Empathic inference, or "everyday mind reading," is a form of complex psychological inference in which observation, memory, knowledge, and reasoning are combined to yield insights into the subjective experience of others. This comprehensive volume addresses the question of how accurate our "readings" of the thoughts and feelings of others actually are, introducing two innovative methods for objectively measuring this key dimension of social intelligence. Presenting cutting-edge research in this emerging area, the volume offers essential insights into how and why people sometimes succeed, and sometimes fail, in their attempts to understand each other. Leading experts cover such topics as the evolutionary and social-developmental origins of empathic accuracy; physiological aspects of empathic accuracy; gender and other individual difference variables; empathic accuracy and processes of mental control; the dynamic role of empathic accuracy in personal and psychotherapeutic relationships; and the relation of empathic accuracy to applied domains in psychology.
William Ickes, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington, has studied naturally occurring social interaction for two decades. His research over the past ten years has focused more specifically on naturally occurring social cognition and empathic accuracy.
Ickes, Introduction. Buck, Ginsburg, Communicative Genes and the Evolution of Empathy. Levenson, Ruef, Physiological Aspects of Emotional Knowledge and Rapport. Eisenberg et al, The Development of Empathic Accuracy. Graham, Ickes, When Women's Intuition Isn't Greater Than Men's. Davis, Kraus, Personality and Empathic Accuracy. Colvin et al, Why Do Friends Understand Each Other Better Than Strangers Do? Thomas, Fletcher, Empathic Accuracy in Close Relationships. Ickes, Simpson, Managing Empathic Accuracy in Close Relationships. Bissonnette, Empathic Accuracy and Marital Conflict Resolution. Ickes et al, Studying Empathic Accuracy in a Clinically Relevant Context. Hodges, Wegner, Automatic Controlled Empathy.
"The book is a compendium of state-of-the-art research on one of the most important and interesting topics at the interface of social and personality psychology--when and how do we know what another person is thinking and feeling? The 11 chapters cover a wide range of research and theory, and the level of their quality is amazingly even: Each one is excellent. William Ickes, one of the major contributors to this research area, has done an impressive job recruiting a real 'Who's Who' of researchers to contribute to his book. The book provides a necessary and perhaps even sufficient education for any reader interested in what psychologists have learned about empathic accuracy. It presents new data, meta-analyses, and several theoretical perspectives both old and new. This book is a 'must-have' for anybody doing research on empathy or accuracy in personality judgment, and would also make a terrific resource for constructing up-to-date course lectures in social and personality psychology. The fields of social and personality psychology seem to be becoming more interrelated and more interesting all the time; the book demonstrates one important reason why." --David F. Funder, Department of Psychology, University of California, Riverside "This groundbreaking book refines our grasp of a fundamental concept--the empathic understanding of another person's thoughts and feelings. Extending beyond the more traditional definitions of empathy that focus on emotional matching in one's own and another's feelings, the concept of empathic accuracy provides the building blocks for interpersonal skills and healthy relationships. Attesting to this, the present volume includes contributions from some of the most renowned researchers in the area of interpersonal relationships, and also from an illustrious set of researchers examining individual differences in empathy and its development. The relevance to clinical issues is also an important theme in the book and is handled in a cog
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