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These Things Called Empathy: Eight Related but Distinct Phenomena

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These Things Called Empathy: Eight Related but Distinct Phenomena

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Abstract

Students of empathy can seem a cantankerous lot. Although they typically agree that empathy is important, they often disagree about why it is important, about what effects it has, about where it comes from, and even about what it is. The term empathy is currently applied to more than a half-dozen phenomena. These phenomena are related to one another, but they are not elements, aspects, facets, or components of a single thing that is empathy, as one might say that an attitude has cognitive, affective, and behavioral components. Rather, each is a conceptually distinct, stand-alone psychological state. Further, each of these states has been called by names other than empathy. Opportunities for disagreement abound. In an attempt to sort out this disagreement, I wish first to identify two distinct questions that empathy is thought to answer. Then I wish to identify eight distinct phenomena that have been called empathy. Finally, I wish to relate these eight phenomena to the two questions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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... Keywords used for searching were empathy, empathy in design, empathy in design thinking and empathy review. We initially focused on reviews (e.g., Kouprie & Sleeswijk Visser 2009;Shamay-Tsoory 2011;Zaki & Ochsner 2012;Mattelmäki, Vaajakallio & Koskinen 2014;Clarke, DeNora & Vuoskoski 2015) and handbook chapters (e.g., Batson 2009;Shamay-Tsoory 2009;Neumann & Westbury 2011;Köppen & Meinel 2015) both in psychology and design. In addition, we followed a snowball procedure by revising the sources cited by authors. ...
... Even in psychology, there is no consensus about the definition of empathy (Batson 2009). It is more of a conceptual archipelago (Scriven 1969) grouping multiple specific processes and mechanisms. ...
... We chose Cuff et al.'s (2016) definition as our conceptual framework for two reasons. First, when their paper was published, it was the most updated effort to defining empathy and incorporated previous important reviews (e.g., Davis 1996Davis , 2006Batson 2009). Second, their definition has proven to be a useful conceptual framework to clarify empathy in other fields, such as organisational behaviour (Clark, Robertson & Young 2018). ...
Article
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Empathy is argued to be a key factor for a successful design discussion. However, such causality cannot be empirically proven based on how empathy is currently defined in design community. Empathy is used as an umbrella construct, broad and encompassing of diverse phenomena, making it difficult to quantify. We suggest improving such a situation by introducing a definition of empathy based on psychology literature, which provides structure and guidance for studying the role of empathy in design. We first break empathy to components. Then, we review empathy as used in design. Finally, we synthetize the reviewed material. From this synthesis, we conclude that empathy in design shares several key components of empathy in psychology; particularly with state influences, top-down control process and emotional stimuli. These are present in design methods although they have not been studied using such terms. Incorporating psychological components of empathy into design can help conceptualising empathy from a different angle, thus opening interesting new avenues for future research. We hope that our treatment provides present and future designers with some useful guidance.
... Souvent, ces termes sont utilisés de manière interchangeable, mais ils sont considérés comme des synonymes de l'empathie (Eisenberg & Eggum, 2009). Plus particulièrement, la sympathie est une réponse émotionnelle morale orientée vers les autres (Batson, 2009) induite par « l'appréhension de l'état ou et de la condition émotionnelle d'autres personnes » (Eisenberg & Eggum, 2009, p.71). La sympathie peut avoir pour origine un processus cognitif comme la prise de perspective (Eisenberg et al. 1991 ;Eisenberg & Eggum, 2009) et une réponse empathique . ...
... Au contraire, l'empathie peut conduire à une réaction affective orientée vers soi qu'on appelle, selon les différents auteurs, détresse personnelle ou empathique (Decety & Lamm, 2009 ;Eisenberg & Eggum, 2009 ;. Elle correspond à un état émotionnel aversif ressenti par l'observateur quand il est en face de l'état négatif de la personne observée : l'observateur en général ressent anxiété et inconfort (Batson, 2009). Eisemberg et al. (2006) décrivent les individus qui réagissent avec détresse personnelle à l'inconfort des autres comme des personnes incapables de réguler leur propre réponse émotionnelle. ...
... They are used often interchangeably with "empathy" but are slightly different and are considered as empathic vicarious responding (Eisenberg & Eggum, 2009). In particular sympathy is a moral emotional response oriented to the other person (Batson, 2009) and it comes from the 'the apprehension of another's emotional state or condition' (Eisenberg & Eggum, 2009, p.71). Sympathy may originated from a cognitive process like perspective-taking (Eisenberg et al. 1991;Eisenberg & Eggum, 2009) and from empathetic response . ...
Thesis
Empathy allows us to understand and react to other people feelings. Regarding empathy for pain, a witness looking at a painful situation may react to other-oriented and prosocial-altruistic behaviors or self-oriented withdrawal responses. The main aim of this thesis was to study approach/avoidance and freezing behavioral manifestations that co-occurring along with both others’ pain observation and during the anticipation of pain. In two perspective-taking tasks, we investigated the influence of the type of relationship between the witness and the target in pain. Results showed that higher pain ratings, lower reactions times (experiment 1) and greater withdrawal avoidance postural responses (experiment 2) were attributed when participants adopted their most loved person perspective. In experiment 3, we analyzed the freezing behavior in the observer’s corticospinal system while subject was observing painful stimuli in first-and third-person perspectives. Results showed the pain-specific freezing effect only pertained to the first-person perspective condition. An empathy for pain interpretation suggests empathy might represent the anticipation of painful stimulation in oneself. In experiment 4 results, we found that the freezing effect present during a painful electrical stimulation was also present in the anticipation of pain. In conclusion, our studies suggest that cognitive perspective-taking mechanisms mainly modulate the empathic response and the most loved person perspective seems to be prevalent. In addition, more basic pain-specific corticospinal modulations are mainly present in the first-person perspective and it seems to not be referred to the empathy components
... So, while remaining an object, the robot implements a human-like behavior. Specifically, the robot is perceived as an interlocutor and is increasingly personified 6 . ...
... In recent decades, a great deal of interest has developed regarding empathy [4,31]. Although a common and universally accepted definition of empathy is still pending [6,43] 8 , we argue that empathy is the capacity to "get in touch" with the other and, in particular, to decipher and coherently reach the emotional dimension of the other. According to Boella, this is different and not identifiable with emotional participation, sharing, or any other form of communication with others [10]. ...
... Specifically, there is no clear incompatibility between being an object and being a social agent.6 For example, to the point of being described as a person (e.g., talking about the robot as a him or her) ...
Article
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One of the most challenging goals in social robotics is implementing emotional skills. Making robots capable of expressing and deciphering emotions is considered crucial for allowing humans to socially interact with them. In addition to presenting technical challenges, the implementation of artificial emotions in artificial systems raises intriguing ethical issues. In this paper, moving from the case study of a human android, we present a relational perspective on human–robot interaction, claiming that, since robots are material objects not endowed with subjectivity, only an asymmetrical relationship can be established between robots and humans. Based on this claim, we deal with some of the most relevant issues in roboethics, such as transparency, trust, and authenticity. We conclude suggesting that a machine-centered approach to ethics should be abandoned in favor of a relational approach, which revalues the centrality of human being in the Human–Robot Interaction.
... The term empathy is used to describe a multitude of distinct but related phenomena (Batson, 2009;Battaly, 2011;Cuff et al., 2016;Hall & Schwartz, 2019). Batson (2009), for example, identifies eight different uses of the term empathy: (i) cognitive empathy, (ii) motor mimicry, (iii) coming to feel as another person feels, (iv) projecting oneself into another's situation, (v) imagining how another is thinking and feeling, (vi) imagining how one would think and feel in the other's place, (vii) feeling distress at witnessing another person's suffering, and (viii) feeling for another person who is suffering. ...
