Recognition of 'Fortune of others' emotions in asperger syndrome and high functioning autism

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'Fortune of others' emotions, such as envy and gloating over the other's misfortune, are complex emotions experienced in situations where events are presumed to be desirable or undesirable for another person. The present paper explores the notion that individuals with AS and HFA are impaired in understanding of envy and gloating. We tested the ability of adults with AS/HFA to understand envy and gloating and compared their performance to that of age-matched healthy controls. The 'fortune of others' emotion task and an additional theory-of-mind (ToM) task were based on a task designed to assess ToM on the basis of eye gaze direction. Individuals with AS and HFA showed no difficulty on basic ToM conditions, but were impaired in their ability to identify envy and gloating. Furthermore, the ability to recognize these emotions was related to scores on a self-rating scale of perspective-taking ability and the ToM task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1451-1461
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Asperger syndrome
  • Envy
  • Fortune of others emotions
  • Schadenfreude

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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