Excellent study shows Aspies have more empathy

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envirozentinel
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10 Apr 2015, 10:54 pm

See below an excellent article showing that most Aspies in fact have more empathy than the rest, and are at times overwhelmed by feelings of empathy for those around them, including animals.

I also know from personal experience that we tend to assume others automatically feel the same way about something than I do.





https://seventhvoice.wordpress.com/2013 ... -too-much/


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11 Apr 2015, 2:17 am

Yes, I always thought that I couldn't have ASD because I have so much empathy. I have very much empathy for animals and for people close to me. Two examples I can remember:

As a very young kid I was at a circus watching the entertainment. In one act, a man made a lion jumo through a burning loop. I didn't like this at all for the lion, so I stood up and shouted "bad mister!" to the man who forced the lion.

Another example was when I was a young teenager. I was on holiday with my parents and uncle and ant. Some day my uncle got the message that his father had died. Of course, my uncle was shocked, nad though I didn't know his father at all I was very sad.



Joe90
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11 Apr 2015, 4:50 am

Duh.


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11 Apr 2015, 10:40 am

Nothing new.

I always say my empathy is messed up. When I know someone experiencing an emotion or being hurt I can't help but feel what he feels.

In my schoollife I was bullied a lot but I avoided fighting back and I was extremely sorry when I lost control and hurt someone because I didn't want to see anybody being hurt. Not even the bullies. When I seen someone hurt I was feeling as if I was being hurt as well. It could be a friend or someone I hated - it didn't matter, it was painful for me in both cases.



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11 Apr 2015, 11:18 am

NTs display false-empathy a lot, and they don't feel like creeps for "faking it" like autistics do either. Which in turn could mean that the typical NT actually feels less empathy, although they fake-it more which gives the illusion of the opposite.



Last edited by Venger on 11 Apr 2015, 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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11 Apr 2015, 11:21 am

When boys in high school picked me over my best friend saying I was prettier, I'd immediately become jealous and insulted on my friend's behalf. She never said it bothered her, but I imagined it would and expressed outraged feelings on her behalf.



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11 Apr 2015, 12:58 pm

When I see someone get hurt, I often feel a jolt of sensation in my body, like a clinching of muscles in my stomach. So seeing an incident where someone gets injured causes unpleasant feelings, though I seem to have somehow gotten used to seeing it in cartoons where it is frequently the source of the humor; but even though I don't get somatic sensations of pain, I still don't remember regarding injury as funny when I watched cartoons as a child.

And my response of seeing Sylvester the Cat pulled by a string tied to his tail through an air duct or keyhole was not laughing, but more along the lines of questions of "I wonder how long it took him to heal from that pain?"

Or once I was de-conditioned, the questions that flurried in my mind were more like: "I wonder who thinks this is funny?" I guess the NT researchers have only seen the naive part of that sentiment, and have been oblivious to the undercurrent of empathic content?


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11 Apr 2015, 2:27 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Duh.


^ That.



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11 Apr 2015, 2:31 pm

This makes so much sense, I can't believe I'd never thought of this before. All our senses are just too strong. I hate when my parents argue, it's too much on me. People talking is too much for me because of all which is happening in these conversations in terms of emotions. There is no way I can suddenly process it all at once. This is a huge self-realisation for me, sorry if this reply seems cluttered. 8O



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11 Apr 2015, 2:38 pm

No study was cited in the blog post; seems like a couple people just came up with a hypothesis which is being inaccurately referred to as a theory. The link to the original article does not work for me.



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11 Apr 2015, 2:53 pm

starkid wrote:
No study was cited in the blog post; seems like a couple people just came up with a hypothesis which is being inaccurately referred to as a theory. The link to the original article does not work for me.


True, but the claim that aspies do not have empathy or have lowered empaty is a false statement made by dimwits who think they know the diagnostic criteria. The inverse is what that needs proof since lowered or noneexistant empathy is only a diagnostic criteria for antisocial personality disorder - and not autism.

This has been discussed lots of times on this forum.



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11 Apr 2015, 3:01 pm

Ichinin wrote:
starkid wrote:
No study was cited in the blog post; seems like a couple people just came up with a hypothesis which is being inaccurately referred to as a theory. The link to the original article does not work for me.


True, but the claim that aspies do not have empathy or have lowered empaty is a false statement made by dimwits who think they know the diagnostic criteria.


Ok. That has nothing to do with the post of mine that you've quoted.



