Complex Emotion Recognition and Theory of Mind: Pride Comprehension by Individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorders
Connors, Caitlin M.
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The present study offers important new information about the ability of autistic individuals to understand and explain complex emotions. The inclusion of the simple emotion scenario type helped clarify Hillier and Allinson's (2002) previous findings on emotion comprehension in autism; beyond simply recognizing differences between complex emotion-type and emotion-neutral scenarios, autistic participants were shown to be able to differentiate between simple and complex positive emotions and alter emotion ratings accordingly. Yet, the present study also confirms previous findings that emotion understanding is relatively impaired in autistic individuals as compared to normally developing children, particularly understanding of complex emotions.