Laboratory Analogues of Sympathy

  • Lauren Wispé
Part of the Perspectives in Social Psychology book series (PSPS)


At one time sympathy was an important concept in American psychology. It was widely used in child psychology, as we saw in the last chapter, and also it played a significant role in social psychological theorizing (F. Allport, 1924; G. Allport, 1954; Asch, 1952; Heider, 1958; McDougall, 1908). Then it fell into disfavor, and currently there is almost no research that uses the word sympathy in its title. Nevertheless, I think it is fair to say that the idea of sympathy is still very much alive in psychology, appearing now more frequently under the label empathy. As I pointed out in Chapter 4, these two words refer to different psychological processes and should not be confused. The point of all of this, however, is that we are left with few exemplary studies on the effect or the experience of sympathy.


Target Person Personal Distress Cognitive Empathy Situational Constraint Social Psychological Theorize 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren Wispé
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OklahomaNormanUSA

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