... The term empathy is used to describe a multitude of distinct but related phenomena (Batson, 2009;Battaly, 2011;Cuff et al., 2016;Hall & Schwartz, 2019). Batson (2009), for example, identifies eight different uses of the term empathy: (i) cognitive empathy, (ii) motor mimicry, (iii) coming to feel as another person feels, (iv) projecting oneself into another's situation, (v) imagining how another is thinking and feeling, (vi) imagining how one would think and feel in the other's place, (vii) feeling distress at witnessing another person's suffering, and (viii) feeling for another person who is suffering. Our focus, in this paper, is cognitive empathy -viz., the process by which "one attains a cognitive grasp, belief about, or knowledge of another's mental states" (Battaly, 2011, p. 287). ...
Article
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Why empathy is an intellectual virtue and NOT a skill.
... Also, prosocial behaviors, referred to as positive social behaviors, can be defined as performing a behavior that begins with developing the empathy mechanism from the early years of life and is beneficial to other people. Prosocial behaviors refer to emotional actions that aim to voluntarily benefit another person (Batson, 2009;Decety & Jackson, 2004;Eisenberg, 1982;Zahn-Waxler et al., 1992). ...
... Ayrıca olumlu sosyal davranışlar olarak adlandırılan prososyal davranışlar, yaşamın ilk yıllarından itibaren empati mekanizmasının gelişmesiyle başlayan ve diğer insanlara faydalı olan bir davranış olarak tanımlanabilir. Bir diğer deyiş ile prososyal davranışlar, başka bir kişiye gönüllü olarak fayda sağlamayı amaçlayan duygusal eylemleri ifade eder (Batson, 2009;Decety & Jackson, 2004;Eisenberg, 1982;Zahn-Waxler vd., 1992). ...
Article
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Prosocial behaviors are positive social behaviors that benefit others. Deprivation is an observable and provable measure of absence in one's social living standards depending on the society or country to which they belong. The present study examines levels of and correlations between prosocial skills and deprivation in Teachers of Students with Visual Impairment student (TVIs). Environmental Deprivation Scale for Teachers was developed by the researchers with 751 teacher participants. As one of the quantitative research methods, this descriptive study was conducted using correlation and screening to examine the relationship between two or more variables and obtain clues about cause and effect. 68 TVIs in Turkey and 73 TVIs in the USA participated in our web-based scale. The participants were also asked an open-ended question about the reason(s) for choosing their profession. The answers were analyzed, and themes and sub-themes were created. The study's main conclusion is that the American TVIs have higher levels of prosocial skills and lower levels of deprivation. In addition, there is a positive and significant relationship between prosocial skills and deprivation. The reasons teachers choose their profession fell under four themes and eight sub-themes for the American TVIs and six themes and nine sub-themes for the Turkish ones. Several factors, such as the differences in the education systems of the two countries and the levels of development, may impact prosocial skills and deprivation levels.
... Cognitive empathy may be perceptual (observing another person in a situation), inferential (believing that another person is in a certain situation) or imaginative (imagining oneself to be in another person's situation) (Maibom, 2014). Batson (2009) adds that perspective taking can be 'imagine-self perspective' or 'imagine-other perspective'. The former occurs when a person imagines how one would feel when one is in another person's shoes; the latter takes place when one imagines how the other person actually feels in the situation. ...
... Role-taking activities also foster interpersonal and social empathy in the students. Interpersonal empathy is instilled when the teacher encourages students to imagine the feeling and thinking states of the rural students in China and respond with sensitive care (Batson, 2009). Social empathy is also emphasised as the students consider the systemic disparities and social injustice faced by these children, and do their part to help them such as raising funds or donating personal learning devices. ...
Preprint
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... More recently, the term empathy was disseminated and operationalized in psychological studies, particularly by the cognitivism movement during the second half of the twentieth century. Currently, empathy is generally used as a concept to comprehend mental and behavioral processes involving the representation of others, the inference of others' inner and physical states, emotional contagion, and the self's projection onto others' situations [9,10]. The study of empathy was promptly adopted by several biological-behavioral approaches to understand social relations. ...
... However, each person and group in the social scene keep their particular frame, representing a variety or learned of cultural traits defining the diversity of social relations (9). The empathic perceiver may experience an emotional contagion of the homeless person's state since both persons share certain evolved physiological mechanisms and personal learned cultural traits configuring their respective experiences (10). This emotional contagion felt by the empathic perceiver could elicit personal distress and/or simulation of the other's expressions influencing both, interoceptive processes and the accuracy to infer the homeless person's expressions (11). ...
Chapter
This chapter revisits the intricate notion of ‘human beingHuman being’ elaborated by Duns Scotus to argue that empathyEmpathy is a broad conceptConcept overlapping emotionalEmotional, cognitiveCognitive, and socialSocial components, allowing people to recognize another’s mentalMental and physical statesPhysical states and to motivate prosocial behaviorsProsocial behavior. Also, an analytical review is offered and initiated with the German term einfühlung used in esthetics and phenomenology. It was then translated as empathyEmpathy, with meaningsMeaning used in the contemporary cognitive sciencesCognitive sciences and evolutionaryEvolutionaryperspectivesPerspective. The analytical review guided a criticalCritical revision of neuroimagingNeuroimaging studies to provide a neuroanatomicalNeuroanatomical mapping of empathyEmpathy useful for mental healthMental health issues and the analysisAnalysis of social behaviorsSocial behavior in responseResponse to others’ needs. The mapping involves overlapped neural functionsFunction related to emotionalEmotional and motor experiencesMotor experiences (insulaInsulaand anterior cingulate cortexAnterior cingulate cortex (ACC)), emotional contagionEmotional contagion and recognition (amygdalaAmygdala, inferior frontal gyrusInferior frontal gyrus, inferior parietal lobeInferior parietal lobe, and premotor cortexPremotor cortex), cognitiveCognitiveperspectivePerspective-taking and mentalizingMentalizing (medial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortexDorsolateral prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulateCingulatecortexCortex, superior temporal sulcusSuperior temporal sulcus (STS), temporalTemporal pole, temporoparietal junction, and precuneus), inferenceInference of emotional statesEmotional states (ventromedial prefrontal cortexPrefrontal cortex), and the distinction between the self and the other (dorsomedial and ventromedial regions of the prefrontal cortexPrefrontal cortex and inferior parietal lobeInferior parietal lobe). The neuroanatomicalNeuroanatomical mapping is interpreted under the social neuroscienceSocial neuroscience proposal, which examines neurobiologicalNeurobiological processes related to socialSocialinteractionsInteraction. The chapter concludes with a pictorial representationRepresentation to illustrate and explain empathicEmpathic processes expressed in the humanHumansocial worldSocial world. An interdisciplinaryInterdisciplinarymodelModels to comprehend empathyEmpathy through neurosciencesNeuroscience, experimentalExperimentalbiologyBiology, ethologyEthology, sociologySociology, anthropology, historyHistory, philosophyPhilosophies, and psychologyPsychology is finally depicted. ‘Empathic BeingEmpathic being’ [Made by Roberto E. Mercadillo, 2019; Photography by Cinthia Montiel]. The code of this chapter is 01100101 01110010 01101101 01001101 01111001 01101111.
... The coded segments that related to cognitive empathy as a cognitive competency for sustainability is provided in Figure 1. Cognitive empathy or perspective taking is considered as an individual-level cognitive process (Batson, 2009). Cognitive empathy or perspective taking captures an individual's ability to take the perspective of those in need (Batson and Shaw, 1991). ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to study individual sustainability competencies and its linkage toward building innovation capabilities. This study explores the interrelations between individual-level competencies with organizational-level capabilities. Design/methodology/approach Thematic content analysis is used to analyze the qualitative interview data from 22 experts working in the sustainability departments of large corporations in India. The respondents were chief sustainability officers, sustainability managers or general managers responsible for driving sustainability in their organizations. Findings This study identifies individual sustainability competencies into two sets. First being cognitive competencies and the second being emotional competencies. The cognitive competencies identified are systems thinking, future orientation and perspective-taking (cognitive empathy). The affective or emotional competencies identified are connectedness to nature, sense of transcendence of time and empathic concern. The competencies enhanced innovation through the development of stakeholder capabilities and organizational learning capabilities. Research limitations/implications This study provides new insight regarding the link between both cognitive and emotional competencies and organizational capabilities for innovation. Practical implications This study appraises the role of individual sustainability competencies on innovation. This study indicates the importance of developing sustainability competencies at the individual level to drive innovation. Originality/value This paper provides novel insights on sustainability competencies and its link with innovation. The conceptualization of competencies was made as cognitive and emotional skills. Furthermore, its relationship with innovation capabilities advance the understanding of the individual contribution to innovation.
