Training: Papers‎ > ‎

(Weisz 2016)*

Title:  Empathy Building Interventions: A Review of Existing Work and Suggestions for Future Directions
DOI or Website Link:  
Publication:  
FORTHCOMING in Doty, J. & Seppala, E., Simon-Thomas, E., Cameron, D., Brown, S., 
& Worline, M. (Ed): Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science. Oxford University Press
Authors:  
  •  Erika Weisz 
  •  Jamil Zaki
Date:   
Affiliation(s):  
Citation: 

Comments:
  • perhaps add a qualities of empathy heading?
  • They ask the question:
    • Can empathy be increased?
    • Is it possible to build empathy through intervention? 
    • Is empathy a fixed capacity?
    • is empathy a skill that can be developed over time?
  • "empathy is “triggered” when a perceiver is able to detect someone else’s pain." They confuse pain suffering and empathy. go on about empathy and pain even though they talk about empathy being for all feelings
Edwin's comments about the nature of empathy
    • People have a wide variety of levels of empathy.
    • Peoples level of empathy also changes over time or from moment to moment, ie. is higher or lower.
    • People have different levels of empathy in different parts of their life. ie for different people in a room.
    • People have different levels of empathy depending on who they are empathizing with.
    • People have different levels of empathy depending on the situation.

Question: 
What are the motivations they mention in this paper? 
List them on the Motivation page.




Abstract:  
 "A major question in the study of empathy—the capacity to share and understand others’ internal states—is whether it can be increased. Scientists have designed a number of effective interventions through which to build empathy, especially in cases where it typically wanes. Here we review these efforts, which often focus on either enhancing individuals’ skills in experiencing empathy or expressing empathy to others. 

We then propose a novel approach to intervention based on a motivated account of empathy: teaching people not only how to empathize, but also encouraging them to want to empathize. Research traditions from social psychology offer several ways of increasing empathic motivation, which can complement existing work and broaden the palette of applied scientists seeking to help people develop their capacities to care for and understand others."



Topic Area: (In which field / sector / perspective was this study conducted?)
  • metastudy.


Definition:(How was empathy defined?)
  • Empathy encompasses at least three related but distinct subprocesses. Mentalizing refers to the ability to draw inferences about a target’s thoughts and feelings (Davis, 1983). 
  • Experience sharing refers to the process by which someone vicariously experiences another person's emotional state (Hatfield, Cacioppo, & Rapson, 1993). 
  • Finally, empathic concern captures a perceiver’s desire to alleviate a target’s distress (Batson, 2008).
  • Compassion entails recognizing specific negative emotional states (like pain) and subsequently experiencing an urge to help;
  •  empathy involves sharing and understanding a range of emotions, both positive and negative. Empathy also involves both an understanding and a sharing of someone else’s feelings, whereas compassion may not require a perceiver to vicariously share another person’s feelings.

Benefits:
(Were any benefits of empathy mentioned?)

Blocks to Empathy
They mention various situations where there is not  necessarily a block to but but a lack of empathy. 
  • -empathy : predictably fails under certain conditions (Zaki & Cikara, 2015).
  • -empathy:  during conflict (Brewer, 1999; Hein, Silani,Preuschoff, Batson, & Singer, 2010; Sherif, 1936)
  • -empathy:when interacting with dissimilar others
    (Chiao & Mathur, 2010; Mitchell, Macrae, & Banaji, 2006; Singer, Seymour, & 
    O’Doherty, 2006; Xu, Zuo, Wang, & Han, 2009).
  • Profession reliably diminishes empathy
    • doctors
      (Decety, 
      Yang, & Cheng, 2010; Marquié et al., 2003)
    • Black patients
    •  (Goyal, Kuppermann, Cleary, Teach, & Chamberlain, 2015; Trawalter, Hoffman, & Waytz, 2012).



