Carolien Rieffe, PhD
Despite stereotypical ideas on autism, normally intelligent or ‘high functioning’ children with autism spectrum disorders (HFASD) often display an adequate understanding of basic emotions of others and of themselves. In the present line of research we examine their more advanced emotional abilities, e.g. using emotional display rules and understanding mixed or implicit emotions, and factors involved in the actual use of these abilities in daily life situations. Recent results include, for example, the finding that children with HFASD show an adequate ability to reason about emotions, but strongly rely on theoretical knowledge. Special attention is also given to children’s understanding of and coping with their own emotions, which has received little attention in the research literature to date.
See our list of publications on autism.
In order to interact with others properly, you need to be able to control your emotions. This involves the ability to acknowledge your own emotions and to know how to communicate these most effectively. For autistic children this seems to be problematic but the origins of this lack of emotion control are unclear. Are these children more easily aroused than their peers? Do they lack insight into the communicative function of emotions? By using mood induction techniques and by varying the salience of a goal (i.e., reaching a personal or a social goal) we aim to study the origins of emotion control.
Researchers involved: Carolien Rieffe, Lizet Ketelaar, Boya Li
Funded by NWO and Leiden-Delft-Erasmus (LDE) affiliated fellowships, this large-scale project aims to create an inclusive school setting for children and adolescents, including those with hearing loss or autism, during their unstructured leisure time at school, thus increasing the quality and quantity of their social interactions with peers. Click here for more information about this project.
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