Consider these two alternatives:
The Free-Cup CaseThis is a psychological test. Please read and answer the questions before you read the answers.
Joe was feeling quite dehydrated, so he stopped by the local smoothie shop to buy the largest sized drink available. Before ordering, the cashier told him that if he bought a Mega-Sized Smoothie he would get it in a special commemorative cup. Joe replied, ‘I don't care about a commemorative cup, I just want the biggest smoothie you have.' Sure enough, Joe received the Mega-Sized Smoothie in a commemorative cup. Did Joe intentionally obtain the commemorative cup?
The Extra-Dollar Case
Joe was feeling quite dehydrated, so he stopped by the local smoothie shop to buy the largest sized drink available. Before ordering, the cashier told him that the Mega-Sized Smoothies were now one dollar more than they used to be. Joe replied, ‘I don't care if I have to pay one dollar more, I just want the biggest smoothie you have.' Sure enough, Joe received the Mega-Sized Smoothie and paid one dollar more for it. Did Joe intentionally pay one dollar more?
Most normal people say that paying an extra dollar was intentional, while getting the commemorative cup was not. A study by Edouard Machery (2008,pdf) found that 95% of subjects said that paying the extra dollar was intentional.
People with Aspergers supposedly have a brain impairment that prevents them from reading and understanding the intentions of others. In this case, they say that neither the dollar nor the cup was intentional. They just cannot understand that Joe intended to pay the extra dollar.
The people with Aspergers say that they are correct, and not impaired. They say that the neurotypical folks are duped into making some false and unnecessary inferences about Joe's intentions.
Who is right? You tell me in the comments. I don't see how this could have anything to do with a child custody decision, but that may be just another symptom of my alleged Aspergers.