Empathic accuracy refers to the ability of perceivers to accurately share the emotions of protagonists. Using a novel task assessing embarrassment, the current study sought to compare levels of empathic embarrassment accuracy among individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) with those of matched controls. To assess empathic embarrassment accuracy, we compared the level of embarrassment experienced by protagonists to the embarrassment felt by participants while watching the protagonists. The results show that while the embarrassment ratings of participants and protagonists were highly matched among controls, individuals with ASD failed to exhibit this matching effect. Furthermore, individuals with ASD rated their embarrassment higher than controls when viewing themselves and protagonists on film, but not while performing the task itself. These findings suggest that individuals with ASD tend to have higher ratings of empathic embarrassment, perhaps due to difficulties in emotion regulation that may account for their impaired empathic accuracy and aberrant social behavior.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Empathic embarrassment
- Empathic embarrassment accuracy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuroscience (all)
- Clinical Neurology