Arrested Empathy: Instinctual, Emotional Cognitive, and Cold Empathy – Sam Vaknin

I propose a tripartite model of empathy, roughly corresponding to Freud’s postulated id, ego, and superego. In this model, normal empathy is comprised of three components: instinctual, emotional, and cognitive.

Children develop empathy in three phases which correspond to these three components, constructing the emotional and cognitive tiers upon an instinctual firmament. In adults, cognitive empathy always goes hand in hand with the instinctual element and the emotional correlate/component.