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11 Apr 2015, 3:10 pm

Ichinin wrote:
starkid wrote:
No study was cited in the blog post; seems like a couple people just came up with a hypothesis which is being inaccurately referred to as a theory. The link to the original article does not work for me.


True, but the claim that aspies do not have empathy or have lowered empaty is a false statement made by dimwits who think they know the diagnostic criteria. The inverse is what that needs proof since lowered or noneexistant empathy is only a diagnostic criteria for antisocial personality disorder - and not autism.

This has been discussed lots of times on this forum.


The idea is that autistic people have a lack of "displayed empathy." And I think this can be explained by the two tyopes of empathy there are; to quote wiki:

Quote:
Empathy can be divided into two major components:[30]

Affective empathy, also called emotional empathy:[31] the capacity to respond with an appropriate emotion to another's mental states.[30] Our ability to empathize emotionally is supposed to be based on emotional contagion:[31] being affected by another's emotional or arousal state.[32]
Cognitive empathy: the capacity to understand another's perspective or mental state.[30][33] The terms cognitive empathy and theory of mind are often used synonymously, but due to a lack of studies comparing theory of mind with types of empathy, it is unclear whether these are equivalent.[34]


In other words, autistic individuals would have a higher then normal level of affective/emotional empathy, but have a significantly lower level of cognitive empathy. Thus, autistic individuals do feel a lot of emphatic feelings, but don't know how to properly express them.

I am reminded of a short article I read, particularly this part:

Quote:
In fact I often wonder if the withdrawal adults on the spectrum resort to is emotionally necessary. If they feel others' pain acutely, and on top of that often lack the social skills to offer "appropriate" comfort, what are they to do? Withdrawal and distancing become more than relating styles: they become necessary tools for self-preservation.

Picture the plight of the teenager on the spectrum who comes home after school to find parents who are quietly angry at each other. Because he is sensitive, he knows something is wrong. His body is on alert, and he wants to help. Because he is empathic, he would like to offer comfort. However, because he is bright and learns from patterns, he knows that historically he has said the "wrong" thing in these situations, which has made things worse. He determines, quite logically, that the best thing he can do is go to his room and put on an audiobook. Both parents notice this, and note how little he appears to care about anyone but himself.


(source: http://www.aspiestrategy.com/2012/06/hi ... dults.html)



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11 Apr 2015, 3:17 pm

Ichinin wrote:
the claim that aspies do not have empathy or have lowered empaty is a false statement made by dimwits who think they know the diagnostic criteria. The inverse is what that needs proof since lowered or noneexistant empathy is only a diagnostic criteria for antisocial personality disorder - and not autism.

This has been discussed lots of times on this forum.


^^Yup^^


Quote:
"It is important to recognize that the person with Asperger's Syndrome has immature, or impaired ToM abilities or empathy, not an absence of empathy. To imply an absence of empathy would be a terrible insult to to people with Asperger's Syndrome, with the implication that the person does not recognize or care about the feelings of others. The person does care, very deeply, but may not be able to recognize the more subtle signals of emotional states or 'read' complex emotional states." - Tony Attwood, The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome


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11 Apr 2015, 3:26 pm

VincentHuxley wrote:
The idea is that autistic people have a lack of "displayed empathy."

What idea? Whose idea?

Quote:
In other words, autistic individuals would have a higher then normal level of affective/emotional empathy, but have a significantly lower level of cognitive empathy. Thus, autistic individuals do feel a lot of emphatic feelings, but don't know how to properly express them.

I don't see how having high affective empathy and low cognitive empathy have anything to do with the ability to express empathy. According to your definitions, affective empathy is the emotional susceptibility to others emotions, and cognitive empathy is the ability to recognizing another's state of mind. How do these things imply a lack of knowledge of how to express empathetic feelings?



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11 Apr 2015, 3:41 pm

starkid wrote:
According to your definitions, affective empathy is the emotional susceptibility to others emotions, and cognitive empathy is the ability to recognizing another's state of mind. How do these things imply a lack of knowledge of how to express empathetic feelings?


If you have an impairment in recognizing and/or identifying another person's emotional state, then it logically follows that you will not likely know how to appropriately address it.

That does not mean you will be unaware when a heightened emotional state exists, only that it is likely to cause you awkwardness and anxiety of your own when you don't automatically know how to be helpful.

That is an empathy impairment. Because empathy is a social skill, not ""emotional resonance," which is sympathy.

How could someone who cannot intuitively recognize nonverbal social cues be expected to automatically read and respond appropriately to any other sorts of nonverbal cues?


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