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No, Empathy Isn’t a Universal Value

Sara Konrath: Empathy varies a lot among people, psychological research has found. But it also varies widely among countries and cultures. When my colleagues and I set out to analyze the largest study on empathy ever done — 104,365 people from 63 countries — we expected to learn whether the extent to which we tune into others’ emotional cues clearly differs by culture. Instead, we were left with a number of new questions about what we mean — here and in other countries — when we talk about empathy.

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