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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Life Sciences - Department of Psychology

Simone Kirst

Simone Kirst
simone.kirst (at) hu-berlin.de



2013 to present

Doctoral Candidate (PhD Scholarship, Stiftung Irene)



Master of Arts General and Theoretical Linguistics, Psychology and Cognitive Science

University of Potsdam


2008 to present 

Coach for children on the autism spectrum and their parents


Research Interests

  • Cognitive and emotional empathy
  • Impairements of social cognition and of the identification of own emotions in persons with autism spectrum conditions
  • Computer-based intervention for socio-emotional competencies and empathy


Due to my working experiences as a coach for children with autism spectrum conditions, I`m very interested in intervention research with a focus on socio-emotional competencies and empathy. As shown in recent research, children on the spectrum often show great interest in and talent for the handling of technical systems such as computers. Thus, in my PhD-project I develop and evaluate a mobile application to foster cognitive and emotional empathy as well as the basic identification of own emotions in children with autism. Using such a holistic approach, as well as several methods of generalisation, I aim to modify real-life social behavior. Further, since I know about the importance of enhancing and maintaining motivation during training, I`m interested in developing game-like training-approaches including differentiated reward- and prompt-systems.