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Empathy, Intergroup: Regarding the Suffering of Others

  1. Sabina Čehajić-Clancy

Published Online: 13 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470672532.wbepp102

The Encyclopedia of Peace Psychology

The Encyclopedia of Peace Psychology

How to Cite

Čehajić-Clancy, S. 2011. Empathy, Intergroup: Regarding the Suffering of Others. The Encyclopedia of Peace Psychology. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 NOV 2011

Abstract

Articles in this encyclopedia have addressed various questions related to the causes, consequences, and implications of intergroup conflict, peacebuilding, justice, and reconciliation. This article will discuss the phenomenon of empathy conceptualized as an emotional reaction or an emotional response to knowing about the suffering of others. The question of how people tend to react to knowledge about the suffering or killing of others and why empathy is a desired reaction will be analyzed. First, however, it is necessary to define what empathy is and what it is not. Then it will be explained why it is important to be emotionally moved by others' suffering. Finally, the article will attempt to shed some light on the question as to why some people feel empathy while others feel nothing at all.

Keywords:

  • empathy;
  • parallel empathy;
  • reactive empathy;
  • perspective taking;
  • emotional numbing;
  • desensitization;
  • collective atrocities;
  • diffusion of responsibility;
  • moral exclusion;
  • prosocial behavior