The concept of empathy in psychology

inner universe of each person is unique.We come into this world with his type of temperament and going through a unique experience that affects our habits, outlook and way of perceiving the world.Looking at the snow, a man admiringly remarked: "Go white snow!".Another nervously cast: "It's disgusting face climbs."And in spite of this, we sometimes still manage to understand the inner world and emotional state of another person.This phenomenon is called empathy, or empathy.


empathy Empathy - a word of Greek origin, it means a conscious empathy with the emotional state of another person.

Analyzing what does the word "empathy", many confuse it with compassion, though in practice the term refers to the ability to empathize with any emotions, not only negative but also positive.To date, it has developed several interpretations of the term "empathy."

In medicine, he plays the role of understanding and demonstration of understanding the emotional state of another person.At the forefront here goes e

mpathic listening, which has the goal to give the patient to talk, encourage him to frank expression of their feelings and sensations.

In psychology, emotional empathy is the norm, there are even special techniques to identify people's ability to this form of mental activity, which vary from mild response to the immersive sense of companion.But not to be confused with the identification, during which a person does not just understand the feelings of another, as is the case with empathy, but also in some way does not distinguish between them with his.

In literature, the term "empath" gained new meaning, which is more like an emotional telepathy and psychic ability is considered.But in reality, such experiments could not be repeated with empathy.

Types empathy

In classical psychology empathy is divided on the emotional, cognitive and predicative.

emotional empathy - is a form of mental activity, based on the mechanisms of projection and imitation reactions of the interlocutor (motor, affective).And speaking of empathy in everyday life, we are referring to emotional empathy, in other words, the ability to project the feelings of another person and to reproduce those emotions on itself.

Cognitive empathy is based on such intellectual processes as an analogy and comparison.It takes place in scientific discussions and controversies.The predictable

empathy is the ability to predict another person's feelings in certain situations.And although the term hardly anyone uses in everyday life, in fact, the ability to put yourself in the other and predict what feelings he will experience at the same time, can most people.

Psychologists also isolated in special categories such forms of empathy, empathy and compassion.Empathy - the experience of the interlocutor emotions through identification with him.Empathy, on the contrary, is an experience of its own emotions felt about the feelings of the interlocutor.

development of empathy

Emotional empathy in different people has its own particular level of expression.The lowest level is characterized by self-centeredness, and indifference to the thoughts and feelings of others.Representatives of this species did not seem to feel emotional empathy in principle.They rarely understand others feel uncomfortable in the unfamiliar company, and therefore try to live in seclusion.As a rule, people with low emotional empathy few friends, but those that have - most colleagues.

second level of empathy is the most common.Its members are indifferent to the thoughts and feelings of others, but in rare cases can show empathy.They are able to express emotions, but prefer to keep them under control.Characteristic for this level of manifestation of empathy - the man loves movies and art books, but prefers action rather than a description of experiences.

third level of empathy - the highest and at the same time rare.Its representatives understand and feel the emotions of others better than his own.This loyal and generous friends, people who are not indifferent to the problems of others.They are sociable, sympathetic, sociable, sincere, trust the feelings and intuition.The downside is that the representatives of this level of emotional empathy waiting for social approval of their actions, and can easily get out of balance.

addition levels of empathy, there is also a classification of people on this basis.They are divided into "not Empathy", "weak Empathy", "functional Empathy" and "professional Empathy".The first category - those who are not familiar with empathy.The second category is well aware of empathy, only experiencing constant stress of experiencing the world of gravity.The third category is easily adaptable to the emotions and does not let them through.Professional empaths easy to recognize emotions, even those who prefer to hide the source, but most importantly, they have the ability to manage other people's mental experiences.And it's pretty useful skill for psychologists and educators.If you want to learn how to understand other people, the consistent development of empathy will help gain this ability.

Diagnostics empathy

In order to determine whether you are able to understand the emotional state of the people around them, there are tried and tested techniques.For example, the diagnosis of empathy can be carried out with the help of the emotional response of the scale developed by psychology professor Albert Mehrabyan.This scientist suggested a simple and effective questionnaire that detects the level of capacity for emotional empathy to the feelings of the interlocutor and the extent of its compliance with the reality of the subject.

test for the diagnosis of empathy consists of 25 questions, which is fed to one of five levels of empathy from very high to very low.And although it may seem that the highest level of empathy is both the best, in fact, exaggerated sensitivity leads to emotional dependency, vulnerability and even psychosomatic diseases.Of course, it is necessary to cultivate the ability to listen to the other, paraphrase and reflect his emotions.But it is necessary to choose an effective behavioral strategies that will enable you to strike a balance between the rational sober and sensitive responsive emotion.

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