(redirected from empathetic)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.


the feeling of being able to experience vicariously what another person is experiencing. The ability to empathize is crucial in many interpersonal relationships and social settings. If family members do not experience empathy with each other, discord is more likely than if a climate of EMPATHIC UNDERSTANDING exists. Close friends, by definition, have an empathic relationship.

Empathy is one of ROGERS’ (1951) three conditions for a successful client-counsellor relationship, the other two being genuine warmth, and unconditional positive regard. Empathy is central to PERSON-CENTRED COUNSELLING, since this perspective holds the view that the client's problems can only be understood by the counsellor through experiencing the client's phenemonological field. For this empathy is required.

Empathy is also sometimes seen as central to techniques of MEANINGFUL UNDERSTANDING AND EXPLANATION widely used in sociology See also EMPATHIC UNDERSTANDING, VERSTEHEN.



(German, Einfuhlung), term used in psychology, art, and aesthetics to designate the transference to an object of the feelings and moods which it has evoked. The feelings of sadness or joy which a person experiences on beholding a certain landscape, for example, are projected into that landscape and are perceived as its properties; thus it appears as a sad or a happy landscape.

The concept of empathy was first set forth by F. T. Vischer in 1887, and it became a fundamental principle in the aesthetics of the German philosopher T. Lipps, who defined empathy as “objectified feeling.” It became widespread in the theory of art at the beginning of the 20th century—Vernon Lee and W. Worringer, among others, used the term—and it was frequently interpreted in a subjective and idealist spirit.


Vygotskii, L. S. Psikhologiia iskusstva, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1968.
Worringer, W. “Abstraktsiia i vchuvstvovaniie.” In Sovremennaia kniga po estetike: Antologiia. Moscow, 1957. (Translated from English.)
Lipps, T. Zur Einfühlung. Leipzig, 1913.
References in periodicals archive ?
Nauert reports that the researchers are going on to study what network is activated when people are viewed in dehumanising ways (such as assets or liabilities) and if personal disgust or social stereotyping suppress the empathetic network.
Each response was then independently scored based on how empathetic it was.
Empathetic responses such as "This must be overwhelming for you--I'll just let you process this for a minute or two, then go over the main findings once more to make sure you are clear about them" can be enormously helpful to parents.
In any event, his later campaign rhetoric was much sharper after he borrowed a more confrontational tone from the faltering Dean campaign and a more empathetic tone from Edwards.
These include, but are not limited to, an understanding of group dynamics, an awareness of how psychology and motivation can affect actions, a flexible leadership style, effective communication skills, an empathetic nature, excellent problem-solving skills, a commitment to ethical behavior, and an ability to work under pressure (Priest & Gass 1997).
95 Smart diplomacy has always required an empathetic understanding of the adversary's point of view as well as a clear-eyed sense of one's own interests--and using the latter to advance the former.
She is empathetic, caring and intelligent and always brings out the best in brokers.
Be a Teacher who is enthusiastic, motivated, competent, flexible, creative, light-hearted and empathetic to young people.
I also prefer to read books, like this one, written by Canadians, whose world-view tends to be more empathetic than that of our neighbors to the south.
While not everyone will sympathize with Kastan's empathetic treatment of Danter, Kastan's elucidation of the market value of Romeo and Juliet in the context of the competitive but loosely regulated early printing industry does make our rather pejorative descriptions of the "bad" quartos seem somewhat inappropriate.
Part of the author's argument is that toxic situations -- anger, stress, burnout -- are common events and aren't all bad, provided that they can be used by empathetic managers to frame constructive change.
Moral imagination," Mark Johnson writes, involves "refining our perception of character and situations and of developing empathetic imagination to take up the part of others.