Picture Sequencing Test


Author of Tool: 

Baron-Cohen, Leslie, and Frith.

Key references: 

Baron-Cohen, S., Leslie, A. M. and Frith, U. (1986). Mechanical, behavioural and Intentional understanding of picture stories in autistic children
British Journal of Developmental Psychology 4:113-125

Primary use / Purpose: 

The Picture Sequencing Test measures a child’s capacity for an aspect of Theory of Mind. Arrays of pictures are presented, and an understanding of the mental state of the protaganist is necessary to sequence them correctly.


A previous study by the authors used puppet play to show that children with autism could not infer the mental states of others. The picture sequencing test confirms this theory of mind deficit in autism. Those with autism performed worse on stories and puppet play involving intentionality than those with Down’s syndrome, who were at a much lower level of functioning.


Web link to tool: 

Pictur Sequencing Test

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 



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