Perhaps one of the most defining features of humanity is our capacity for empathy — the ability to put ourselves in others’ shoes. A new University of Virginia study strongly suggests that we are hardwired to empathize because we closely associate people who are close to us — friends, spouses, lovers — with our very selves…
Dr Coan said in the study, which was published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, this is probably the source of empathy and part of the evolutionary process.
He explained a threat to ourselves is also a threat to our resources needed to survive. ‘Threats can take things away from us. But when we develop friendships, people we can trust and rely on who in essence become we, then our resources are expanded, we gain.
‘Your goal becomes my goal. It’s a part of our survivability,’ he added.