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Examples of empathy gaps

The empathy gap causes us to misjudge our own emotions and behaviors. Examples include overestimating our ability to stay composed in a stressful event, overestimating the likelihood that we can control our desire for an addictive substance, such as coffee, or underestimating how much our feelings for someone affected our judgment in the past.

The empathy gap can cause people to be unprepared for situations and act differently to what they would ideally prefer.

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Why people experience empathy gaps

The way we process and make decisions depends on our current mental state.

When we are angry, we struggle to understand the perception of someone who doesn't care about the same thing because we are in a different mental state than they are. Empathy gaps toward people ...

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Types of empathy gaps

  • Cold-to-hot empathy gaps. When someone is in a cold (emotionally neutral) state, they have trouble understanding someone in a hot (emotional state). A calm person might be unable to predict how they will act when they're upset.
  • Hot-to-cold empathy ...

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Handling empathy gaps

  • Visualize different mental states and perspectives. Visualize how you will feel and think when you are in a different mental state. This technique is also helpful to understand someone else's feelings and behavior.
  • Explain the different perspectives.

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The empathy gap

The empathy gap

The empathy gap is a cognitive bias that causes people to struggle to understand mental states that are different from their own.

When someone is happy or angry, they struggle to understand the perspective of someone who is in a different mental state, whether that pe...

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MORE LIKE THIS

Types of empathy gaps

  • Cold-to-hot empathy gaps. When someone is in a cold (emotionally neutral) state, they have trouble understanding someone in a hot (emotional state). A calm person might be unable to predict how they will act when they're upset.
  • Hot-to-cold empathy ...

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