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Empathy – From Bench to Bedside - MIT Press Scholarship Online
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Empathy: From Bench to Bedside

Jean Decety


There are many reasons for scholars to investigate empathy. Empathy plays a crucial role in human social interaction at all stages of life; it is thought to help motivate positive social behavior, inhibit aggression, and provide the affective and motivational bases for moral development; it is a necessary component of psychotherapy and patient–physician interactions. This book covers a wide range of topics in empathy theory, research, and applications, helping to integrate perspectives as varied as anthropology and neuroscience. The contributors discuss the evolution of empathy within the mamm ... More

Keywords: moral development, empathy theory, empathy research, empathy applications, anthropology, neuroscience, compassion, altruism, evolution, human communication

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780262016612
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262016612.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jean Decety, editor

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I Philosophical and Anthropological Perspectives on Empathy

II The Contribution of Social Psychology

III Evolutionary Roots of Empathy

IV The Development of Empathy

7 Nature and Forms of Empathy in the First Years of Life

Sharee Light, and Carolyn Zahn-Waxler

V The Neuroscience of Empathy and Caring

VI Empathy in Clinical Practice

14 The Costs of Empathy among Health Professionals

Ezequiel Gleichgerrcht, and Jean Decety