Criticisms  (Were any criticisms, negative effects or risks of empathy mentioned?)
  • Fraternity Rape - training empathy lead to more rapes? 
  • Ingroup and Outgroup



Methods: (What were the methods used to train empathy?)
methods organized under these heading.s
  • Intervention to increase empathic ability.
    • 1. Experienced-based interventions feature tasks that encourage “tuning in” to targets’ internal states.
      build empathy for targets by providing a deeper understanding of their thoughts and feelings
      (role-play, perspective taking and information sharing,)
      • imagining themselves in the target’s position
        • role-play
          • ie. medical students act as patients in hospital (Wilkes, Milgrom, & Hoffman, 2002).
          • medical student auditory hallucination simulation (Bunn and Terpstra 2009)
          • Similar: adolescents for their peers (Jacobs, 1977),
          • Similar: sex offenders for assault victims  (Webster, Bowers, Mann, Marshall, 2005),
          • Similar: college students for the disabled (Clore & Jeffery, 1972),
        • imagine the life and feelings of a target of a stigmatized group. (Batson et al., 1997).
        • imagining the thoughts and feelings of a heroin addict (Batson, Chang, Orr, & Rowland, 2002).
      • use vignettes, videos, stories, and letters to deliver similar information about targets’ perspectives
        • white students watched  video documenting white privilege and institutional racism (Soble, Spanierman, & Liao, 2011).
        • Arab participants read and responded to a letter written by a Jewish mother (Shechtman & Tanus, 2006).
      • meditation  (Jazaieri et al., 2015),  (Klimecki, Leiberg, Lamm, & Singer, 2013; Weng, Fox, Shackman, & Stodola, 2013),
      • behavioral (Condon, Desbordes, Miller, & DeSteno, 2013; Leiberg, Klimecki, & Singer, 2011)
      • considering a target’s internal states.
    • 2. Expression-based interventions help perceivers more effectively convey empathy for a target.
      (recognize and respond to targets’ distress)
      • Recognize  internal states
        • (what to call this?)   doctors video example  (Riess, Kelley, Bailey, Dunn, & Phillips, 2012).
        • expression identification - autism - understand others’ expressions and mental states. (e.g., Golan & Baron-Cohen, 2006).
        • emotion recognition training (Dadds, Cauchi, Wimalaweera, Hawes, & Brennan, 2012).
      • Conveying empathy?
        • Empathic displays (e.g., wincing at others’ pain) serve communicative purposes, informing a target that the perceiver understands and shares their suffering (Bavelas, Black, Lemery, & Mullett, 1986).
    • 3. Motivation to empathize, (willing or unwilling to empathize) What are the motives?
      • approach motives,
      • avoidance motives, (blocks to empathy)
        • costly to empathize (Cameron & Payne, 2011; Pancer, Mcmullen, Kabatoff, Johnson, & Pond, 1979; Shaw et al., 1994) or
        • painful to empathize (Davis et al., 1999).
        • competition - will impede winning
        • (edwin Note: culture values: If the culture is based on 'rational actor model' ie people are self interested beginnings, 
      • could build empathy in three ways
        • 1. Self-Oriented Interventions.  by changing views of the self,  our beliefs influence our behavior
          • fixed mindsets ver growth mindsets
          • growth mindsets of empathy  predicted greater empathic effort
          • teach that empathy failures can be overcome with increased effort 
          • teach people that empathy is malleable and can be developed can build their motivation to empathize,
        • 2. Group-Based Interventions. by changing perceived social norms 
          • intergroup bias (Brewer, 1979; Tajfel, 1982).
          • Intervention techniques that change perceptions of group boundaries
            • Common Group Identity Model (Gaertner & Dovidio, 1977)
            • (note: we have a common humanity. local team, community, city, state, country, common humanity)
          • Change group values to value empathy
            • ie. tell students entering a college that empathy is a school value. (Nook, Ong, Morelli, Mitchell, & Zaki, under review; Tarrant, Dazeley,& Cottom, 2009).
        • 3. Situation-Based Interventions. changing people’s perception of empathy-inducing situations.
          •  personal benefits of empathy
            • (1) can help people feel good
            • (2) can help people satisfy the demands of their important social roles.
          • help people realize that even if empathy is painful that there will be positive outcomes.
          • (note: share stories about the benefits of empathy.)
          • Reaching Personal Goals: show people how empathy will help them with their goals
          • (idea: what are your current and life goals. Write them up and share how empathy might help you in reaching those goals.)
          •  Role/Identity: (note: as a leader you want to do well and being empathic is part of being a good leader. What are roles: religious leaders, doctor, teacher, social worker,???? )





Target Group:  (Who participated in this study / training?)
 These are the target groups of each study.


