No, Empathy Isn’t a Universal Value
From Saudi Arabia to Peru, There’s No Clear Pattern to How Compassion Works
Empathy varies a lot among people, psychological research has found. But it also varies widely among countries and cultures. When my colleagues and I set out to analyze the largest study on empathy ever done—104,365 people from 63 countries—we expected to learn whether the extent to which we tune into others’ emotional cues clearly differs by culture. Instead, we were left with a number of new questions about what we mean—here and in other countries—when we talk about empathy.
I orginally got involved in studying empathy because I was raised …