T. (1998). Frontal lobe contributions to theory of mind. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 10, 640-656.

Baron-Cohen, S., O’Riordan, M., Jones, R., Stone, V.E. & Plaisted, K. (1999). A new test of social sensitivity: Detection of faux pas in normal children and children with Asperger syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 29, 407-418.

Primary use / Purpose: 

20 short stories containing incidents of faux pas (someone mistakenly saying something they shouldn’t have) are read to the individual, who is then asked questions to determine whether or not they recognised the faux pas.


Detecting faux pas is a skill normally acquired by age 9-11. However, children with high-functioning autism or aspergers syndrome are impaired on this task. In adulthood, adults with damage to the orbito-frontal cortex and those with some forms of dementia are also impaired on this task.


Reliability is discussed in Gregory, Lough, Stone, Baron-Cohen and Hodges, (2002).


Web link to tool: 

Faux Pas test

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 



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