1st Edition

Empathic Accuracy

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ISBN 9781572301610
Published May 19, 1997 by Guilford Press
352 Pages

USD $66.00

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Book Description

Empathic inference, or "everyday-mind reading", is a form of complex psychological inference in which observation, memory, knowledge, and reasoning are combined to yield insights into the subjective experience of others. This comprehensive volume addresses the question of how accurate our "readings" of thoughts and feelings of others actually are, introducing two innovative methods for objectivity measuring this key dimension of social intelligence. Presenting cutting-edge research in this emerging area, the volume offers essential insights into how and why people sometimes succeed, and sometimes fail, in their attempts to understand each other. Leading experts cover such topics as the evolutionary and social-developmental origins of empathic accuracy; physiological aspects of empathic accuracy; gender and other individual difference variables; empathic accuracy and processes of mental control; the dynamic role of empathic accuracy in personal and psychotherapeutic relationships; and the relation of empathic accuracy to applied domains in psychology. This book will be of interest to students, researchers, and professionals in a range of disciplines, including personality and social psychology, clinical and counseling psychology, communication, developmental psychology, and marriage and family studies.

Table of Contents

Ickes, Introduction. Buck, Ginsburg, Communicative Genes and the Evolution of Empathy. Levenson, Ruef, Physiological Aspects of Emotional Knowledge and Rapport. Eisenberg et al, The Development of Empathic Accuracy. Graham, Ickes, When Women's Intuition Isn't Greater Than Men's. Davis, Kraus, Personality and Empathic Accuracy. Colvin et al, Why Do Friends Understand Each Other Better Than Strangers Do? Thomas, Fletcher, Empathic Accuracy in Close Relationships. Ickes, Simpson, Managing Empathic Accuracy in Close Relationships. Bissonnette, Empathic Accuracy and Marital Conflict Resolution. Ickes et al, Studying Empathic Accuracy in a Clinically Relevant Context. Hodges, Wegner, Automatic Controlled Empathy.

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"Chapters cover a wide range of research and theory, and the level of their quality is amazingly even: each one is excellent ... will make a terrific resource for constructing up-to-date course lectures in social and personality psychology." - David F. Funder, Department of Psychology, University of California, Riverside

"William Ickes' research on empathic accuracy has quietly revolutionized the field, and this is reflected in the present volume. His work has not only uncovered basic processes in empathic understanding, but has also contributed to our understanding of the ways in which empathic accuracy is of profound societal significance. Drawing together this exceptional set of experts to address empathic accuracy in a single volume is a major contribution. The book is likely to widely read by professionals and graduate students alike, and to become a standard in the field." - Susan M. Andersen, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, New York University; Former Associate Editor of MIJournal of Personality and Social PsychologyD

The chapters in this book bring to bear a rigorous scientific approach to the study of empathic accuracy. Introducing ideas from evolutionary theory, psychophysiology, and social cognition, these chapter provide refreshing and thought-provoking new perspectives for the study of empathic accuracy. This unique volume will likely set the agenda for the next generation of theorizing and research. It is a 'must' read for anyone interested in how empathy affects human interaction." - Harry T. Reis, Ph.D., University of Rochester