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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.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Both men and women who focused on the male perpetrator's point of view showed greater empathy for him and blamed the female victim more.
The researchers say the study highlights a dark side to empathy, writing: "Accusations of ingroup wrong-doing, as in the case of a man's sexual harassment of a woman, may pose a threat to men's sense of their gender group as moral.
"Sandwell Libraries will being hosting various themed events on Tuesday and throughout June to mark Empathy Day and I'd urge people to check out what events are going on at their local library and join in."
In February 2016, the PEC began conducting weekly Empathy Huddles as part of the unit's safety huddles.
However, there is no Chinese measurement tool for determining adolescents' empathy and sympathy levels.
The core and underlying issue is not about gender, it's about nurturing empathy in our children and ourselves so we can help shape and mold happier, healthier, more productive communities and societies.
As you develop a STEAM inquiry, intentionally pose the problem (we use a problem statement) in such a way that will allow for students to feel empathy. Make sure the problem is about a person(s), organism(s), environment(s), or situation to which your students can relate.
Empathy is a right-brain activity, the kind that many people consider a touchy-feely discipline-a soft skill, as it is called these days.
''I think of empathy as not just something nice to have but [it] is core to [the] innovation agenda in the company'' he says.
Loss of empathy cuts away at the very reason physicians chose their profession, and the ramifications are far-reaching.
Reiss [1] eloquently describes empathy as a critical interpersonal and social quality that 'enables sharing of experiences, needs, and desires between individuals and provides an emotional bridge that promotes pro-social behaviour', and relates the benefits of empathy for doctor and patient.
"EMPATHY IS INFORMED by biology, society, personal beliefs, and experience, which means everyone has unique reasons for the softening or hardening of their hearts," writes Helen Riess in her excellent new book exploring empathic behavior.