Can you really teach empathy? | The Oxford Review

Can you really teach empathy?

Research Briefing

Is empathy just part of our personality or can it be taught / learned?

Many organisations have empathy as part of their values or competencies with little consideration about whether it can be developed and if it can, how to develop it. The closest many organisations get to venturing into this field is to run ‘emotional intelligence’ courses, which when evaluated turn out to be largely PowerPoint led cognitive exercises as opposed to the real development of emotional skills like empathy and emotion regulation.

What follows in this briefing is a useful report from a roundtable colloquium of expert witnesses run earlier this year at Virginia Commonwealth University in the USA to discuss how empathy can be taught/developed in classroom/academic/workshop/organisational environments.

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Disclaimer: This is a research review, expert interpretation and briefing. As such it contains other studies, expert comment and practitioner advice. It is not a copy of the original study – which is referenced. The original study should be consulted and referenced in all cases. This research briefing is for informational and educational purposes only. We do not accept any liability for the use to which this review and briefing is put or for it or the research accuracy, reliability or validity. This briefing as an original work in its own right and is copyright © Oxford Review Enterprises Ltd 2016-2019. Any use made of this briefing is entirely at your own risk.

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