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The power of empathy

What can we learn by putting ourselves in another's shoes? Imagine. A man in a car overtakes you on a motorway and speeds off. You are annoyed, and immediately think of him pejoratively as 'the sort of person who overtakes'. You use what you think about 'overtakers' to fill in the all the unknowns about this driver, and imagine his entire character to be a reckless, aggressive, and selfish. You mutter to yourself that he probably does anti-social things like this all the time

Going further: from sympathy to empathy

When we think about how we should treat others, we often bring to mind 'the golden rule' - to treat others as we would want to be treated. This is based on good intentions, but if we consider what this means, we can see that it matters how you interpret it. Imagine that you are worried about a test you have tomorrow, and that you are the sort of person who studies best with a friend. Now imagine that your roommate is the sort of person who studies best alone. If she treated y