Empathy and Bias

Before starting this activity, the Dr. asked us about how we define empathy. I realized that some people had a misconception about the definition of empathy; as they mixed up between empathy and sympathy definitions. The significant difference is that sympathy is simply feeling sorry for someone’s loss or pain, while empathy is living someone’s loss or pain experience. One website called Vocabulary highlighted the difference between sympathy and empathy through an example; send a sympathy card if someone’s cat died; feel empathy if your cat died too. However, I think the misconception was cleared after starting the activity. It was basically playing two online games by which certain situations were given to the player where the player has to make his/her own choices, and the results are shown based on the choices made by the player. These games helped in clarifying the meaning of empathy, as it gives an opportunity to the players to experience others’ stories. Before playing these games, we had class discussions about what would bother us if others do and what excuse would make us forgive them if they do it. This discussion was so beneficial to me because I got to understand that there are differences between people’s priorities. For instance, I shared with my class that I may get bothered when someone ignores my call and doesn’t call me back, but it didn’t seem to bother others in my class.





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