Wikiversity: Empathy and emotional well-being

Empathy and emotional well-being 


Empathy’s relationship with well-being is well recorded, and the majority of literature agrees in most cases that high empathy is associated with high subjective well-being (Wei, Liao, Ku & Shaffer, 2011; Bandura et al. 2003; Greason & Cashwell, 2009).

More specifically, empathy is a general contributor to psychosocial functioning. Bandura et al. (2003) reported medium correlations between empathetic efficacy (or the ability to understand other people’s emotion) and efficacy in academics, pro-social behaviour, and managing negative emotions.

Within the same study, high correlations between empathetic efficacy and efficacy in regulating positive and negative emotions were found (Bandura et al, 2003). These relations are only correlated and not causal therefore empathy as a source self efficacy is not implied. Investigating causal relationships between empathy and various aspects of personality could be a possible research subject for future studies.