+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ PDF Full Text
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Not knowing what I feel: Emotional empathy in autism spectrum disorders

Not knowing what I feel: Emotional empathy in autism spectrum disorders

Autism 21(4): 450-457

While there is a general consensus in the literature that individuals with autism spectrum disorder have difficulty with cognitive empathy, much less is known about emotional empathy processing in these individuals. Most research has employed subjective self-report measures, which can often be misinterpreted or under-reported/over-reported. More objective measures such as psychophysiological recordings of arousal offer a more objective response. Furthermore, combining physiological responses with self-report ratings allows us to explore the relationship between these two responses to emotionally charged stimuli. A total of 25 individuals with autism spectrum disorder were compared with 25 matched controls on their physiological (arousal) and psychological (self-report) responses to emotionally distressing video scenes. These responses were also then compared with self-report cognitive and emotional trait empathy. Results indicate that while individuals with autism spectrum disorder appear to respond similarly to controls physiologically, their interpretation of this response is dampened emotionally. Furthermore, this dampening of self-report emotional response is associated with a general reduction in trait empathy.

(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 058427799

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 27246093

DOI: 10.1177/1362361316648520

Related references

Feeling, caring, knowing: different types of empathy deficit in boys with psychopathic tendencies and autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines 51(11): 1188-1197, 2011

Emotional Processing in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Effects of Age, Emotional Valence, and Social Engagement on Emotional Language Use. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 48(12): 4138-4154, 2018

Emotional empathy in autism spectrum conditions: weak, intact, or heightened?. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 39(12): 1747-8; Author Reply 1749-54, 2013

Probabilistic perception, empathy, and dynamic homeostasis: insights in autism spectrum disorders and conduct disorders. Frontiers in Public Health 2: 4, 2014

Empathy, social cognition and autism spectrum disorders. Revista de Neurologia 56 Suppl 1: S13-S21, 2013

Investigating emotional impairments in adults with autism spectrum disorders and the broader autism phenotype. Psychiatry Research 208(3): 257-264, 2014

Knowing what others know, feeling what others feel: a controlled study of empathy in psychotherapists. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 195(4): 277-281, 2007

Empathy Study in Rodent Model of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Psychiatry Investigation 15(2): 104-110, 2018

Empathy and behavior in children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders. Minerva Pediatrica 2018, 2018

Brief Report: An Observational Measure of Empathy for Autism Spectrum: A Preliminary Study of the Development and Reliability of the Client Emotional Processing Scale. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 46(6): 2240-2250, 2017

Outcome measures in intervention trials for adults with autism spectrum disorders; a systematic review of assessments of core autism features and associated emotional and behavioural problems. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research 24(2): 99-115, 2016

Self-Reported Empathy in Adult Women with Autism Spectrum Disorders - A Systematic Mini Review. Plos One 11(3): E0151568, 2016

Is the Autism-Spectrum Quotient a Valid Measure of Traits Associated with the Autism Spectrum? A Rasch Validation in Adults with and Without Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 47(7): 2080-2091, 2017

Motor, emotional, and cognitive empathy in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and conduct disorder. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 41(3): 425-443, 2013

Cognitive and emotional empathy in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders: A replication and extension study. Psychiatry Research 276: 56-59, 2019