The influence of affective empathy and autism spectrum traits on empathic accuracy

Marije Aan Het Rot, Koen Hogenelst

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

18 Citaten (Scopus)
322 Downloads (Pure)

Samenvatting

Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by interpersonal deficits and has been associated with limited cognitive empathy, which includes perspective taking, theory of mind, and empathic accuracy (EA). The capacity for affective empathy may also be impaired. In the present study we aimed to determine if EA in normally developing individuals with varying levels of autism spectrum traits is moderated by trait affective empathy. Fifty male and fifty female participants ('perceivers') completed the Autism-Spectrum Quotient and the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale to assess autism spectrum traits and trait affective empathy, respectively. EA was assessed using a Dutch-language version of a previously developed task and involved rating the feelings of others ('targets') verbally recounting autobiographical emotional events. Targets varied in trait emotional expressivity, assessed using the Berkeley Expressivity Questionnaire. Perceivers with more autism spectrum traits performed worse on the EA task, particularly when their trait affective empathy was relatively low. Interpersonal deficits in autism spectrum disorder may be partially explained by low cognitive empathy. Further, they might be aggravated by a limited capacity for affective empathy.

Originele taal-2English
Artikelnummere98436
Aantal pagina's7
TijdschriftPLoS ONE
Volume9
Nummer van het tijdschrift6
DOI's
StatusPublished - jun-2014

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