Measurements(About the assessment: How was the change in empathy measured before/after the intervention/method?) 


Result: (What was the result?)


Posted By:  
 
Notes: (Any other relevant information)



 Study -  Participants - Type -  Training - Outcome


 

1   

(BATSON + 1997)
Batson, C. D., Polycarpou, M. P., Harmon-Jones, E., Imhoff, H. J., Mitchener, E. C., Bednar, L. L., … Highberger, L. (1997). Empathy and attitudes: can feeling for a member of a stigmatized group improve feelings toward the group? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72(1), 105–118. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.72.1.105

  • Female college students

  • Experiential

  • Asked to imagine life and feelings of stigmatized targets (AIDS patient, homeless person, murderer)

  • More positive attitudes towards members of stigmatized group


2
(BATSON + 2002)Batson, C. D., Chang, J., Orr, R., & Rowland, J. (2002). Empathy, Attitudes, and Action: Can Feeling for a Member of a Stigmatized Group Motivate One to Help the Group? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(12), 1656–1666. doi:10.1177/014616702237647 

  • College students

  • Experiential

  • Asked to imagine life and feelings of stigmatized target (drug dealer)

  • Prosocial action on behalf of  tigmatized group



(BUNN + 2009)Bunn, W., & Terpstra, J. (2009). Simulated Auditory Hallucinations. Academic Psychiatry, (December), 457–460. 

  • Medical Students 

  • Experiential

  • Audio hallucination simulation during  neuropsychological testing

  • Higher score on Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy


4
(CONDON + 2013)Condon, P., Desbordes, G., Miller, W. B., & DeSteno, D. (2013). Meditation increases compassionate responses to suffering. Psychological Science, 24(10), 2125–2127. doi:10.1177/0956797613485603 

  • Adults

  • Experiential

  • Attended meditation  classes led by Tibetan Buddhist lama for 8 weeks

  • Increased rates of helping a suffering individual



(CLORE + 1972)Clore, G. L., & Jeffery, K. M. (1972). Emotional role playing, attitude change, and attraction toward a disabled person. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 23(1), 105–111. doi:10.1037/h0032867 

  • College Students

  • Experiential

  • College students travelled around campus in wheel chair

  • Improved attitudes towards disabled people



(JACOBS 1977)Jacobs, D. (1977). Role playing - Role reversal as a method for training adolescents in empathy. Retrieved from Retrieved from http://www.ruor.uottawa.ca/handle/10393/8194

  • Adolescents

  • Experiential

  • Students role play adolescent interpersonal interactions

  • No changes in empathy measures


7
(JAZAIERI + 2015)Jazaieri, H., Lee, I. a., McGonigal, K., Jinpa, T., Doty, J. R., Gross, J. J., & Goldin, P. R (2015). A wandering mind is a less caring mind: Daily experience sampling during compassion meditation training. The Journal of Positive Psychology, (July), 1–14doi:10.1080/17439760.2015.1025418

  • Adults

  • Experiential

  • Participants attended classes on compassion focused meditation and engaged in daily home meditation

  • Compassion training increased mindfulness and happiness, which was related to increased caring for others

 

(KLIMECKI + 2012)Klimecki, O. M., Leiberg, S., Lamm, C., & Singer, T. (2013). Functional neural plasticity and associated changes in positive affect after compassion training. Cerebral Cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991), 23(7), 1552–61. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhs142

  • Adults

  • Experiential

  • Attended 1-day course of loving kindness mediation

  • Increased positive affect in response to distress, and increased activity in brain regions supporting affiliation and positive affect
     


(SCHECTMAN + 2006)Shechtman, Z., & Tanus, H. (2006). Counseling Groups for Arab Adolescents in an Intergroup Conflict in Israel: Report of an Outcome Study. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 12(2), 119–137. doi:10.1207/s15327949pac1202_2 

  • Arab students

  • Experiential

  • Multi-session intervention including reading a letter from a Jewish mother

  • Increased empathy and reduced hostility toward Israelis



10 

(SOBLE + 2011)Soble, J. R., Spanierman, L. B., & Liao, H.-Y. (2011). Effects of a brief video intervention on White university students’ racial attitudes. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 58(1), 151–157. doi:10.1037/a0021158

