Empathy and aging: Mechanisms of empathy throughout adulthood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

2 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, there has been growing interest in age-related differences in social cognitive functions across the adult life span, such as emotion perception and theory of mind. Empathy, the ability to both understand and share another person’s feelings, involves emotional and cognitive processes and is a fundamental aspect of social interactions and relationships. However, systematic knowledge about the development of empathy across the lifecycle is limited, including changes through adulthood. Several questionnaire and behavioral studies have suggested that in typical aging, late adulthood and advanced age is associated with reduced capacity for cognitive empathy, but the developmental trajectory of empathy throughout adulthood remains a topic of debate. Here, we summarize the latest results in this growing area of study, and discuss potential neurocognitive mechanisms that might contribute to changes in empathy throughout adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychology and Neurobiology of Empathy
PublisherNova Science Publishers Inc
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781634844482
ISBN (Print)9781634844468
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.


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