Empathy consists of both emotional and cognitive components. Most studies thus far examined these constructs separately resulting in inconclusive findings regarding the association between empathy and different clinical conditions. To try and better understand this association, we recently started looking at empathy differently, examining the imbalance between emotional and cognitive empathy, a construct we termed empathic disequilibrium. We showed that empathic disequilibrium relates to autistic traits in typical adults. We also showed that it relates to a clinical autism diagnosis. We are continuing to study this concept, including the possible association between empathic disequilibrium and other clinical conditions, its genetic basis, and whether interventions targeting empathic disequilibrium can increase individuals' wellbeing.
Main team members (click for more information)