ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (5): 849-863.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00849

• 研究前沿 • 上一篇    下一篇


霍超, 李祚山, 孟景()   

  1. 重庆师范大学应用心理学重点实验室, 重庆 401331
  • 收稿日期:2020-06-13 出版日期:2021-05-15 发布日期:2021-03-30
  • 通讯作者: 孟景
  • 基金资助:

Empathy interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorders: Giving full play to strengths or making up for weaknesses?

HUO Chao, LI Zuoshan, MENG Jing()   

  1. Key Laboratory of Applied Psychology, Chongqing Normal University, Chongqing 401331, China
  • Received:2020-06-13 Online:2021-05-15 Published:2021-03-30
  • Contact: MENG Jing


自闭症谱系障碍(autism spectrum disorders, ASD)个体的共情能力缺陷可能导致了他们的社会交往障碍, 因此有必要对ASD个体的共情能力进行干预。有研究者主张应该对ASD个体的共情缺陷进行直接干预, 由此衍生了共情“补短”法, 主要包括心理理论的干预、观点采择的干预、面部表情认知的干预等几种方法。另有一些研究者认为虽然ASD个体存在共情缺陷, 但他们同时也具备系统化能力优势, 应该通过ASD个体的优势能力来改善其共情能力, 由此衍生了共情“扬长”法, 主要包括乐高治疗、严肃游戏干预、基于系统化理论的孤岛能力辅助干预等几种方法。每种方法都存在优点和不足。最后就目前ASD个体共情干预领域存在的问题进行了反思与展望。

关键词: 自闭症谱系障碍, 共情, 干预


Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is a pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder. ASD individuals usually show persistent social communication barriers, social interaction barriers, and repetitive stereotyped behavior patterns in many situations. Furthermore, the empathy deficits in ASD individuals may be the main reason for their social interaction barriers. The mind-blindness hypothesis and the empathizing-systemizing theory explain their empathy deficits from two perspectives respectively, as well as put forward two different empathy intervention programs.
The mind-blindness hypothesis claimed that the empathy deficits in ASD individuals were mainly caused by the lack of theory of mind, indicating that they couldn’t understand others’ emotions and thoughts, which derived the empathy method of “making up for weaknesses” according to this characteristic. This category of intervention program advocated that the empathy deficits in ASD individuals should be directly intervened through corresponding empathic intervention programs to improve their empathic ability. The empathy method of “making up for weaknesses” mainly included the theory of mind (TOM) intervention, the perspective-taking intervention, the intervention of facial expression cognition, and so on. The empathy method of "making up for weaknesses" could improve the empathy ability of ASD individuals to some extent, but this category of intervention program required higher ability of ASD individuals. Additionally, it only could improve their skills related to the intervention contents instead of improving other aspects of their obstacles.
The empathizing-systemizing theory emphasized that although the lack of empathy ability of ASD individuals resulted in their social interaction deficits, their systematic capability was excellent, and even surpassed the general individuals, which derived the empathy method of “giving full play to strengths”. Based on the systematic strengths and interests of ASD individuals, the empathy method of "giving full play to strengths" proposed to increase their sense of self-efficacy and empathy by strengthening and encouraging them to do what they were good at, and thus improved their empathy ability. The method of “giving full play to strengths” mainly included the LEGO therapy, the serious games intervention, and the island-based intervention based on systemizing theory, and so on. The empathy method of “giving full play to strengths” emphasized that the advantages of systematic ability of ASD individuals should be used to make up for the weaknesses of their empathy deficits, so that ASD individuals could systematically accept empathy tasks and thus improve their empathy ability. However, the generalization and migration of such intervention programs have been questioned. In summary, the empathy method of "giving full play to strengths" provided a new idea for the intervention of empathy ability of ASD individuals.
The above two kinds of intervention programs had their own advantages and disadvantages. It is suggested that future interventions should not only take into full consideration to the diversity of each ASD individual, such as age, sex, severity of symptom and so on, but also pay more attention to the superior abilities of ASD individuals, carry out the multi-channel and multi-modality comprehensive interventions, as well as combine the island-based intervention based on systemizing theory with the “making up for weaknesses” and “giving full play to strengths” programs to formulate an individualized intervention plan for each ASD individual.

Key words: autism spectrum disorders, empathy, intervention