EMPATHY: Nature or Nurture?

empathy by prototypr
Photo Credit To Prototypr

Have you ever been in a situation where a friend was going through a hard time and you lacked ways to show empathy?

It has been believed to be an emotion that we learn from our upbringing and life experiences.

Empathy is generally defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It figuratively means putting yourself in one’s shoes.

It is required in our daily encounters with people, which may be in our workplace, schools and even social gatherings. While some people lack the ability to empathize; studies have shown this may not be entirely their fault.

Recent studies have shown that empathy could be traced down to the genes; it may be inherited. The research was conducted on 46,000 clients of a genetic company, who also filled an Empathy quotient form. The study revealed that some people are more empathetic than others and 10% of this variation could be attributed to genes. It also showed that women are more empathetic than men, however this doesn’t have any known genetic correlation.

Although a person’s ability to understand and respond appropriately to the feelings of others could be linked to genetic or other biological factors, social factors are majorly contributory.


About The Author

Chinazo Iloeje is a Medical Doctor at Garnetcare Medical Center, Abuja. She hopes that through her writing, new health discoveries and other important health information would be made known to all Africans.

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