April 1, 2008
Empathy is the ability to feel what others are feeling. Empathy is the identification with, and the understanding of, another's situation, emotions and motives. In other words, it is the ability to see the world through that person's eyes. Empathy influences us to treat others with respect and kindness; in turn it reduces violence and cruelty to others.
Most people are born with the ability to be empathetic. However, certain life experience can diminish that ability. Children who have experienced domestic violence or some other form of abuse are especially at-risk for diminished empathy.
Research supports the provision of empathy training to increase empathetic feelings and pro-social behavior. Research also shows an impressive correlation between students' training and skills in empathetic understanding and their academic performance.
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