... From a theoretical standpoint, emotional contagion (or parallel empathy) is expected to precede the cognitive appraisal of the other person's point of view (i.e., perspective-taking), which in turn causes empathic concern (Batson, 2009;Decety, 2005). Empirical research testing these theoretical assumptions is still scarce, and findings are mixed. ...
Article
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Empathic competences might help adolescents navigate current multicultural societies by supporting harmonious intergroup relations. Yet it is unclear how each component of empathy (empathic concern and perspective-taking) is associated with different dimensions (affective, cognitive, behavioral) of ethnic prejudice. The current study aims to fill this gap. A total of 259 Italian adolescents (Mage = 15.60, 87.6% female) completed online questionnaires at three time points (i.e., April, May, and October 2021). The results of cross-lagged models indicated that empathic concern was directly and indirectly associated with reduced affective, cognitive, and behavioral ethnic prejudice, while perspective-taking was linked to increases in cognitive and one facet of behavioral (i.e., lower contact willingness) prejudice. Furthermore, the prevalence of affect over cognition was found, with the affective component of both empathic competences (i.e., empathic concern) and ethnic prejudice exerting the strongest influence on the cognitive ones.
... What factors help someone respond sensitively and carefully to another person's suffering? According to many theories, the two questions are closely connected; other research has sought to answer only one or only the other question: Batson (2011). It is essential to determine what empathic skills can be applied in clinical practice. ...
Conference Paper
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Empathy plays an essential role in communication between doctor and patient, which can facilitate treatment. Therefore, it is crucial to develop communication and empathic skills of medical students through experiential role-playing at the Medical School. This study focuses on methods improving empathy of medical students in doctor (student) - patient (actor) simulated role-plays. The purpose of our research was to identify factors that promote the development and expression of empathy in medical encounters. We aim to investigate the language of clinical empathy: how medical students can use the language to build empathetic communication. The authentic case-based role-plays provide sociolinguistic tools for interactions and for expressing empathy as well as reassuring the patient’s emotions. Our study demonstrates how empathic communication skills form a more effective doctor-patient relationship, leading to greater patient satisfaction and better patient compliance. Keywords: empathy training, the language of empathetic communication, medical education, simulation, verbal and non-verbal clinical communication
... Empathy is a well-researched phenomenon within psychology and philosophy (Stueber 2006;Batson 2009). Surprisingly, the anthropological gaze on empathy has been marginal over the last decades 14 and has only recently been awoken by phenomenologists and psychological anthropologists (Jackson 1998 [A] first-person-like, experiential understanding of another person's perspective […] empathy is a type of emotional reasoning in which a person emotionally resonates with the experience of another while simultaneously attempting to imaginatively view a situation from that other person's perspective. ...
Book
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This book integrates social anthropological, political, and historical perspectives on the emotional impact of marginalization, stigmatization and violence in present-day Indonesia. The authors' combined focus on regional particularities and universal dimensions of experiencing and dealing with social, economic and psychological adversities targets scholars who share regional interest in the archipelago and researchers concerned with theoretical aspects of the interplay between power asymmetries, agency, emotion and culture.
... Today we know that empathy is not automatic, but sensitively deployed based on a priori ideas and expectations as well as situational motivations (Zaki, 2014). Here we focus on empathic concern, which refers to other-oriented feelings of care and compassion when perceiving an individual in distress (Batson, 2009). In intergroup contexts, the difference in empathic concern felt for the ingroup versus the outgroup, referred to as "intergroup empathy bias" or "parochial empathy, " 1 Black here is used collectively to refer to all persons of color. ...
Article
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Recent research suggests holding a structural, rather than interpersonal, understanding of racism is associated with greater impetus to address racial disparities. We believe greater acknowledgment of structural racism also functions to mitigate against empathic failures in response to structural injustices. Given South Africa’s situatedness as a country characterized by historical racialized oppression and continuing unjust legacies, it is appropriate to examine these ideas there. Across three studies, we tested the hypotheses that members of advantaged groups’ perspective taking and empathic concern may be compromised in response to people challenging the unequal status quo, and that a priori perceptions about the impact of structural (vs interpersonal) racism may mitigate or exacerbate such empathic failures. In Study 1, a national sample of White South Africans (n = 195) endorsed perceptions of interpersonal racism more readily than perceptions of structural racism, and expressed high levels of competitive victimhood for perceived anti-White structural racism. Studies 2 (n = 138) and 3 (n = 85) showed that White participants at a historically White university responded with impaired perspective taking and intergroup empathy bias in response to people challenging structural disparities. Finally, reduced recognition of continuing structural racism predicted greater intergroup empathy bias, which, in turn, was associated with reduced willingness to engage in intergroup discussions about past harm (Study 3). We propose that greater acknowledgment of structural racism is necessary not only to surmount intergroup empathic failures, but also to transcend the socioeconomically unequal legacies of apartheid and beyond.
... A recent meta-analysis revealed that empathy and therapeutic alliance are highly interconnected (Nienhuis et al., 2018), strengthening claims that psychotherapists' empathy towards their patients is an integral part of the therapeutic alliance (Feller & Cottone, 2003;Keenan & Rubin, 2016). Across research fields, there is no consensus on the definition of empathy (Batson, 2009;Dijke et al., 2020;Elliott et al., 2011;Gibbons, 2011). Within the context of psychotherapy, the definition of empathy is shaped by the core conditions of empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard, proposed by Rogers (1957). ...
Article
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Videoconferencing psychotherapy (VCT) is an effective treatment option. Yet, it is unclear whether a similar therapeutic alliance as in conventional face‐to‐face psychotherapy (F2F) can be achieved, since previous studies yielded mixed results. Furthermore, surveys about the attitudes towards VCT amongst patients have been missing until now. The current study gathered opinions from patients and psychotherapists about the perceived comparability of VCT and F2F regarding contextual factors and treatment characteristics, focusing on therapeutic alliance and empathy. An online survey amongst patients (N = 189) and practitioners (N = 57) taking part in cognitive behavioural therapy was conducted after the first lockdown in Germany due to the COVID‐19 pandemic and a resulting transition from F2F to VCT for most participants. While patients experienced therapeutic alliance and empathy as comparable, psychotherapists indicated advantages of F2F. Both groups indicated advantages of F2F for the therapy contents and expressed advantages of VCT for flexibility regarding location and time. More than half of the participants expressed a preference for a combination of analogue and digital therapy. The perceived disadvantages of VCT can be addressed, for example, with training programmes for psychotherapists targeting communication in VCT and adapting established psychotherapy methods to a digital format to further improve VCT.
... Generally, cognitive empathy involves understanding others' thoughts and feelings without necessarily reacting emotionally, whereas emotional empathy involves experiencing emotions in response to others' emotional experiences or expressions. However, empathy researchers disagree on whether this distinction is meaningful, exactly which concepts are classified under each umbrella term, and whether some concepts should even count as empathy at all (Batson, 2009;Hall & Schwartz, 2019). ...
Article
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As social media becomes more popular, so do debates about its socio-emotional implications. The current study examined the relationship between social media use and narcissism, alexithymia, and empathy among 1253 American adults. We find that, within this sample, social media use is negatively correlated with self-report and performance measures of empathy, particularly cognitive empathy, and positively correlated with narcissism and alexithymia. However, this result appears constrained to the demographics of this sample. We also report a mini meta-analysis on the relationship between empathy and social media use including our results alongside those of previous research. We find that this strength and direction of this relationship may depend upon nationality, age, and data collection date. In contrast to our result, studies conducted in Europe or with a sample under 18 years of age find a positive relationship between social media use and empathy. In addition, data collected in more recent years tends to report a more positive association between social media and empathy. This paper helps to clarify the relationship between social media use and socioemotional traits and contributes to public debates about social media.
