Oct 19, 2016 09:49 AM EDT
Empathy is the ability of a person to feel compassion and see the other person's point of view. A recent survey has been conducted in 63 countries and the result showed that the U.S. ranked 7th in the Top 10 list of the most empathetic countries.
The survey was part of the collaborative research by the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, and the Indiana University to find out the empathy level of each country.
The researchers posted the questions online and more than 104,000 respondents from around the world answered the questionnaire. The researchers then, separate those countries with very few respondents and excluded them from the survey due to little sample size.
From among those countries who were included in the factoring, Ecuador comes at the top as the most empathic countries followed by Saudi Arabia and Peru. In second and third place respectively.
To complete the top ten, the countries that followed in exact order are Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Korea, United States, Taiwan, Costa Rica, and Kuwait.
William Chopik, who heads the study, said that the result of the survey was surprising as it shows that those who show more empathy are from countries who have seen conflict and aggression.
Regarding the U.S' rank in the list, Chopik said that there are several factors that could have contributed to the empathy score. The increasing prevalence of social media, changing family practices, and an increase in violence are some of the factors the researchers mentioned. These factors might be the reasons in the end why a lot of Americans will abandon close relationships altogether.
"People are struggling more than ever to form meaningful close relationships. So, sure, the United States is seventh on the list, but we could see that position rise or fall depending on how our society changes in the next 20-50 years," he said.
Meanwhile, those countries who scored the lowest in empathy are from Eastern Europe with Lithuania at the very bottom of the list.
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