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Empathic Accuracy

  • By: William Ickes Marianne & Marianne Mast
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)
Definition

Empathic accuracy refers to the degree to which people can accurately infer the specific content of other people's thoughts and feelings. The ability to accurately read other people's thoughts and feelings (everyday mind reading) is a fundamental skill that affects people's adjustment in many different aspects of their lives.

For example, one researcher found that mothers who were more accurate in inferring their child's thoughts and feelings had children with more positive self-concepts. Other researchers have found that young adolescents who were good at reading other people's thoughts and feelings had better peer relationships and fewer personal adjustment problems than those who were poor at reading others. And, with regard to people's dating and marriage relationships, other researchers have found that accurately reading a relationship partner ...

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