... Battaly (2011), in an attempt to categorize the disagreement in this field, describes three main positions regarding the definition of empathy: a sharing of experience, a cognitive process of gaining knowledge through inference making, and an intermediate view that involves both experiential and inference making components (see Zahavi, 2017). Batson (2009), in contrast, taxonomises 8 main categories that appear in the literature. In different contexts, it has been used to refer to a type of knowledge about another person's internal state, a process of matching another's posture and neural activation, feeling what another feels, projecting oneself into another's circumstance, imagining another's experience or imagining how they themselves would feel in another circumstance. ...
Article
The conscious experiences we have during sleep have the potential to improve our empathetic response to those who experience delusions and psychosis by supplying a virtual reality simulation of mental illness. Empathy for those with mental illness is lacking and there has been little improvement in the last decades despite efforts made to increase awareness. Our lack of empathy, in this case, may be due to an inability to accurately mentally simulate what it’s like to have a particular cognitive disorder. Dreaming can help mitigate these deficits by placing the dreamer directly into a realistic virtual simulation and thus increase their capacity for empathy. Increasing empathy would go some way towards reducing the stigma and discrimination faced by people in this group. Recent work suggests that virtual reality can increase empathy towards a variety of marginalised groups, however, this technology is limited in its ability to simulate mental illnesses such as delusions. Dreams, however, are at times virtual reality delusion simulators. They can replicate, to a reasonable degree, delusions and psychosis, and through these experiences, we can learn ‘what it’s like’ to have these conditions. It is essential that we recognise these experiences for what they are, attempt to remember and reflect on them. Instead of disregarding dreams due to their unusualness and bizarreness, we can learn from these experiences and expand our understanding of the human condition and its many forms.
... The change in empathy in both groups may be directly associated with positive attitudes toward people diagnosed with schizophrenia. These results are corroborated by the literature, which indicates that an increase in empathic feelings related to a specific target result in changes in attitude toward that target (Batson et al., 1997;Batson, 2009;Herrera et al., 2018;Bujić et al., 2020;Formosa et al., 2020). ...
Article
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Virtual Reality (VR) has been identified as one of the most promising resources for developing empathy towards stigmatized groups as it allows individuals to experience a situation close to reality from another person's perspective. This quasi-experimental study aimed to examine the impact on empathy, knowledge, and attitudes towards people with schizophrenia of a VR simulation that reproduces the experience of psychotic symptoms while performing a cognitive task compared with watching a 2D video and, thus, how these experiences could reduce stigma towards people diagnosed with schizophrenia. The sample comprised of 102 higher education health students, distributed by the experimental and control groups. The impact of the program was measured by completing multiple questionnaires on levels of empathy, attitudes, and mental health knowledge. Both methods (VR and 2D video) were, to a certain extent, effective. However, VR was more effective at eliciting attitudes and knowledge change compared to the control group. These findings suggest that not only VR but also 2D videos could be interesting strategies to enhance empathy and improve attitudes towards people with schizophrenia in higher education health students.
... Some authors consider that cognitive empathy is distinguished from affective empathy [21]. Furthermore, it is argued that the cognitive component is the most prevalent, whereas the affective is the least [22,23]. ...
Article
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Background: Empathy is an important key driver of any therapeutic relationship. It is beneficial for both physicians and patients. Enhancing physician's empathy should be an important goal of medical education. As there was a literature gap regarding the topic of empathy among medical students in Greece, this study aimed to contribute to filling this gap. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted. A socio-demographic questionnaire and the 52-item Greek version of the Toronto composite empathy scale (TCES) for measuring the cognitive and emotional aspects of empathy in both personal and professional life was administered to all the medical students in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in Greece. Descriptive statistics were displayed for demographics. The associations of the variables were quantified by Chi-2 independence tests and Pearson's Correlation Coefficient. The reliability and validity of the questionnaire was determined by Cronbach's α, Hotelling's T-Squared Test, and Pearson correlation. Paired and Independent Sample T-Tests and One-way ANOVAs indicated statistically significant mean differences among the variables or subgroups of the variables. Results: The 52-item TCES, 26 for the personal (Per) setting and another 26 for professional (Pro) life, equally divided into cognitive (Cog) and emotional (Emo) empathy in each case. The overall reliability of the TCES questionnaire was found to be high (Cronbach's α = 0.895, significant positive correlations between the subscales). The mean total score of empathy showed that students had a moderately high empathy. Further, there was a statistically significant difference in means between the Per-Cog and Per-Emo settings (p < 0.001), the Pro-Cog and Pro-Emo (p < 0.001), the Per-Cog and Pro-Cog (p = 0.004), and the Per-Emo and Pro-Emo (p < 0.001). Females had significantly higher empathy scores (mean score 208.04) than males (192.5) on the Per-Cog, Per-Emo and Pro-Emo subscales. Furthermore, a positive correlation was found between empathy and factors such as love for animals, interest in medical ethics, belief in God, having an ill person in the family, class year or carrier intention. Conclusions: The TCES is applicable to medical students. For the most part our findings were consistent with previous literature. However, we identified some nuances that might draw researchers' attention. The results of this study may contribute to plan interventions in the curriculum to enhance empathy in the medical students.
... Empathy is a multifaceted construct that encompasses various interrelated but conceptually distinct phenomena (Batson, 2009). The definitions of these phenomena vary widely across studies (Preston & Hofelich, 2012). ...
Article
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Psychopathy is characterized by extensive emotional impairments. However, the current empirical literature on empathy and alexithymia in psychopathy provides heterogeneous results. Random-effects models were performed on studies examining the association between psychopathy and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index as well as the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20. In total, 72 articles providing 716 effect sizes and representing 15,016 participants were included in the analyses. Furthermore, differences among psychopathy factors and the role of potential moderators were assessed. We found negative relationships between psychopathy and empathy (r = −0.31), empathic concern (r = −0.29), perspective taking (r = −0.22), and personal distress (r = −0.14). In addition, our results yielded positive relationships between psychopathy and alexithymia (r = 0.21), difficulty describing feelings (r = 0.20), difficulty identifying feelings (r = 0.16), and externally-oriented thinking (r = 0.15). The results varied by psychopathy factors, and some were moderated by gender. These findings suggest that psychopathy is associated with deficits in various empathic processes as well as with an impaired perception of one's own emotions. Moreover, the results highlight the necessity to investigate these deficits not only across overall constructs, but also across their factors to further improve the understanding of aberrant emotionality in psychopathy.
... Still, research on individual differences in empathy has recently gained much attention as possible predictor of reactions to infant crying. Such approach is in line with studies outside the parenting domain that have defined empathy in multiple ways (Batson, 2009), and measured both affective and cognitive levels. Following Davis (2004;2006), in this paper we focus on emotional and cognitive dispositional empathy. ...
Article
Infant crying is a strong emotional stimulus that elicits caregiving responses in adults. Here we examine the role of empathy (measured with the Polish version of Interpersonal Reactivity Index) and salivary oxytocin in modulating sensitive responsiveness to a crying infant simulator in two groups of heterosexual couples: 111 expecting or 110 not expecting a baby. Sensitive responsiveness was observed during a standardized procedure using the Ainsworth Sensitivity Scale while participants took care of the infant simulator, both individually and as a couple. Other-oriented empathy predicted elevated levels of individual but not couple sensitive responsiveness. More OT reactivity to crying predicted less responsiveness in non-expecting couples, which might be explained by their stronger focus on task performance. This study uniquely combined hormonal, observational and self-report measures in couples, and showed that personality and hormonal correlates of sensitive responsiveness might be studied before the child's birth with the use of infant simulators.
... Moreover, researchers have identified potential in immersive VR for creating an environment for development of empathetic reactions. To comprehend others' emotional states and empathize, a person must experience a situation from another's perspective (Batson, 2009). This relies on perspective-taking, or "the cognitive and social skills individuals need to understand how other people think and feel" (OECD, 2019, p. 173). ...
