Evo and Proud: How universal is empathy?

Bronislaw Malinowski with natives on the Trobriand Islands (1918 –source). Pro-social behavior seems to be a human universal, but is the same true for full empathy?

What is empathy?
It has at least three components:

  • pro-social behavior, i.e., actions of compassion to help others
  • cognitive empathy, i.e., capacity to understand another person’s mental state
  • affective or emotional empathy, i.e., capacity to respond with the appropriate emotion to another person’s mental state (Chakrabarti and Baron-Cohen, 2013)