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Psychological Models of Empathy

Part of Project Lirec: Notes from “Concepts and Evaluation of Psychological Models of Empathy” (Extended Abstract), Enz. S., Zoll, C., Diruf, M., Proc. 8th Int. Conf. on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2009), Decker, Sichman, Sierra, and Castelfranchi (eds.), May, 10– 2009, Budapest, Hungary, pp. XXX-XXX.

  • Cognitive empathy - just an understanding of other's internal state
  • Affective empathy - includes the emotional reaction to other's internal state

Affective empathy can come from cognative empathy, but can also come from direct transfer of emotions - “emotional contagion”. This is important for social identity and group dynamics - eg. a herd needing to react quickly to the presence of a predator, which may only be spotted by a few individuals.

Emotional contagion may result in different immediate responses in more complex situations, such as 'gloating'.

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  • by davegriffiths