The many faces of empathy: Parsing empathic phenomena through a proximate, dynamic-systems view of representing the other in the self

Stephanie D. Preston, Alicia J. Hofelich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations

Abstract

A surfeit of research confirms that people activate personal, affective, and conceptual representations when perceiving the states of others. However, researchers continue to debate the role of self-other overlap in empathy due to a failure to dissociate neural overlap, subjective resonance, and personal distress. A perception-action view posits that neural-level overlap is necessary during early processing for all social understanding, but need not be conscious or aversive. This neural overlap can subsequently produce a variety of states depending on the context and degree of common experience and emotionality. We outline a framework for understanding the interrelationship between neural and subjective overlap, and among empathic states, through a dynamic-systems view of how information is processed in the brain and body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-33
Number of pages10
JournalEmotion Review
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • emotional contagion
  • empathy
  • perception-action
  • perspective taking
  • self-other overlap

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The many faces of empathy: Parsing empathic phenomena through a proximate, dynamic-systems view of representing the other in the self'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this