Department

Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. David Estes

Description

It is a common misconception that those who have autism do not have feelings like everyone else. Individuals with autism have emotions, but are much less able to read another’s body language and facial expressions than non-autistic people. This is partly due to the diminished capacity to see other people as persons like themselves. The present investigation aims to explore the core hypotheses surrounding why those with autism perceive emotion differently than non-autistic people. The way individuals with autism react to incoming stimuli is often in an uncomfortable manner. One reason for this is because a person with an autistic brain is unable to assign meaning to sensations. Therefore, every social interaction a person with autism encounters is affected. Recent literature studying empathy and emotional face recognition will also be discussed. As a treatment, research has found individuals with autism recognize and learn emotions more effectively over a course of months using interactive multimedia. Examining the theories of perceptual impairments will lead to a better understanding to those with autistic behavior and to the disorder overall.

Comments

Oral Presentation, UW Honors Program

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Perception of Emotion in Autism

It is a common misconception that those who have autism do not have feelings like everyone else. Individuals with autism have emotions, but are much less able to read another’s body language and facial expressions than non-autistic people. This is partly due to the diminished capacity to see other people as persons like themselves. The present investigation aims to explore the core hypotheses surrounding why those with autism perceive emotion differently than non-autistic people. The way individuals with autism react to incoming stimuli is often in an uncomfortable manner. One reason for this is because a person with an autistic brain is unable to assign meaning to sensations. Therefore, every social interaction a person with autism encounters is affected. Recent literature studying empathy and emotional face recognition will also be discussed. As a treatment, research has found individuals with autism recognize and learn emotions more effectively over a course of months using interactive multimedia. Examining the theories of perceptual impairments will lead to a better understanding to those with autistic behavior and to the disorder overall.