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(Thomas 2013)

Emotional Empathy and Cognitive Empathy
July 19, 2013
 by Chris Allen Thomas

"Empathy provides a foundation for guiding our behaviors toward others. There are two distinct kinds of empathy in the human experience: emotional empathy and cognitive empathy:[3]

  • Emotional empathy, also called affective empathy or primitive empathy, is the subjective state resulting from emotional contagion. It is our automatic drive to respond appropriately to another’s emotions. This kind of empathy happens automatically, and often unconsciously. It has also been referred to as the vicarious sharing of emotions.
  • Cognitive empathy is the largely conscious drive to recognize accurately and understand another’s emotional state. Sometimes we call this kind of empathy “perspective taking.”"
"Some researchers have rejected emotional and cognitive empathy as distinctly separate forms of empathy, arguing instead that “true empathy” integrates both.[4] "