16 Facts About Empathy


Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another's position.

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Empathy definitions encompass a broad range of phenomena, including caring for other people and having a desire to help them; experiencing emotions that match another person's emotions; discerning what another person is thinking or feeling; and making less distinct the differences between the self and the other.

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Empathy is not all-or-nothing; rather, a person can be more or less empathic toward another.

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Empathy-based socialization differs from inhibition of egoistic impulses through shaping, modeling, and internalized guilt.

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Empathy-induced altruism can improve attitudes toward stigmatized groups, and to improve racial attitudes, and actions toward people with AIDS, the homeless, and convicts.

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Empathy is a spontaneous sharing of affect, provoked by witnessing and sympathizing with another's emotional state.

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Empathy's conclusions have not been validated through clinical studies, nor have studies identified EDD as a separate disorder rather than a symptom associated with previously established diagnoses that do appear in the DSM-5.

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Empathy is considered a motivating factor for unselfish, prosocial behavior, whereas a lack of empathy is related to antisocial behavior.

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Empathy is a skill that gradually develops throughout life, and which improves the more contact we have with.

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Empathy is more likely to occur between individuals whose interaction is more frequent.

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Empathy proposes "rational compassion" as an alternative; one example is using effective altruism to decide on charitable donations rationally, rather than by relying on emotional responses to images in the media.

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Empathy's claim is that moral motivation does, and should, stem from a basis of empathic response.

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Empathy explains that the limits and obligations of empathy and in turn morality are natural.

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Empathy asserts that actions are wrong if and only if they reflect or exhibit a deficiency of fully developed empathic concern for others on the part of the agent.

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Empathy is considered to be the condition of intersubjectivity and, as such, the source of the constitution of objectivity.

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Empathy's principle applies to the method of gathering unconscious material.

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