Everyone’s Friend? The Case of Williams Syndrome

Deborah M. Riby, Vicki Bruce and Ali Jawaid

in Pathological Altruism

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199738571
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918669 | DOI:
Everyone’s Friend? The Case of Williams Syndrome

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Williams syndrome is a genetic disorder that creates distinctive cognitive, behavioral, and social profiles. In this chapter, we explore components of the social profile associated with the disorder to describe the implications of atypical development. The range of atypical social behavior described here includes abnormal approach to unfamiliar people, as well as overly friendly behavior that can negatively impact levels of anxiety and social vulnerability. We postulate the possible neural mechanisms underlying these behaviors and indicate informative avenues for future research.

Keywords: altruism; autistic spectrum disorder; empathy; social attention; social cognition; Williams syndrome

Chapter.  5483 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Psychology

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