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Keywords:

  • assessment;
  • clinical disorders;
  • neuropsychology;
  • social perception

Many clinical disorders lead to impairments in social perception that are not easily detected using standard neuropsychological instruments. In this article, The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT) is described, and evidence for its reliability and validity is reviewed. TASIT was designed to assess the ability to interpret emotional expressions and paralinguistic cues in order to make judgements about speakers' mental states and their conversational meanings, especially when these diverge from the literal meaning of what they say (as in the case of sarcasm). TASIT has three parts: (1) the Emotion Evaluation Test (six basic emotions); (2) Test of Social Inference (Minimal), assessing the ability to understand emotions, mental states, and conversational inferences in sincere and sarcastic interchanges; and (3) Test of Social Inference (Enriched), assessing comprehension of lies and sarcasm, each with alternate forms for re-testing. TASIT has adequate test–retest and alternate forms reliability. Evidence for construct validity is derived from its relationship to conventional neuropsychological tests, experimental tests of social perception, and real-world performance. In addition, research using TASIT to examine deficits in social perception in traumatic brain injury, schizophrenia, frontotemporal dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and stroke attest to its sensitivity as a clinical assessment tool.