Article
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Background Immersive VR is still rarely used as an intervention for meeting the affective end goals of student learning despite its positive impact on affection. Also, studies regarding the use of immersive VR as an intervention for affective achievement in broader educational contexts are still lacking. Objectives: This study aimed to examine the effect of immersive VR and perspective‐taking on presence and empathy. Methods A total of 148 pre‐service teachers participated in experiments, using either a head‐mounted display or a flat screen device to view two VR videos with different perspective‐taking affordances. This study used a mixed design with one between‐subject variable of immersion level and one within‐subject variable of perspective‐taking to explore how immersive VR experiences influenced participants’ perceived level of presence and empathy. Results and Conclusions The results showed that the level of immersion affects perceived presence, but it was the type of perspective‐taking that affects empathetic reactions. We also found an interaction effect between immersion levels and perspective‐taking. The direct embodiment in VR combined with high immersion produced stronger empathy than with low immersion, while the perspective of an observer was better in evoking empathy when experienced with low immersion. Implications This study gives a guidance on how to take advantage of this new technology in educational settings, and apply it to instructional activities to enhance students’ empathy. In addition, it could serve as a reference when developing or introducing educational contents with respect to the types of contents that are more effective in educational settings.
... Distress is a salient signal that can elicit empathy in the observer and recruit motivational responses intended on helping the distressed individual . Here, empathy is defined as the ability to perceive and share the emotions of others, coupled with a motivation to care for their well-being Batson, 2009). Yet, in humans and other species, the empathic response to distressed others is largely impacted by their social identity. ...
Article
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Prosocial behavior, in particular helping others in need, occurs preferentially in response to the perceived distress of one’s own group members, or ingroup. To investigate the development of ingroup bias, neural activity during a helping test was analyzed in adolescent and adult rats. While adults selectively released trapped ingroup members, adolescent rats helped both ingroup and outgroup members, suggesting that ingroup bias emerges in adulthood. Analysis of brain-wide neural activity, indexed by expression of the early-immediate gene c-Fos, revealed increased activity for ingroup members across a broad set of regions previously associated with empathy. Adolescents showed reduced hippocampal and insular activity, and increased orbitofrontal cortex activity compared to adults. Non-helper adolescents demonstrated increased amygdala connectivity. These findings demonstrate that biases for group-dependent prosocial behavior develop with age in rats and suggest that specific brain regions contribute to prosocial selectivity, pointing to possible targets for the functional modulation of ingroup bias. One Sentence Summary Prosocial selectivity increases with age in parallel with hippocampal and insular activation, providing insight into the neural classification of group membership.
... Compassion may seem innate, but it can be taught and trained upon [25]. The extent to which people feel compassion can be increased by explicitly instructing participants to feel with the target person [26]. The capacity to feel for or listen attentively to another person is not only a property of a person or a situation but can be influenced by training [19]. ...
Article
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Background: Offering compassionate presence has been associated with enhanced psychological and physiological well-being for both the giver and the recipient, especially in times of crisis, but there are limited studies examining the role of an intergenerational compassionate presence program on the well-being of older and younger adults. This phenomenological study aimed to explore the impact of compassionate presence sessions for older adults and college students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Data were gathered from older adult participants through semi-structured interviews (n = 18) and student participants through weekly debriefing and structured guided reflection (n = 7). Results: The study identified the intergenerational compassionate presence program as a possible tool for use in strengthening intergenerational bonds, promoting mutual learning, boosting the emotional well-being of older and younger adults, reducing ageist views, enhancing social virtues, and improving college students’ attitudes toward aging and older adults. Conclusion: Findings support the need to implement programs that provide a space for older adults to share their life stories and experiences without being judged. Such an opportunity can help them dig deeper into their inner resources to discover and find meaning in their life experiences.
... For example, some disagreement exists within the scientific community about what empathy really is. It has been found that empathy is being used to describe 8 separate phenomena that may be distinct from one another, which brings the definition of empathy into question 11 . For instance, some define empathy as an intellectual and emotional awareness and understanding of another's thoughts, feelings, and behavior 1 . ...
Conference Paper
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In a world with evolving healthcare systems, healthcare professionals are expected to experience and project empathy to a greater degree than they were in the past. The goal of this study was to determine the effectiveness of different techniques for measuring physiological and perceived empathy, as well as to compare data from pre-healthcare (PH) students vs. non-pre-healthcare (NPH) students to determine if there were disparities between the two groups. Physiological empathy was assessed using facial electromyography (EMG) to record data from the Zygomaticus major (ZM), Corrugator supercilii (CS), and Orbicularis oculi muscles (OO). The ZM muscle is generally associated with positive emotions, while the CS muscle is generally associated with negative emotions. The OO muscle has been shown to respond to some positive emotion as well as pain-related empathy, and may be another useful measure in empathy studies. Facial EMG has been shown to reflect neurological empathetic responses through fMRI studies. Data were also collected using galvanic skin response (GSR). Perceived empathy was assessed using the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy, which was administered both prior to and following a viewing of media that was designed to elicit an emotional response. Participants were also instructed to report perceived empathy using a pushbutton. Results showed that there were no significant differences between PHP and NPH students on any measures of physiological or perceived empathy. The OO muscle was shown to correlate strongly with both the ZM and CS muscles. The correlation was stronger between OO and ZM in the positive affective state (r = .701), and stronger between OO and CS in the negative affective state (r = .864). This finding suggests that the OO muscle responds to both positive and negative emotions, and is not likely to be a useful measure for inferring an individual's affective state.
... The concept of empathy has produced significant differences of opinion and a lack of consensus regarding its nature across different disciplines, including psychology, ethnology and neuroscience (Sánchez Laws, 2020). There are almost as many definitions of empathy as scientists who have been studying the phenomenon for decades, and there are at least eight different major visions of neuroscientific theories of empathy (Batson, 2009). In fact, there is disagreement in the literature about its exact nature. ...
Article
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This article looks through a critical media lens at mediated effects and ethical concerns of virtual reality (VR) applications that explore personal and social issues through embodiment and storytelling. In recent years, the press, immersive media practitioners and researchers have promoted the potential of virtual reality storytelling to foster empathy. This research offers an interdisciplinary narrative review, with an evidence-based approach to challenge the assumptions that VR films elicit empathy in the participant—what I refer to as the VR-empathy model. A review of literature from the fields of psychology, computer science, embodiment, medicine, and virtual reality was carried out to question and counter these claims through case studies of both fiction and non-fiction VR experiences. The results reveal that there is little empirical evidence of a correlation between VR exposure and an increase in empathy that motivates pro-social behavior, and a lack of research covering VR films exposure eliciting empathy. Furthermore, the results show an alarming lack of research into the long-term effects of VR films and other VR immersive experiences. This contribution aims to understand and demystify the current “empathy machine” rhetoric and calls for more rigorous, scientific research that can authenticate future claims and systemize ethical best practices.
... As Tais possíveis comportamentos do participante refletiriam a habilidade do S.A. despertar a empatia emocional automática e tomada de perspectiva de Batson (2009) e, de certa forma, provocar no participante um sofrimento empático atrelado ao risco de uma consequência negativa para o S.A. em função do comportamento não-desejado ou mesmo da perda de ganhos por parte do participante. ...
Research Proposal
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Conforme máquinas, independente de sua forma, passam a exibir elementos sociais, uma relação afetiva é criada entre estes seres artificiais (S.A.) e seus interlocutores humanos. Como resultado, indivíduos podem atribuir características humanas a tais seres, considerá-los como iguais e, por consequência, exibir um comportamento interpessoal e de interação similar ao que ocorreria com outro ser humano, resultando em empatia, vínculos de confiança e cumplicidade. Por meio de uma abordagem experimental, este projeto busca avaliar como a empatia, moderada pela antropomorfização, contribuiria em um maior nível de percepção de humanidade em seres artificiais e, por conseguinte, aumentaria o nível de confiança em sugestões de comportamento dadas por um S.A. (empático vs. não-empático; antropomorfizado vs. não-antropomorfizado) e na cumplicidade para com o S.A. em situações que possam resultar em ganho, perda ou indiferença para o participante humano.
