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The double empathy problem

Milton, Damian (2016) The double empathy problem. Your Autism Magazine, National Autistic Society, London, UK. (KAR id:62718)

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Embedded within diagnostic criteria for autism is the idea that autistic people have impaired social understanding. A number of psychological theories suggest autistic people have a deficit in empathising with others or in ‘theory of mind’ – the ability to imagine the thoughts and feelings of others, in order to comprehend and predict their behaviour (also called ‘mind-reading’ and ‘mentalising’). It is certainly true that autistic people, particularly when young, can struggle to process and understand the ‘quick-fire’ social interactions which many non-autistic people take for granted. Yet to what extent do such interactions require empathy? What do we mean when we talk of empathy? Where does the ability to predict the thoughts and actions of others reside?

Item Type: Other
Uncontrolled keywords: Autism, empathy, double empathy problem
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Damian Milton
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2017 15:57 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:47 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Milton, Damian:
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