It is often characterized as the ability to “put oneself into another’s shoes,” or in some way experience what the other person is feeling.
is the tendency to catch and feel emotions that are similar to and influenced by those of others.
Problems arise when one can not differentiate between the two, because each has a very specific meaning and purpose.
In a 2001 research paper, Simon Baron-Cohen describes Theory of Mind as “…being able to infer the full range of mental states (beliefs, desires, intentions, imagination, emotions, etc.) that cause action. The other person, Ann, sees Sally with the ball and watches as she puts the ball away in her basket.In the picture to the right, one looks at the top picture and sees what? But when the picture is flipped over, and it is viewed upside down, the picture changes. A large island with trees in the place of the bird’s feet?And a man in a boat, reeling in a huge fish, by the island? The perspective you see with depends on which direction you look at the picture from.Someone who has a full grasp of Theory of Mind will immediately know that Sally will look where she last left the ball, and upon the discovery that it is missing, she will begin looking for other places it might be. Perspective Taking is the ability to see things from a point of view other than one’s own.In this description, there are a number of different traits.This happens consciously when a person perceives a correlation between someone else’s experiences and their own.However, unconscious dimensions of identification are far more important, influencing the development of our personalities and our interactions with others in subtle and powerful ways that lie beyond our conscious awareness.People who catch this type of ‘social virus’ tend to mimic the facial expressions, vocal expressions, postures, and instrumental behaviors of those around them, and thereby “catch” another person’s emotions as a consequence of such facial, vocal, and postural feedback.The process of Empathy includes 6 different pieces, which often times overlap one another and can be quite confusing to differentiate between. One is the cognitive level and the other is the emotional level.Within the scope of the cognitive level, the three pieces are: .What we are going to do here is look at each facet of the empathic process in a little bit more detail.