From Bench to Bedside
Edited by 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 volume 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 mammalian brain and the development of empathy in infants and children; the relationships among empathy, social behavior, compassion, and altruism; the neural underpinnings of empathy; cognitive versus emotional empathy in clinical practice; and the cost of empathy.

Taken together, the contributions significantly broaden the interdisciplinary scope of empathy studies, reporting on current knowledge of the evolutionary, social, developmental, cognitive, and neurobiological aspects of empathy and linking this capacity to human communication, including in clinical practice and medical education.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: Why Is Empathy so Important?

    Jean Decety

  2. I. Philosophical and Anthropological Perspectives on Empathy
  3. 1. Empathy without Isomorphism: A Phenomenological Account

    Dan Zahavi and Soren Overgaard

  4. 2. Empathy, Evolution, and Human Nature

    Allan Young

  5. II. The Contribution of Social Psychology
  6. 3. The Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis: Issues and Implications

    C. Daniel Batson

  7. 4. It's More than Skin Deep: Empathy and Helping Behavior across Social Groups

    Stephanie Echols and Joshua Correll

  8. 5. Empathy Is Not Always as Personal as You May Think: The Use of Stereotypes in Empathic Accuracy

    Karyn L. Lewis and Sara D. Hodges

  9. III. Evolutionary Roots of Empathy
  10. 6. Empathy in Primates and Other Mammals

    Frans B. M. de Waal

  11. IV. The Development of Empathy
  12. 7. Nature and Forms of Empathy in the First Years of Life

    Sharee Light and Carolyn Zahn-Waxler

  13. 8. Social-Cognitive Contributors to Young Children's Empathic and Prosocial Behavior

    Amrisha Vaish and Felix Warneken

  14. 9. Relations of Empathy-Related Responding to Children's and Adolescents' Social Competence

    Nancy Eisenberg, Snjezana Huerta, and Alison Edwards

  15. V. The Neuroscience of Empathy and Caring
  16. 10. How Children Develop Empathy: The Contribution of Developmental Affective Neuroscience

    Jean Decety and Kalina J. Michalska

  17. 11. Empathy and Compassion: A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective

    Abigail A. Marsh

  18. 12. The Cognitive Neuroscience of Sharing and Understanding Others' Emotions

    Jamil Zaki and Kevin Ochsner

  19. VI. Empathy in Clinical Practice
  20. 13. Clinical Empathy in Medical Care

    Jodi Halpern

  21. 14. The Costs of Empathy among Health Professionals

    Ezequiel Gleichgerrcht and Jean Decety

  22. 15. The Empathic Response in Clinical Practice: Antecedents and Consequences

    Charles R. Figley

  23. 16. The Paradox of Teaching Empathy in Medical Education

    Johanna Shapiro

  24. 17. Empathy and Neuroscience: A Psychoanalytic Perspective

    David M. Terman

  25. Contributors
  26. Author Index
  27. Index