Research Based Practice

Empathic Intervision is the result of scientific inquiries into best empathy practices. This page showcases scientific and other institutions, furthering our collective knowledge and practice of empathy.  The work done in these places informs the Empathic Intervision process. We will also report on the research results of the application of Empathic Intervision itself.

Because we believe firmly in research based practice and practice based research, we offer the option to accompany the implementation of Empathic Intervision with organisational mixed-method research.

Practice Based Research

In organisations, we measure what we treasure. Empathic Intervision is applied as a means to an end. We therefore look at whether Empathic Intervision leads to its desired outcomes. When used in decision making, the effectiveness of Empathic Intervision needs to be measured in terms of the adequacy of the decision making process and its actionable consequences. When used as peer support, research could look at organisational culture, stress and willingness to learn (to name but a few). 

Research accompanying Empathic Intervision is made-to-measure in close co-creation with our clients.

Projects

Since 2016, a large national healthcare NGO in South Africa has decided to work with us to pilot and implement Empathic Intervision. Providing care and support to people who are suffering can be difficult and lonely work. This organisation recognises this challenge and is committed to engaging in-house empathic peer support processes to support their staff in providing sustainable empathic service to patients. We set up an intervention study to keep track of the effects of Empathic Intervision for their service delivery staff. The study has shown that the intervention equipped staff to engage empathically with colleagues, volunteers, patients and their families. The intervention was met with a lot of enthusiasm and lead to a willingness to change both, personal behaviours as well as organisational challenges. We are now entering the phase of a national roll-out in the organisation. This phase too will be studied in order to optimize the process.

Empathy Research Elsewhere

  • The Laboratory on Social & Affective Neuroscience conducts research aimed at understanding the social, cognitive, and neural basis of social processes that include empathy, altruism, and aggression.
  • The primary mission of the Living Links Center is to study human evolution by investigating our close genetic, anatomical, cognitive, and behavioral similarities with great apes.
  • The Mind & Life Institute is a non-profit organization that seeks to alleviate suffering and promote flourishing by integrating science with contemplative practice and wisdom traditions.
  • The Oxford Empathy Programme (OxEmCare) is an interdisciplinary research group that works to ensure that the evidence-based benefits of empathic care are implemented into the heart of all healthcare settings and interactions.
  • Started in 1996, Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based classroom program to build caring, peaceful, and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults. It strives to break the intergenerational cycle of violence and poor parenting.
  • The Social & Affective Neuroscience Society (SANS) is committed to research investigating the neural basis of social and affective processes.
  • Perceiving what others feel and want and reacting accordingly is both complex and important. The mission of the Social Brain Lab is to understand the neural bases of these processes.
  • The Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab, leverages a wide array of techniques (including behavioral testing, psychophysiology, neuroimaging, and field research) to examine the cognitive bases of social behaviors.
  • Start Empathy, an initiative of Ashoka, is a community of individuals and institutions dedicated to building a future in which every child masters empathy.