Article

Understanding Empathy

Changmin Duan and Kristen Sager

in The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology, 3rd Edition

ISBN: 9780199396511
Published online September 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780190635206 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199396511.013.62
Understanding Empathy

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Empathy, one of the most studied and most multidisciplinary theoretical constructs, has garnered the attention of scholars from psychology as well as the social and biological sciences. The scholarship of empathy has developed significantly in the past century, with the most notable knowledge emerging in the areas of the neuroscience of empathy and the interplay between race/culture and empathy in recent decades. The positive psychology of empathy also continues to occupy researchers, as the links between empathy and individual and societal health abound. Future empathy research by socially and scholastically responsible scientists must overcome a long history of Euro-ethnocentric biases and integrate social justice into the understanding of this important construct. The scholarship and application of empathy will continue to be an important source of positivity for humans and for society as a whole.

Keywords: empathy; culture and empathy; empathic emotion and empathic concern; positive empathy; empathy and compassion

Article.  12897 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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