... Empathy is defined as the ability to care for and comprehend the emotional condition of another person, as well as to show compassion in response to that person's feelings (Batson, 2009). Low levels of empathy have been shown to be related to higher antisocial behavior, intolerance, and prejudice (Boag & Carnelley, 2016;Pettigrew & Tropp, 2008). ...
Article
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Although hate speech is widely recognized as an online phenomenon, very few studies have investigated hate speech among adolescents in offline settings (e.g., schools). At the same time, not much is known about countering hate speech (counterspeech) among adolescents and which factors are associated with it. To this end, the present study used the socio-ecological framework to investigate the direct and indirect links among one contextual factor (i.e., classroom climate) and two intrapersonal factors (i.e., empathy for victims of hate speech, self-efficacy regarding intervention in hate speech) to understand counterspeech among adolescents. The sample is based on self-reports of 3,225 students in Grades 7–9 (51.7% self-identified as female) from 36 schools in Germany and Switzerland. Self-report questionnaires were administered to measure classroom climate, empathy, self-efficacy, and counterspeech. After controlling for adolescents’ grade, gender, immigrant background, and socioeconomic status, the 2-(1-1)-1 multilevel mediation analysis showed that classroom climate (L2), empathy for victims of hate speech (L1), and self-efficacy toward intervention in hate speech (L1) had a positive effect on countering hate speech (L1). Classroom climate (L2) was also positively linked to empathy for victims of hate speech (L1), and self-efficacy toward intervention in hate speech (L1). Furthermore, classroom climate (L2) was indirectly associated with countering hate speech (L1) via greater empathy (L1) and self-efficacy (L1). The findings highlight the need to focus on contextual and intrapersonal factors when trying to facilitate adolescents’ willingness to face hate speech with civic courage and proactively engage against it.
... Research on empathy and the likelihood of intervention in bullying situations (Boulton et al., 2013;Fischer et al., 2020) is often based on the empathy-altruism hypothesis, which states that empathy leads to an altruistic motivation to help others (Batson, 2009;Batson et al., 1981). These findings are consistent in that teachers with higher empathy levels tend to intervene more often in relational bullying situations than those with lower empathy levels (Boulton et al., 2013). ...
Article
Relational bullying is still underappreciated by teachers. Based on the theoretical model of teachers’ intervention competence in bullying, the aim of the current research was to gain insights into the concurrent relationships between teachers' empathy, understanding of violence, and likelihood of intervention. In this study, n = 556 teachers (79.4% female, Mage = 50.6) indicated on a questionnaire their empathy, understanding of relational violence, and likelihood of intervention in a relational bullying situation. The relationships were simultaneously estimated in a structural equation model. The results suggest significantly positive concurrent relations between these variables. We conclude that the effectiveness of teacher trainings could be increased through such elements as cognitive empathy training, raising awareness of violence, and teaching appropriate interventions in relational bullying situations.
... Despite numerous definitions (Batson, 2009;Cuff et al., 2016;Hall & Schwartz, 2019), empathy is typically conceptualized as a construct with cognitive and affective components (Cuff et al., 2016). While cognitive empathy consists of understanding and predicting the thoughts and feelings of others, affective empathy involves sharing and caring for others' feelings (Shamay-Tsoory, 2011). ...
Article
Previous research has shown a weak association between self-reported empathy and performance on behavioral assessments of social cognition. However, previous studies have often overlooked important distinctions within these multifaceted constructs (e.g., differences among the subcomponents of self-reported empathy, distinctions in tasks assessing lower- vs. high-level social cognition, and potential covariates that represent competing predictors). Using data from three separate studies (total N = 2,376), we tested whether the tendency to take the perspective of others (i.e., perspective-taking), and the tendency to catch the emotions of others (i.e., emotional contagion for positive and negative emotions), were associated with performance on tasks assessing lower- to higher-level social-cognitive ability (i.e., emotion recognition, theory of mind, and empathic accuracy) and affect sharing. Results showed little evidence of an association between any of the self-reported empathy measures and either social-cognitive ability or affect sharing. Using several large samples, our findings add additional evidence to previous work showing that self-report measures of empathy are not valid proxies of behaviorally assessed social cognition. Moreover, we find that the ease with which individuals recognize and understand their own emotions (i.e., alexithymia) is more related to social-cognitive abilities and affect sharing, than their tendency to take the perspective of others, or to vicariously experience the emotions of others. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
El presente estudio exploró las potencialidades de la escala Feel & Think (F&T) modificada por Garton & Gringart (2005) para medir la empatía en niños bolivianos entre 8 y 12 años. El instrumento adaptado incluyó dos factores y 12 ítems (6 para empatía afectiva y 6 para cognitiva). Los datos pasaron por valoraciones de fiabilidad, validez divergente, concurrente y constructo a través del Análisis de componentes Principales y del Análisis Factorial Confirmatorio. Los resultados mostraron una fiabilidad algo disminuida, aunque con relaciones significativas entre ítems; validez divergente adecuada comparando niños y niñas, validez concurrente significativa y validez de constructo que confirmó dos componentes (‘Sentir Preocupación’ y ‘Pensar en Ayudar’). Asimismo, el Análisis Factorial Confirmatorio arrojó valores aceptables en casi todos sus indicadores de ajuste del modelo. Finalmente, se discutió sobre la relevancia de sistemas convencionales y la conveniencia de innovar en la medición de la empatía infantil.
Book
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In the early twentieth century, Uchiyama Gudō, Seno’o Girō, Lin Qiuwu, and others advocated a Buddhism that was radical in two respects. Firstly, they adopted a more or less naturalist stance with respect to Buddhist doctrine and related matters, rejecting karma or other supernatural beliefs. And secondly, they held political and economic views that were radically anti-hegemonic, anti-capitalist, and revolutionary. Taking the idea of such a “radical Buddhism” seriously, A Buddha Land in This World: Philosophy, Utopia, and Radical Buddhism asks whether it is possible to develop a philosophy that is simultaneously naturalist, anti-capitalist, Buddhist, and consistent. Rather than a study of radical Buddhism, then, this book is an attempt to radicalize it. The foundations of this “radicalized radical Buddhism” are provided by a realist interpretation of Yogācāra, elucidated and elaborated with some help from thinkers in the broader Tiantai/Tendai tradition and American philosophers Donald Davidson and W.V.O. Quine. A key implication of this foundation is that only this world and only this life are real, from which it follows that if Buddhism aims to alleviate suffering, it has to do so in this world and in this life. Twentieth-century radical Buddhists (as well as some engaged Buddhists) came to a similar conclusion, often expressed in their aim to realize “a Buddha land in this world.” Building on this foundation, but also on Mahāyāna moral philosophy, this book argues for an ethics and social philosophy based on a definition of evil as that what is or should be expected to cause death or suffering. On that ground, capitalism should be rejected indeed, but utopianism must be treated with caution as well, which raises questions about what it means – from a radicalized radical Buddhist perspective – to aim for a Buddha land in this world.
Article
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Do we remember what pain feels like? Investigations into this question have sometimes led to ambiguous or apparently contradictory results. Building on research on pain memory by Rohini Terry and colleagues, I argue that this lack of agreement may be due in part to the difficulty researchers face when trying to convey to their study's participants the type of memory they are being tasked with recalling. To address this difficulty, I introduce the concept of "qualitative memory," which, arguably, is the sort of memory we have of what red looks like yet lack with respect to pain. I also briefly address a number of consequences the acknowledgement of qualitative memory would potentially have for philosophy, arguing that if we fail to have qualitative memories of certain sensations, such as pain, the standard philosophical accounts of experience, rational choice and the sources of moral action may all need revision.
