Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders vol:7 issue:10 pages:1221-1227
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is commonly associated with reduced ability to recognize emotions in others. It is less clear however, whether ASD is also associated with impaired
knowledge of one’s own emotions. In the current study we present a ﬁrst examination of how much knowledge individuals with ASD have about their emotions by investigating their ability to differentiate between emotions. Across two lab tasks that measured to what extent and how people differentiate between their own feeling states and semantic emotion terms, results showed that ASD individuals differentiated less than typically developing individuals. Yet, both groups of participants similarly categorized emotions according to previously established theoretical
categories. These ﬁndings indicate that while both give similar meaning to emotions, individuals with ASD make less subtle distinctions between emotions. With low levels of emotion differentiation being linked to reduced well-being, these ﬁndings may help to better understand the high prevalence of internalizing problems associated with ASD.