Empathy and theory of mind in offenders with intellectual disabilities
Section 1: Literature Review Page 1: This literature review considers the existing research on empathy and theory of mind in offenders with intellectual disabilities, beginning with definition of the terms and discussion of the importance of considering empathy in terms of its components. Due to a lack of research specific to this area, the review summarises and brings together findings from the separate fields of empathy and theory of mind in offenders and empathy and theory of mind in people with intellectual disabilities. Existing findings are inconclusive, leaving uncertainty about whether offenders are more or less skilled than non-offenders in these areas and further research is therefore necessary. Section 2: Research Report Page 41: A quantitative comparison is carried out between a group of offenders with intellectual disabilities and a group of non-offenders with intellectual disabilities, on measures of empathy and theory of mind. Offenders performed significantly better than non-offenders on some sub-tasks, with all other comparisons showing no significant differences between groups. It is concluded that the present methodology and philosophy of considering empathy and theory of mind as composite concepts should be utilised in future research to clarify the issue. Section 3: Critical Appraisal Page 80: A critical appraisal of the research process, this section discusses both the personal and professional issues that affected the work and comments further on its methodological limitations and clinical implications.