Do Violent Offenders Simply Lack the Capacity for Empathy? New Research Suggests it’s Not that Simple

If the ability to empathize with another plays an important role in regulating and controlling one’s anger, empathy could ultimately be the key to avoiding violence in certain situations. Thus, it is easy to surmise that aggressive individuals or violent offenders must not be able to empathize in the way others are able.


In a recent study in the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, author Dr. Andrew Day investigated this very question by examining the presence of perspective-taking abilities in violent prisoners and comparing them to a student sample with regard to anger and aggression. 

By Lauren Vieaux


Image: Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing Crime, by Pierre-Paul Prud’hon