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ERIC Number: EJ1007979
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0891-4222
Demands in Reflecting about Another's Motives and Intentions Modulate Vicarious Embarrassment in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Paulus, Frieder M.; Kamp-Becker, Inge; Krach, Soren
Research in Developmental Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, v34 n4 p1312-1321 Apr 2013
The affective responses to another person's condition depend on the ability to reflect about another's thoughts and intentions. This is relevant also for high-functioning individuals with ASD who have considerable difficulties in reading the intentions of others. With the present study we introduce a novel paradigm to induce vicarious embarrassment as a form of social pain. We predicted that the vicarious embarrassment experiences of high-functioning individuals with ASD should specifically decline in social contexts that require reflecting on another's intentions. Thirty-two young adults with high-functioning ASD were matched with regards to age, gender, and verbal IQ to a control group. Vicarious embarrassment was examined with previously validated stimuli describing 30 situations that elicit vicarious embarrassment in the observer. The situations manipulated whether the displayed protagonist either "accidentally" or "intentionally" transgressed a social norm in public and participants rated their vicarious embarrassment from the observer's perspective. The ASD group showed comparable vicarious embarrassment experience in response to observing another's "accidental" norm transgressions but significantly reduced vicarious embarrassment when observing another who "intentionally" violated socials norms. Vicarious embarrassment was significantly correlated with trait empathy in the ASD group. In complex social scenarios individuals with ASD are impaired in reporting experience of vicarious embarrassment, primarily when it is required to reflect on another's intentions. The present study thus contributes to a better understanding of how persons with ASD are affected in the diversity of empathic processes in the social, everyday life environment they are embedded in. (Contains 3 figures and 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A