Empathy? It seems we can’t even spare it for ourselves

No won­der there nev­er seems to be enough em­pa­thy to go around. New re­search sug­gests most of us can’t even fully em­pa­thize with our­selves—our fu­ture selves, to be pre­cise.

 

Sci­en­tists say this may ex­plain why we of­ten “chicken out” at the last mo­ment af­ter mak­ing bold plans.

 

In a pa­per pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Be­hav­ior­al De­ci­sion Mak­ing, sci­en­tists from the Uni­vers­ity of Col­o­rad­o Boul­der and Car­ne­gie Mel­lon Uni­vers­ity ar­gue that this “il­lu­sion of cour­age” is an ex­am­ple of an “em­pa­thy gap”— that is, our in­abil­ity to im­ag­ine how we’ll be­have in fu­ture emo­tion­al situa­t­ions.