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The Ability to Understand the Experience of Other People: Development and Validation of the Emotion Recognition Scales


Murray J. Dyck, School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD 4222, Australia. Fax: +61 7 5552 8291; email:


The Emotion Recognition Scales (ERS) were developed to assess the ability to recognise facial and vocal expressions of common emotions, to understand the meaning of emotion terms, to understand relationships between emotions and the experiences that elicit them, and to use reasoning skills and knowledge of emotion–event relationships to resolve apparently incongruous emotional outcomes. The ERS were needed to supplement the set of objective assessment tools available to measure hypothesised deficits in social cognitive abilities in several populations. The ERS have been administered to a large representative sample of children and children with a range of disorders, including autism, intellectual disability, communication, motor skills, and attention disorders, deafness and blindness. The aim of this article is to describe the development of the ERS, summarise evidence on the reliability and validity of the ERS, and provide age norms for each of the ERS subtests.