Cogprints

The Empathy Imbalance Hypothesis of Autism: A Theoretical Approach to Cognitive and Emotional Empathy in Autistic Development

Smith, A (2009) The Empathy Imbalance Hypothesis of Autism: A Theoretical Approach to Cognitive and Emotional Empathy in Autistic Development. [Journal (Paginated)]

Full text available as:

[img]
Preview
PDF - Published Version
210Kb

Abstract

There has been a widely held belief that people with autism spectrum disorders lack empathy. This article examines the empathy imbalance hypothesis (EIH) of autism. According to this account, people with autism have a deficit of cognitive empathy but a surfeit of emotional empathy. The behavioral characteristics of autism might be generated by this imbalance and a susceptibility to empathic overarousal. The EIH builds on the theory of mind account and provides an alternative to the extreme-male-brain theory of autism. Empathy surfeit is a recurrent theme in autistic narratives, and empirical evidence for the EIH is growing. A modification of the pictorial emotional Stroop paradigm could facilitate an experimental test of the EIH.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:autism; empathy; theory of mind
Subjects:Psychology > Developmental Psychology
Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
ID Code:6799
Deposited By:Smith, A
Deposited On:01 Apr 2010 20:26
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:57

Metadata

Repository Staff Only: item control page