Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

Home Screenshot Tabelle Begriffe

Empathy: Empathy in psychology is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. This involves both cognitive and emotional components. See also Understanding, Perspective, Social relations.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Neurobiology on Empathy - Dictionary of Arguments

Corr I 334
Empathy/Neurobiology: Agreeableness seems likely to be supported by brain systems that are involved in social information-processing.
, >Information processing.
Brain regions associated with these forms of social information-processing include the medial prefrontal cortex (Seitz, Nickel and Azari 2006)(1), superior temporal sulcus (Allison, Puce and McCarthy 2000)(2), temporal-parietal junction (Saxe and Powell 2006)(3), and the mirror neuron system that includes inferior frontal gyrus and rostral posterior parietal cortex (Iacoboni 2007(4); Rizzolatti and Craighero 2004)(5). (Mirror neurons respond similarly when watching another agent perform a task and when performing it oneself.)
Several fMRI studies using trait measures of empathy have reported findings that are directly relevant to the link between Agreeableness and social information-processing.
In these studies, empathy was positively associated with activity in the mirror neuron system, medial prefrontal cortex, and/or superior temporal sulcus during observation and imitation of others’ actions (Gazzola, Aziz-Zadeh and Keysers 2006(6); Kaplan and Iacoboni 2006)(7) or during perception of others’ emotional expressions (Chakrabarti, Bullmore and Baron-Cohen 2007(8); Schulte-Rüther, Markowitsch, Fink et al. 2007)(9).
>Mirror neurons, >Theory of Mind.
Other brain regions, beyond those typically identified as involved in social information-processing, have also been associated with trait measures of empathy. One study (Chakrabarti, Bullmore and Baron-Cohen 2007)(8) demonstrated that viewing different emotional expressions led to correlations of empathy with activity in brain regions functionally relevant to the specific emotion in question.

1. Seitz, R. J., Nickel, J. and Azari, N. P. 2006. Functional modularity of the medial prefrontal cortex: involvement in human empathy, Neuropsychology 20: 743–51
2. Allison, T., Puce, A. and McCarthy, G. 2000. Social perception from visual cues: role of the STS region, Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4: 267–78
3. Saxe, R. and Powell, L. J. 2006. It’s the thought that counts: specific brain regions for one component of theory of mind, Psychological Science 17: 692–9
4. Iacoboni, M. 2007. Face to face: the neural basis of social mirroring and empathy, Psychiatric Annals 37: 236–41
5. Rizzolatti, G. and Craighero, L. 2004. The mirror-neuron system, Annual Review of Neuroscience 27: 169–92
6. Gazzola, V., Aziz-Zadeh, L. and Keysers, C. 2006. Empathy and the somatotopic auditory mirror system in humans, Current Biology 16: 1824–9
7. Kaplan, J. T. and Iacoboni, M. 2006. Getting a grip on other minds: mirror neurons, intention understanding and cognitive empathy, Social Neuroscience 1: 175–83
8. Chakrabarti, B., Bullmore, E. and Baron-Cohen, S. 2007. Empathizing with basic emotions: common and discrete neural substrates, Social Neuroscience 1: 364–84
9. Schulte-Rüther, M., Markowitsch, H. J., Fink, G. R. and Piefke, M. 2007. Mirror neuron and theory of mind mechanisms involved in face-to-face interactions: a functional magnetic resonance imaging approach to empathy, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 19: 1354–72

Colin G. DeYoung and Jeremy R. Gray, „ Personality neuroscience: explaining individual differences in affect, behaviour and cognition“, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

Corr II
Philip J. Corr (Ed.)
Personality and Individual Differences - Revisiting the classical studies Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne 2018

Send Link
> Counter arguments against Neurobiology
> Counter arguments in relation to Empathy

Authors A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   Z  

Concepts A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   Y   Z