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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 ?
Calatoria dumnealui hatmanului Constantin Paladi la feredeile Borsacului (1828), Scavinski's only extant work, relates half empathetically, half ironically the funny adventures of a group of merry-making young fellows taking a voyage from the city of Iasi to the mountain village of Borsec.
Another novelist might have insisted on tracing Edie's appetite to a single trauma; Attenberg, wisely and empathetically, realizes that the forces that shape our characters are more subtle and harder to pin down than that.
Harris, with the help of Republican colleagues who were empathetically miffed, was gumming up the works, using every trick in the book to turn the Senate into a legislative still life.
Once, when finding a stash of cash intended for a daughter's graduation, he empathetically leaves money rather than steal it.
Despite this difficulty in the classroom today, teachers need to continually help students learn to think both historically and empathetically, making them aware of the thoughts, biases, and viewpoints of those who lived before us.
If we open up empathetically to the other person it can make us more human.
The purpose of this survey study was to examine the relationship between senior baccalaureate nursing students' perceptions of their nursing program effectiveness in teaching them to empathetically communicate with patients and family members and perceived competence in empathetic communication.
We are in fact presenting our guests with the opportunity to eat the very animal we've tried to empathetically connect them with.
The vampires flock, quick not to miss out on the opportunity to listen empathetically to some simpleton bleating.
Certainly no other study is as comprehensive, and none has engaged so empathetically with the push and pull factors that shaped the experience.