Article
Empathy is an important element of genetic counseling. Most genetic counselors acknowledge the significance of empathically engaging clients. However, few empirical studies have focused on the empathy experience of genetic counselors, especially in non‐Western countries. This study aimed to investigate Japanese genetic counselors’ perspectives on the concept of empathy in clinical practice. The study conducted semi‐structured interviews with Japanese certified genetic counselors who had approximately 10 years of clinical experience. Fourteen participants were interviewed about their thoughts on empathy and their experiences wherein they had deeply understood clients or felt closer to them. The interview data were analyzed using grounded theory. As a result, 17 categories were extracted, of which 13 were integrated into three themes of empathy: the empathic cycle in the relationships between genetic counselors and clients (cycling), the process of forming a deeper understanding of a client's perspectives (feeling), and the process of developing skills to understand clients with empathy (developing). The remaining four categories were grouped into the theme of “challenges of empathy.” The categories included in the first three themes were similar to previous findings in Western countries, whereas some categories of challenges of empathy were unique to this study, which was conducted in a non‐Western country. This might be attributed to the influence of Japanese culture, in which people emphasize self‐regulation and an interdependent‐self model. To our knowledge, this study is the first to report on Japanese certified genetic counselors’ experiences of empathy. This study concludes with some suggestions for future research, including focusing on ways to overcome challenges of empathy in countries or healthcare systems.
Article
Like adults, children experience less empathy toward some groups compared with others. In this investigation, we propose that mothers differ in how much empathy they want their children to feel toward specific outgroups, depending on their political ideology. We suggest that how mothers want their children to feel (i.e., the motivation for their child’s empathy), in turn, is correlated with children’s actual experience of empathy toward the outgroup. Across four studies in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ( N Total = 734), the degree of empathy mothers wanted their children to experience in the intergroup context varied as a function of their political ideology. Mothers’ motivation for their child’s empathy toward the outgroup (but not in general) was further associated with how they chose to communicate messages to their children in a real-life context and how children actually felt toward the outgroup. We discuss implications for the socialization of intergroup empathy.
Chapter
In this chapter, four empathy pathways are proposed. Two are situated in a constituent approach (that prioritises discrete individuals who then enter into relationships with one another): insightful empathy and translational empathy. The second two are located in relational approaches (that acknowledge the foundational reality of relationships themselves): empathising assemblages and relational empathy. To contextualise this thesis, the chapter offers an overview of current understandings of empathy, focusing on cross-cultural perspectives. As the empathy pathways centre emotion (rather than considering empathy as inclusively involving all forms of perspective-taking), the chapter also investigates how emotions are understood. An argument is provided for the value of a robust examination of empathy in the music therapy field specifically. The chapter concludes with a summary of the four empathy pathways.KeywordsInsightful empathyTranslational empathyEmpathising assemblagesRelational empathyEmotionsMusic therapy
Article
A growing cadre of influential scholars has converged on a circumscribed definition of empathy as restricted only to feeling the same emotion that one perceives another is feeling. We argue that this restrictive isomorphic matching (RIM) definition is deeply problematic because (1) it deviates dramatically from traditional conceptualizations of empathy and unmoors the construct from generations of scientific research and clinical practice; (2) insistence on an isomorphic form undercuts much of the functional value of empathy from multiple perspectives of analysis; and (3) combining the opposing concepts of isomorphic matching and self-other awareness implicitly requires motivational content, causing the RIM definition to implicitly require the kind of non-matching emotional content that it explicitly seeks to exclude.
Article
Why do people hesitate to summon state authorities to address concerns? Previous research has focused on cultural orientations about law enforcement, such as legal cynicism. In addition, people are often in a position to turn others in, requiring attention to how potential reporters understand the meaning and consequences of implicating others. This article identifies empathy as an underexamined lens through which marginalized groups view state intervention. I argue that amid shared social roles with those potentially reported to authorities, individuals invoke empathy in disavowing reporting. I advance this argument using the case of child abuse and neglect reporting, analyzing in-depth interviews with 74 low-income mothers in Rhode Island. Respondents disavowed or expressed ambivalence about reporting other families to child protection authorities, often justifying their non-reporting by empathizing with mothers they might report. Drawing on their own experiences of scrutinized and precarious motherhood, respondents imagined how they would feel if reported and balked at calling on child protective services, understanding reporting as an act of judging and jeopardizing another’s motherhood. The findings challenge conceptions of non-reporting as necessarily indicating social disorganization. Rather, hesitation to mobilize authorities can constitute an expression of care, kinship, and solidarity.
Chapter
Sharing in the experiences of others often feels like a natural inclination, yet several groups have converged on the idea that empathy reflects motivated choices. Although sometimes criticized for being unreliable, many studies suggest that empathy depends on motivated emotion regulation: people appraise the costs and benefits of empathizing, and then regulate empathy based on their evaluations of its anticipated outcomes. In the current review, we begin by highlighting the importance of the motivated empathy question from a psychological and ethical perspective, and how early empathy avoidance experiments set the stage for the recent resurgence of interest in the topic. We discuss how experimental approaches to testing motivated empathy can provide alternative explanations of empathy failures such as compassion collapse and fatigue—turning a question of whether we can empathize with mass suffering into one of whether we will empathize. We furthermore highlight our free-choice approach to understanding empathic propensity that draws upon cognitive science and economics—the empathy selection task—and then outline four categories of extensions with this approach, including testing motivational interventions, extending to other social emotional processes (e.g., compassion, moral outrage), testing group differences in empathy, and understanding empathy choice strategies. Treating empathy as a choice opens new perspectives for evaluating the possibilities of understanding other minds.
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This study aimed to investigate the relationships among social-emotional assets and resilience, empathy and behavioral problems in DHH children. One hundred and ten DHH preschool children participated in this cross-sectional research. Participants were selected by a simple random sampling method from preschool centers for the Deaf in xxx, xxx in 2021. DHH children were evaluated with the Social-Emotional Assets and Resilience Scale (SEARS), Empathy Questionnaire (EmQue), and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Empathy, emotion contagion, prosocial actions, and prosocial behavior had a positive and significant relationship with the social-emotional assets and resilience. In contrast, peer relationship problems and behavioral problems had a negative and significant relationship with the social-emotional assets and resilience of DHH children. Empathy, prosocial actions, prosocial behavior, peer relationship problems, emotion contagion, and behavioral problems explained 67% of changes in social-emotional assets and resilience in these children. Our findings showed that empathy had the greatest role in explaining the variance of socio-emotional assets and resilience. The findings were discussed in the light of social-emotional assets and resilience in DHH children.
Article
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Background Parole officers are one of many actors in the legal system charged with interpreting and enforcing the law. Officers not only assure that parolees under their supervision comply with the terms of their release, but also monitor and control parolees’ criminal behavior. They conduct their jobs through their understanding of their official mandate and make considered and deliberate choices while executing that mandate. However, their experiences as legal actors may impact their implicit cognitions about parolees. This experiment is the first of its kind to examine implicit (i.e., automatic) associations between the self and parolees among actors of the legal system. Objective The present study examines the implicit cognitive consequences of the quality of the parole officer-parolee relationship from the perspective of the parole officer; specifically, whether parole officers who are reminded of positive experiences with parolees implicitly associate more with the group parolees than those reminded of a negative experience. In addition, we explore the moderating effects of parole officers’ subjective professional orientation and identification. Method Eighty-four New Jersey parole officers participated in the study. First, an experimental manipulation of either a past positive or negative experience was administered via a writing task. Participants then completed an Implicit Association Test (IAT) to measure associations between the self-concept of parole officers with parolees who are part of the group criminal, followed by measures of professional orientation and identification. Results Participants who were reminded of a positive experience with a parolee exhibited stronger associations between self and the group parolee when compared to those who were reminded of a negative experience. Neither professional orientation nor parole officer group identification were related to implicit associations and did not moderate the effect of the past experience reminder on implicit associations. Conclusion and Implications Implicit cognitions of parole officers may influence their behaviors and interactions with those whom they supervise. Positive reminders affect implicit self-associations with parolees presumably via empathy, which is known to affect the quality of therapeutic and supervision relationships; thus, theoretically, leading to improved outcomes for both officers and parolees.
