What is empathy: cognitive concepts and models



Empathy is a complex and diverse indispensable mechanism in human interaction. It enables co-feel and mentally model what another person feels at the moment. For better understanding, empathy can be thought of as the ability to feel the consequences of some experience, not feeling it in reality, but just watching. The main consequences of this mechanism are our ability to imitate and understand the other person. The first helps in development and learning, and the second is indispensable in communication with other people. Studies of empathy are segmental and not well coordinated. Existing works offer different types and typology of systems of empathy. Yet, bringing new insights into certain areas, they do not create an integral picture. What are the available types& Are they simple analytically different ways of consideration of one system or are they different neuro-biological systems? If they are different systems, what is the extent to which they are linked and whether they form integral super-system? This article tries to answer these questions.

General Information

Keywords: emotional and cognitive empathy, accepting someone else's position, mirror neurons, imitation, racial prejudice, connectivism

Journal rubric: Neurosciences and Cognitive Studies

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/jmfp.2016050406

For citation: Ermolova M.Y. What is empathy: cognitive concepts and models [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2016. Vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 59–66. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2016050406. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Mariya Y. Ermolova, first year Master student, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Centre for Cognition and Decision Making, Moscow, Russia, e-mail: ermmmaria@gmail.com



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