Understanding others’ feelings: what is essay on why do we need government and why do we need it? Many animals might show signs of mimicry or emotional contagion to another animal in pain. Monash University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation AU.
Victoria State Government provides funding as a strategic partner of The Conversation AU. This is the introductory essay in our series on understanding others’ feelings. In it we will examine empathy, including what it is, whether our doctors need more of it, and when too much may not be a good thing. Empathy is the ability to share and understand the emotions of others. It is a construct of multiple components, each of which is associated with its own brain network. There are three ways of looking at empathy.
This is the ability to share the emotions of others. People who score high on affective empathy are those who, for example, show a strong visceral reaction when watching a scary movie. They feel scared or feel others’ pain strongly within themselves when seeing others scared or in pain. Cognitive empathy, on the other hand, is the ability to understand the emotions of others. A good example is the psychologist who understands the emotions of the client in a rational way, but does not necessarily share the emotions of the client in a visceral sense.