Article
The empathy selection task is a novel behavioral paradigm designed to assess an individual’s willingness to engage in empathy. Work with this task has demonstrated that people prefer to avoid empathy when some other activity is available, though individual differences that might predict performance on this task have been largely unexamined. Here, we assess the suitability of the empathy selection task for use in individual difference and experimental research by examining its reliability within and across testing sessions. We compare the reliability of summary scores on the empathy selection task (i.e., proportion of empathy choices) as an individual difference metric to that of two commonly used experimental tasks, the Stroop error rate and go/no-go commission rate. Next, we assess systematic changes at the item/trial level using generalized multilevel modeling which considers participants’ individual performance variation. Across two samples (N = 89), we find that the empathy selection task is stable between testing sessions and has good/substantial test-retest reliability (ICCs = .65 and .67), suggesting that it is comparable or superior to other commonly used experimental tasks with respect to its ability to consistently rank individuals.
Article
O presente artigo tem como objetivo produzir um estudo sobre a empatia a partir da perspectiva fenomenológica. Para tanto, será feita uma distinção entre os vários sentidos e usos da palavra “empatia” na contemporaneidade. Logo após, serão analisadas as várias teorias e modelos explicativos da empatia a partir da investigação de “como” a consciência humana acessa o mundo externo. Dentre os modelos explicativos explorados, destacam-se o modelo Theory – Theory (TT), o Simulation Theory (ST), o Integrated Theory (IT), o Graded Empathy Hypothesis (GEH) e o Reintegrated Theory (RT). Feito isso, será explorada, mais detidamente, a proposta fenomenológica para a questão da empatia. Por fim, se buscará, à luz da perspectiva fenomenológica, avançar na reflexão sobre a empatia a partir de três ideias: a de ressonância, a de afetação e a de interimplicação, buscando desenvolver os primeiros passos para uma interintencionalidade imanente. Como limites e possibilidades, pode-se notar que é preciso explorar mais os processos de modalização da empatia no processo de constituição do ego, principalmente da vida pré-egótica.
Article
In two experimental studies, we investigate how being sick with a common cold in a selection context influences the appraisals that evaluators form and how, in turn, people appraisal dimensions influence evaluators’ hiring recommendations and leadership evaluations. Grounded in people appraisal theory (Cuddy et al., 2008; Fiske et al., 2007), we assess the universal evaluative dimensions of warmth and competence to explain detriments in hiring recommendations and leadership evaluations for applicants with a common cold. Further, we investigate whether a theoretically‐grounded individual difference variable, namely the degree to which evaluators take others’ perspective, influences the appraisals and subsequent judgments of sick applicants. Results across the two experimental studies, using students and professionals with selection experience, suggest that showing signs of being sick (i.e., presenteeism) had a negative impact on competence appraisals but not warmth appraisals. In addition, attending a job interview while sick had a significantly stronger negative effect on competence appraisals when the rater had a low as opposed to a high level of perspective‐taking. These effects in turn predicted hiring recommendations and leadership evaluations. We discuss the implications of our findings for theory and practice.
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Aim: This study aims to explore fourth-year nursing students' knowledge of schizophrenia and their attitudes, empathy, and intentional behaviours towards people with schizophrenia. Design: This will be a descriptive qualitative study using focus-group interviews. Methods: Fourth-year nursing students on clinical placement in a hospital in Hunan province will be invited for focus-group interviews. Snowball and purposive sampling will be used to recruit nursing students for this study. Five focus-group interviews, each including six participants, will be conducted to explore participants' knowledge, attitudes, intentional behaviours, and empathy towards schizophrenia. The interview will be conducted through the online Tencent video conference platform and the interview data will be collected through the same platform. All interviews will be recorded and transcribed verbatim and analysed with the approach of the content analysis supported by NVivo 12. Simultaneous data collection and analysis will be performed, and the interviews will be continued until data saturation is met. The findings of this study will be helpful in developing effective interventions to decrease the stigma toward schizophrenia among nursing students and those who study healthcare disciplines.
Article
With the challenges of a global pandemic, political and social unrest, and the consequences these issues bring, there is a universal call for empathy as we attempt to maneuver through this tumultuous time. For instructional designers, this includes employing empathy and empathic design as they grapple with how to design instructional interventions for learners. Empathy is the first stage in the design thinking process, now a popular buzz word in design research and practice. It suggests that empathy results in a design that meets the audience needs. But how do we know if this is true? As professors of instructional design and researchers of design practice, we teach empathy for action as a means for design students to act by producing a meaningful design deliverable. Over a 15-week semester, we taught and measured designer empathy and empathic design with 31 graduate students while they worked in design teams, participating in authentic design projects with two nonprofit organizations. Results indicate that 75% of the instances of empathy were students showing sensitivity to the end-learners’ experiences and situations, 52% were directed toward identifying with the end-learners’ thoughts and feelings. This did not necessarily translate to the designed deliverables as only three of the nine student teams created final meaningful design deliverables. We report on our instructional process, our research results and provide the framework for what we believe is needed to bridge the connection of empathy, empathic design, and meaningful design deliverables.
Article
Makalede sosyal bilimlerde kullanılan mülakat yerine empatik dinleme tekniği önerilmektedir. Mülakat soru-cevap şeklinde ilerlerken, empati dinleme tekniği konuşmacıyla güven ilişkisi oluşturmayı hedeflemektedir. Güven ile birlikte derin bilgiler elde edilebilecektir. İçsel düşünce, duygusal tepkiler ve rehber prensipler derindeki bilgileri oluşturur. Güven unsuru ancak dinleyicinin karşı tarafa ön yargısız dinlemeye hazır olduğunu ve dinlerken de ilgisinin üstünde olduğunun mesajı vererek gerçekleşir. Dinleme esnasında derinlere inilmesine destek sağlayacak 5 yöntem gösterilmiştir: mikro-yansıtma, kökü bulma, yer/zaman sabitleme, pasiflikten aktifliğe geçiş ve sessizlik. Görüşmenin kesintisizliğini sağlamak için görüşme esnasında tüm dikkat dağıtıcılar önlenir.
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Empathy is critical to individual and social wellbeing in humans. More than a century ago, Charles Darwin hypothesized that the empathy-like phenotype is a phylogenetically widespread phenomenon. This idea remains contentious, partly due to few investigations among non-mammalian vertebrates. We provide evidence for Darwin's hypothesis by discovering key empathetic features, emotional contagion and ingroup bias, in pair bonding Ranitomeya imitator (Mimetic) poison frogs. We found that the corticosterone level of males appears to positively correlate with female partners across various conditions, including cohabitation and during experimental manipulation. This response is selective towards female partners relative to familiarized female non-partners and is irrespective of partnership longevity or lifetime reproductive output. However, hormonal state matching is not reflected behaviorally, indicating that behavioral state matching can be an unreliable proxy for emotional contagion. These results constitute the first evidence for emotional contagion in an amphibian. Together with findings in other taxa, they suggest empathy is evolutionarily widespread among social vertebrates.
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Historically, empathy has been thought to motivate prosocial behaviour and inhibit aggressive behaviour. Contrary to current assumptions and theoretical support, a recent meta-analysis revealed a small effect of empathy on aggression among adults (Vachon, Lynam, & Johnson, 2013). The current study sought to determine whether broadening the focus from empathy to include other socially relevant affective characteristics (such as in CU traits) was advantageous in predicting aggressive behaviour. As little is known about the strength of this association among youth, the current study meta-analytically examined 192 unique effect sizes drawn from published and unpublished studies reporting on samples of children and adolescents. Analyses were conducted across general, cognitive, and emotional empathy, as well as callous-unemotional traits, and general, direct, indirect, proactive, and reactive aggression. Significant variability was noted across effect sizes. Consistent with a recent meta-analysis involving adults (Vachon et al., 2013), small to moderate associations were identified between aggression and traditional measures of empathy (i.e., general, emotional, cognitive); these effects ranged from r = −0.06 to −0.26. Among broader measures of emotional style (i.e., callous-unemotional traits), moderate to large effects were found; ranging from r = 0.30 to 0.37. Results suggested that broader affective measures may be more strongly associated with aggression than empathy alone. The results raise questions about the nature of empathy assessment and indicate the utility of targeting multiple emotion-related factors during treatment to effectively reduce aggressive behaviour. In particular, the results underscore of the importance of considering the limited prosocial emotions specifier (perhaps trans-diagnostically given the varied nature of the sample) when considering implications for prognosis and treatment targets.
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