Symposium Empathy

On May 1 st 2014, Utrecht University will organize the symposium: ‘Understanding Each Other: Towards an Interdisciplinary Conceptualization of Empathy. Hereby we kindly invite you to join our symposium on empathy. Empathy, the ability to respond with compassion to others’ emotions and to take others’ perspectives, plays a crucial role in social and moral behavior. In recent years, research on empathy has exploded – but there is already a history of research across various disciplines.

The aim of this one-day symposium is to build bridges between different fields and advance an interdisciplinary understanding of empathy, its developmental trajectories and influences, neural underpinnings, and correlates in behavior and mental health. We are proud to introduce you to three renowned international guest speakers from complementary backgrounds:

Prof. Dr. Nancy Eisenberg will address the development and socialization of empathy in relation to prosocial behavior.
Prof. Dr. William Ickes will address empathic accuracy in close relationships, and the dyadic interaction paradigm for the study of empathy.
Prof. Dr. Claus Lamm will address the neural underpinnings of different empathic abilities.

The program further includes lectures on the multidimensional nature of empathy (Jolien van der Graaff), the function of empathy in adolescent-parent conflict resolution (Caspar van Lissa), hormones and empathic behavior (Jack van Honk), empathy dysfunction in children and adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders and psychopathic tendencies (Minet De Wied), and emotion and social cognition in aggressive children (Bram Orobio De Castro).

To promote interactivity and transfer of knowledge, the program further includes interactive poster sessions, and round-table discussions between the audience and the speakers (signup required for round-table discussions, priority is given to PhD students).

All participants are welcome to present a poster on their work (in progress) on empathy or related topics. For program details and registration see FSW50 Website