Empathy, Mirror Neurons, and the Empathy Pathology – BrighterBrains.org

by Simon de Croft

Overview of empathy The process by which one’s affective experience is shared by another person is known as empathy.

 

The process by which one’s affective experience is shared by another person is known as empathy. In order to understand empathy using the scientific method it is imperative to first define empathy. 

There are a wide range of definitions of empathy in the literature.

 

1) The capacity to understand and respond to the unique affective experiences of another person,

 

2) Similarity between one’s own feelings and those of another person, and

 

3) Interaction between 2 individuals with one experiencing and sharing the feelings of the other (Decety and Jackson 2006).

 

Within these definitions there are three underlying components;

 

1) an affective response to the other person,

 

2) cognitive capacity to take the perspective of another person, and

 

3) emotional regulation.