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Why did empathy evolve?

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Celeta Cook

on 27 April 2010

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Transcript of Why did empathy evolve?

Why did empathy evolve? what empathy is emotional contagion theory of mind and perspective taking allows individuals to infer information about the actions of others
origin for motivation in cooperative and prosocial behavior
helps with effective social communication misconstrued for:
emotional contagion
personal distress
cognitive perspective taking De Vignemont and Singer (2006) "(i) one is in an affective state
(ii) this state is isomorphic to another person's affective state
(iii) this state is elicited by the observation or imagination of another person's affective state
(iv) one knows the other person is the source of one's own affective state allows individuals to infer beliefs, desires, intentions, emotions, etc
pivotal to navigating social situations and understanding social dynamics Baron-Cohen, Leslie, & Frith, 1988 Naming Question: "Which one is Sally? Which one is Anne?"
Belief Question: "Where will Sally look for her marble?"
Reality Question: "Where is the marble really?"
Memory Question: "Where was the marble in the beginning?" de Vignemont and Singer 2006 Confederates
Fair=induce like
Unfair=induce dislike automatic and unconscious response
build and maintain positive group dynamics
includes facial and verbal mimicry Conclusion In the case of empathy, theory of
mind seems to play a crucial role in how
empathy evolved and why emotional contagion
is not enough for the social complexity
of our societies. Baron-Cohen, S. (2001). Theory of mind in normal development and autism. Prisme, 34, 174-183.

Baron-Cohen, S, Leslie, A.M., & Frith, U. (1985). Does the Autistic child have "theory of mind"?. Cognition, 21, 37-46.

Gallese, V. (2003). The roots of empathy: The shared manifold hypothesis and the neural basis of intersubjectivity. Psychopathology, 36, 171-180.

Hatfield, E., Cacioppo, J.T., & Rapson, R.L. (1993). Emotional Contagion. Current Directions in Psychological Studies, 3, 96-99

Parr, L.A. (2001). Cognitive and physiological markers of emotional awareness in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Anim Cogn, 4, 223-229.

Singer, T., Seymour, B., O'Doherty, J.P., Stephan, K.E., Dolan, R.J., & Frith, C.D. (2006). Empathic neural responses are modulated by the perceived fairness of others. Nature, 439, 466-469.

de Vignemont, F., & Singer, T. (2006). The empathic brain: how, when and why? TRENDS in Cognitive Sciences, 10, 435-441.

de Waal, F. (2009). The Age of empathy. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Ltd.

Wimmer, H., & Perner, J. (1983). Beliefs about beliefs: Representation and constraining function of wrong beliefs in young children's understanding of deception. Cognition, 13, 103-128.
Why do we need empathy? The root of empathy may lie in the pairing of these two systems as social groups become more complex, so do the interactions between individuals
a better way to facilitate increasingly complex social behavior mirror neurons or a shared network for processing emotional state in others form from associations of coactivated neurons
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