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{{ClinPsy}}
 
{{ClinPsy}}
'''Sympathy''' comes from the [[Latin]] sympatha, from Greek sumpatheia, from sumpaths, affected by like feelings : sun-, syn- + pathos, emotion. Thus the essence of sympathy is that a person's feelings reflect or are like those of another.
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'''Sympathy''' is an [[emotional state]] and is a social affinity in which one person stands with another person, closely understanding his or her feelings. It also can mean being affected by feelings or emotions. Thus the essence of sympathy is that one has a strong concern for the other person. Sympathy exists when the feelings or [[emotions]] of one person are deeply understood and appreciated by another person.
   
Sympathy exists when the feelings or [[emotions]] of one person give rise to similar feelings in another person, creating a state of shared feeling.
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The [[psychology|psychological]] state of sympathy is closely linked with that of [[compassion]], [[empathy]] and [[empathic concern]]. Although empathy and sympathy are often used interchangeably, a subtle variation in ordinary usage can be detected. To empathize is to respond to another's perceived emotional state by experiencing feelings of a similar sort.<ref>Chismar, D. (1988). Empathy and sympathy: the important difference. The Journal of Value Inquiry, 22, 257-266.</ref> Sympathy not only includes empathizing (but not always), but also entails having a positive regard or a non- fleeting concern for the other person.<ref>Decety, J., & Batson, C.D. (2007). Social neuroscience approaches to interpersonal sensitivity. Social Neuroscience, 2(3-4), 151-157.</ref>
In common usage, sympathy is usually the sharing of [[unhappiness]] or [[suffering]], but it can also refer to sharing other ([[positive]]) emotions as well.
 
In a broader sense, it can refer to the sharing of political or [[ideology|ideological]] sentiments, such as in the phrase "a [[communism|communist]] sympathiser".
 
   
The [[psychology|psychological]] state of sympathy is closely linked with that of [[empathy]], but is not identical to it. Empathy refers to the ability to perceive and directly experientially feel another person's emotions as they feel them, but makes no statement as to how they are viewed. Sympathy, by contrast, implies a degree of equal feeling, that is, the sympathiser views the matter similarly to how the person themselves does. It thus implies concern, or care or a wish to alleviate negative feelings others are experiencing.
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In common usage, sympathy is usually making known one's understanding of another's [[unhappiness]] or [[suffering]], especially when it is [[grief]].
   
Thus it is possible to be:
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Sympathy can also refer to being aware of other ([[Positive affectivity|positive]]) emotions as well.
* '''Empathetic but not sympathetic''', by internally experiencing their feeling but not being motivated to alleviating action as a result (eg, a lust killer who is aroused by his victim's fear, or a con artist who knows how his "mark" feels but uses it to manipulate not support).
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* '''Sympathetic but not empathetic''' by realising (perhaps [[cognition|cognitively]]) someone is upset and wanting to alleviate that, but not experiencing their sense of upset directly and internally as an emotional state within themselves (eg, a person at a help desk who sees another in distress, does not feel distress themselves, but tries to find what is wrong and help them anyway).
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In a broader sense, it can refer to the sharing of political or [[ideology|ideological]] sentiments, such as in the phrase "a [[communism|communist]] sympathizer".
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The word derives from the [[Greek language|Greek]] ''συμπάθεια'' (''sympatheia'')<ref>[http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3D%2398480 Sympatheia, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, ''A Greek-English Lexicon'', at Perseus]</ref>, from ''σύν'' (''syn'') "together" and ''πάθος'' (''[[pathos]]'') "passion", in this case "suffering" (from ''πάσχω'' - ''pascho'', "to be affected by, to suffer").
   
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
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*[[Acceptance]]
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*[[Compassion]]
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*[[Emotional intelligence]]
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*[[Empathy]]
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*[[Identification]]
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*[[Pity]]
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==References==
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{{reflist}}
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==Further reading==
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* Decety, J. and Ickes, W. (Eds.) (2009). The Social Neuroscience of Empathy. Cambridge: MIT Press, Cambridge.
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* Decety, J. and Batson, C.D. (Eds.). Interpersonal Sensitivity: Entering Others' Worlds. Hove: Psychology Press.
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* Eisenberg, N., & Strayer, J. (1987). Empathy and its Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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* Lamm, C., Batson, C.D., & Decety, J. (2007). The neural substrate of human empathy: effects of perspective-taking and cognitive appraisal. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19, 42-58.
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==External links==
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{{wikiquote}}
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* [http://sampleletterofsympathy.com Letters of Sympathy]
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* [http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0604/features/emotion.shtml Mirrored emotion] by Jean Decety from the University of Chicago.
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* [http://griefandlosssympathy.blogspot.com/2008/12/how-to-write-sympathy-or-condolence.html Writing a sympathy Card]
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{{Emotion-footer}}
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*[[empathy]]
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[[Category:Emotional states]]
*[[pity]]
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[[Category:Social psychology]]
*[[compassion]]
 
*[[acceptance]]
 
*[[Like#As a verb|liking]]
 
*[[emotional intelligence]]
 
   
[[Category:Emotion]]
 
   
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Revision as of 23:09, December 6, 2009

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Sympathy is an emotional state and is a social affinity in which one person stands with another person, closely understanding his or her feelings. It also can mean being affected by feelings or emotions. Thus the essence of sympathy is that one has a strong concern for the other person. Sympathy exists when the feelings or emotions of one person are deeply understood and appreciated by another person.

The psychological state of sympathy is closely linked with that of compassion, empathy and empathic concern. Although empathy and sympathy are often used interchangeably, a subtle variation in ordinary usage can be detected. To empathize is to respond to another's perceived emotional state by experiencing feelings of a similar sort.[1] Sympathy not only includes empathizing (but not always), but also entails having a positive regard or a non- fleeting concern for the other person.[2]

In common usage, sympathy is usually making known one's understanding of another's unhappiness or suffering, especially when it is grief.

Sympathy can also refer to being aware of other (positive) emotions as well.

In a broader sense, it can refer to the sharing of political or ideological sentiments, such as in the phrase "a communist sympathizer".

The word derives from the Greek συμπάθεια (sympatheia)[3], from σύν (syn) "together" and πάθος (pathos) "passion", in this case "suffering" (from πάσχω - pascho, "to be affected by, to suffer").

See also


References

  1. Chismar, D. (1988). Empathy and sympathy: the important difference. The Journal of Value Inquiry, 22, 257-266.
  2. Decety, J., & Batson, C.D. (2007). Social neuroscience approaches to interpersonal sensitivity. Social Neuroscience, 2(3-4), 151-157.
  3. Sympatheia, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, at Perseus

Further reading

  • Decety, J. and Ickes, W. (Eds.) (2009). The Social Neuroscience of Empathy. Cambridge: MIT Press, Cambridge.
  • Decety, J. and Batson, C.D. (Eds.). Interpersonal Sensitivity: Entering Others' Worlds. Hove: Psychology Press.
  • Eisenberg, N., & Strayer, J. (1987). Empathy and its Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Lamm, C., Batson, C.D., & Decety, J. (2007). The neural substrate of human empathy: effects of perspective-taking and cognitive appraisal. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19, 42-58.

External links

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