Who Cares? Revisiting Empathy in Asperger Syndrome

Rogers, Kimberley; Dziobek, Isabel; Hassenstab, Jason; Wolf, Oliver T.; Convit, Antonio
April 2007
Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders;Apr2007, Vol. 37 Issue 4, p709
Academic Journal
A deficit in empathy has consistently been cited as a central characteristic of Asperger syndrome (AS), but previous research on adults has predominantly focused on cognitive empathy, effectively ignoring the role of affective empathy. We administered the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), a multi-dimensional measure of empathy, and the Strange Stories test to 21 adults with AS and 21 matched controls. Our data show that while the AS group scored lower on the measures of cognitive empathy and theory of mind, they were no different from controls on one affective empathy scale of the IRI (empathic concern), and scored higher than controls on the other (personal distress). Therefore, we propose that the issue of empathy in AS should be revisited.


Related Articles

  • The Adult Asperger Assessment (AAA): A Diagnostic Method. Baron-Cohen, Simon; Wheelwright, Sally; Robinson, Janine; Woodbury-Smith, Marc // Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders;Dec2005, Vol. 35 Issue 6, p807 

    At the present time there are a large number of adults who have suspected Asperger syndrome (AS). In this paper we describe a new instrument, the Adult Asperger Assessment (AAA), developed in our clinic for adults with AS. The need for a new instrument relevant to the diagnosis of AS in...

  • ASPERGER'S SYNDROME COULD BE A CHARACTER-BUILDER. Coursey, Charles // ETC: A Review of General Semantics;Jul2005, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p308 

    Comments on the positive attitudes of people with Asperger's Syndrome. Definition of Asperger's Syndrome; Political problems of the U.S. as of March 2005; Importance of improving one's character for others.

  • The Empathy Quotient: An Investigation of Adults with Asperger Syndrome or High Functioning Autism, and Normal Sex Differences. Baron-Cohen, Simon; Wheelwright, Sally // Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders;Apr2004, Vol. 34 Issue 2, p163 

    Empathy is an essential part of normal social functioning, yet there are precious few instruments for measuring individual differences in this domain. In this article we review psychological theories of empathy and its measurement. Previous instruments that purport to measure this have not...

  • Views on the Diagnostic Labels of Autism and Asperger's Disorder and the Proposed Changes in the DSM. Kite, Donna; Gullifer, Judith; Tyson, Graham // Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders;Jul2013, Vol. 43 Issue 7, p1692 

    With the approaching release of the DSM V in 2013, there has been much debate about the proposal to remove the diagnostic label of Asperger's disorder from the new DSM. This study explored how health and education professionals perceive the conditions of autism and Asperger's disorder and their...

  • Punishment and Sympathy Judgments: Is the Quality of Mercy Strained in Asperger's Syndrome? Channon, Shelley; Fitzpatrick, Sian; Drury, Helena; Taylor, Isabelle; Lagnado, David // Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders;Oct2010, Vol. 40 Issue 10, p1219 

    This study examined reasoning about wrongdoing in people with Asperger's syndrome (AS) and matched healthy controls in relation to car accident scenarios. The two groups made similar judgments with respect to degree of driver negligence for both fines imposed and sympathy ratings. They also made...

  • The Role Of Empathy In Brief Therapy: The Overlooked But Vital Context. Turnell, Andrew; Lipchik, Eve // Australian & New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy;Dec99, Vol. 20 Issue 4, p177 

    Brief therapy is widely perceived to be a very technique oriented and outcome focused endeavour, with limited interest in the fluidity of the relationship between the therapist and client. This perception exists despite the absolute priority brief therapy has always placed on building a...

  • Introduction to the Special Issue on Asperger Syndrome. Myles, Brenda Smith // Focus on Autism & Other Developmental Disabilities;Fall2002, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p130 

    Introduces a series of articles on the Asperger syndrome. Characteristics commonly associated with the syndrome; Medical and psychiatric conditions seen in individuals with the syndrome; Neuropsychological profiles of individuals with the syndrome.

  • Asperger Syndrome: An Overview of Characteristics. Myles, Brenda Smith; Simpson, Richard L. // Focus on Autism & Other Developmental Disabilities;Fall2002, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p132 

    Although the prevalence of Asperger syndrome (AS) is increasing, many children and youth who exhibit characteristics associated with this disability are not diagnosed until their later years. Because early intervention appears to be critical for individuals with AS, it is important that...

  • A comparison of repetitive behaviors in Aspergers Disorder and high functioning autism. Cuccaro, Michael L.; Nations, Laura; Brinkley, Jason; Abramson, Ruth K.; Wright, Harry H.; Hall, Alicia; Gilbert, John; Pericak-Vance, Margaret A. // Child Psychiatry & Human Development;Apr2007, Vol. 37 Issue 4, p347 

    In this study we compared 33 IQ and age matched pairs of individuals with Aspergers Disorder (ASP) and high functioning autism (HFA) on measures of repetitive behavior. On the Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised (RBS-R), the ASP and HFA groups showed no differences in RBS-R Intensity score...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics