Individuals with Autism Share Others’ Emotions: Evidence from the Continuous Affective Rating and Empathic Responses (CARER) Task

Santiesteban, Idalmis and Gibbard, Clare and Drucks, Hanna and Clayton, Nicola and Banissy, Michael J. and Bird, Geoffrey (2021) Individuals with Autism Share Others’ Emotions: Evidence from the Continuous Affective Rating and Empathic Responses (CARER) Task. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 51 (2). pp. 391-404. ISSN 0162-3257

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Abstract

A new task (‘CARER’) was used to test claims of reduced empathy in autistic adults. CARER measures emotion identification (ability to identify another’s affective state), affective empathy (degree to which another’s affective state causes a matching state in the Empathiser) and affect sharing (degree to which the Empathiser’s state matches the state they attribute to another). After controlling for alexithymia, autistic individuals showed intact affect sharing, emotion identification and affective empathy. Results suggested reduced retrospective socio-emotional processing, likely due to a failure to infer neurotypical mental states. Thus, autism may be associated with difficulties inferring another’s affective state retrospectively, but not with sharing that state. Therefore, when appropriate measures are used, autistic individuals do not show a lack of empathy.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Autism, Empathy, Alexithymia, Affect sharing, CARER, Continuous affective rating
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Idalmis Santiesteban
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2021 08:28
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2021 08:28
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/3348

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