  • College Students

  •  Experiential

  • Video intervention documenting institutional racism

  • Increased empathy and racial  awareness


11 
(WEBSTER + 2005)Webster, S. D., Bowers, L. E., Mann, R. E., Marshall, W. L., & E, L. (2005). Sexual Abuse : A Journal of Research and Treatment. Sexual Abuse a Journal of Research and Treatment, 17(1), 63–77. doi:10.1177/107906320501700107

  • Sex offenders

  • Experiential

  • Sex offenders complete role-play paradigms

  • Improved recognition of consequences for victims


12
(WILKES + 2002)Wilkes, M., Milgrom, E., & Hoffman, J. R. (2002). Towards more empathic medical students: A medical student hospitalization experience. Medical Education, 36(6), 528–533. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2923.2002.01230.x

  • Medical Students

  • Experiential

  • Medical students admitted to stay overnight in hospital

  • Students endorse interest in improving hospital condition


13 
(WENG+ 2013)Weng, H. Y., Fox, A. S., Shackman, A. J., & Stodola, D. E. (2013). Compassion training alters altruism and neural responses to suffering, 24(7), 1171–1180. doi:10.1177/0956797612469537.Compassion 

  • Adults
  • Experiential 
  • Participants listened to 30-minute audio recordings featuring compassion meditation
  • Compassion meditation increased altruistic behavior and activity in brain regions supporting social cognition and emotion regulation


    14
    (Archer 1973)

    • College Students
    • Expressive 
    • Emotion recognition & empathic responding
    •  Improved peer relationship rating scores and performance on affect sensitivity scale.

    15

      (BACK + 2007)*Back, A. L., Arnold, R. M., Baile, W. F., Fryer-Edwards, K. a, Alexander, S. C., Barley, G. E., … Tulsky, J. a. (2007). Efficacy of communication skills training for giving bad news and discussing transitions to palliative care. Archives of Internal Medicine, 167(5), 453–460. doi:10.1001/archinte.167.5.453 

      • Oncology fellows
      • Expressive 
      • Communication training workshop
      • Improved in communication skills, including empathic verbal skills

        16 

        (GOLAN 2006)Golan, O., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2006). Systemizing empathy: teaching adults with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism to recognize complex emotions using interactive multimedia. Development and Psychopathology, 18(2), 591–617. doi:10.1017/S0954579406060305 

        • Adults with Asperger syndrome 
        • Expressive 
        • Computer-based training in recognizing emotions in faces and voices 
        • Improvements on similar emotion recognition tasks (but not dissimilar tasks)


        17

        (BONVICINI + 2009)Bonvicini, K. a., Perlin, M. J., Bylund, C. L., Carroll, G., Rouse, R. a., & Goldstein, M. G. (2009). Impact of communication training on physician expression of empathy in patient encounters. Patient Education and Counseling, 75(1), 3–10.  doi:10.1016/j.pec.2008.09.007

        • Physicians

        • Expressive

        • Communication training workshop

        • Training increased physicians' global empathy and empathy expressions during patient interactions


        18 
        (RIESS 2012)*Riess, H., Kelley, J. M., Bailey, R. W., Dunn, E. J., & Phillips, M. (2012). Empathy training for resident physicians: a randomized controlled trial of a neuroscienceinformed curriculum. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 27(10),  1280–6. doi:10.1007/s11606-012-2063-z

        • Otolaryngology residents
        • Expressive 
        • Empathy-relational skills training focused on underlying neurobiology of empathy
        • Improved knowledge of neurobiology of empathy, selfreported capacity to empathize, and patient satisfaction


          19 
          (DADDS + 2011)

          Dadds, M. R., Cauchi, a J., Wimalaweera, S., Hawes, D. J., & Brennan, J. (2012). Outcomes, moderators, and mediators of empathic-emotion recognition training for complex conduct problems in childhood. Psychiatry Research, 199(3), 201–207. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2012.04.033
          • Children with behavioral/emotional problems

          • Expressive

          • Emotion recognition training

          • Improvements in affective empathy and conduct problems in kids with high callous/unemotional traits





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