Author reply: Understanding empathy by modeling rather than organizing its contents

Stephanie D. Preston, Alicia J. Hofelich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Perception-action approaches are sometimes criticized because empathy takes cognitive forms and people do not overtly imitate or feel all observed states. These complaints reflect a misunderstanding of the framework, which we tried to clarify through a review that bridged social and neuroscientific views. Far from "simple fixes," these misunderstandings appear to reflect deeply rooted differences in the way that each discipline conceptualizes science and the mind. We address the important points made by the commentators and reiterate the need to incorporate rich, phenomenological descriptions into academic works so that we may prevent such conceptual cross-talk in the future. The open exchange of ideas across fields is often difficult, but essential to an integrated, scientific view of empathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-39
Number of pages2
JournalEmotion Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • embodiment
  • emotion
  • empathy
  • perception-action


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