Given that the cognitive and affective processes underlying empathy do not fossilize, studies of the empathic capacities of nonhuman primates provide us with a critical window through which we can explore the evolutionary origins of human empathy. Specifically, the comparative method provides an opportunity to determine which features of empathy are uniquely human and which are shared within the primate lineage. Here, we use the ethological approach to explore the affective and cognitive layers underlying empathy in primates. We review recent research exploring evidence for different layers of empathy, from the more basic forms such as yawn contagion and rapid facial mimicry, to more cognitively complex forms such as sympathetic concern and targeted helping. Combining evidence from both observational and experimental approaches, we argue that many of the core components underlying human empathy are deeply rooted in our primate past.

Ethological approaches to empathy in primates.

Elisabetta Palagi
Secondo
;
2018

Abstract

Given that the cognitive and affective processes underlying empathy do not fossilize, studies of the empathic capacities of nonhuman primates provide us with a critical window through which we can explore the evolutionary origins of human empathy. Specifically, the comparative method provides an opportunity to determine which features of empathy are uniquely human and which are shared within the primate lineage. Here, we use the ethological approach to explore the affective and cognitive layers underlying empathy in primates. We review recent research exploring evidence for different layers of empathy, from the more basic forms such as yawn contagion and rapid facial mimicry, to more cognitively complex forms such as sympathetic concern and targeted helping. Combining evidence from both observational and experimental approaches, we argue that many of the core components underlying human empathy are deeply rooted in our primate past.
Clay, Zanna; Palagi, Elisabetta; de Waal, Frans
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/933826
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