Believing Learnable

If people think empathy is fixed and not learnable, they will not try to increase empathy.
If they think empathy is learnable, is a skill.. then they will try and can increase their empathy.

The science shows that empathy is learnable since the brain is 'plastic' and the neuro connections can change.  So the 



Some papers and video by Jamil Zaki address this.

"In another set of studies conducted in collaboration with Carol Dweck, we found that merely believing empathy is a skill that can be developed inspired people to try harder at it. For instance, people who were induced to have a “growth mindset” around empathy, as compared to a fixed mindset, spent more time listening to the suffering of someone of another race and more energy towards trying to understand the opinions of someone from a different part of the political spectrum"



Making Empathy Central to Your Company Culture
Jamil Zaki
MAY 30, 2019
"In a follow-up study as part of the research I mentioned above, my coauthors and I presented people with evidence that empathy is less like a trait and more like a skill. They responded by working harder at it, even when it didn’t come naturally. In other words, the first step towards building empathy is acknowledging that it can be built. Leaders should start by assessing the mindsets of their employees, and teaching them that they can indeed move towards their ideals."
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Growth mindset for a more empathetic and collaborative world
by Eduardo Briceño
"In the 1990s, Cynthia A. Erdley and Carol Dweck (1993) found that when children observe other children, those who believe that personality is fixed make more rigid, generalized and long-term social judgments than those who believe that personality can change. That is, children in fixed mindsets about human qualities get strong first impressions that are resistant to change, even upon encountering contradictory evidence."

"Karina Schumann, Jamil Zaki and Carol Dweck (2014) showed that when people view empathy as a quality that can be developed rather than as something some people have and others do not, they tend to behave more empathetically when empathy is challenging. In other words, our view of the malleability of empathy does not appear to make much of a difference when empathy is easy, such as when we observe people who look like us and hold similar views to ours."

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