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01 January 2021
Empathy: New Critiques, Insights, and Methods to Advance Research on an Important but Problematic Concept
Researchers conceptualize "empathy" in a multitude of ways, from unitary, rigid definitions to laundry lists of traits, states, behaviors, attitudes, and capacities. For decades, scholars have debated what “empathy” is with very little success at establishing consensus. In this special issue, the goal is not to seek consensus for the conceptualization of empathy but rather to explore the many facets and ramifications of the empathy concept with new and constructive practices. Empathy’s ingredients are said variously to be (or not to be) moral values, social perception skills, verbal and nonverbal behaviors, cognitive deliberations, emotions, and physiological responses. Because there is consensus that empathy is an important concept for public policy, social justice, health, well-being, and interpersonal relations, we welcome creative new insights into methodology as well as the antecedents and consequences of the many different things that are called empathy. Therefore, this special issue focuses not on what empathy "is," but on how new conceptual and methodological developments have potential for increasing the clarity and utility of research on this problematic but important concept. Submitted papers are expected to be empirical in nature and contribute to constructive discourse; purely psychometric papers, as well as narrative review papers, will not be considered.
Possible Topics or Designs:
Innovative methodologies used in the context of asking theoretically derived questions
New insights into outcomes, correlates, and antecedents of “empathic” traits or behaviors
Comparisons of the predictive validity of different definitions of empathy
Research on populations or contexts where “empathy” has special relevance or has been neglected
Interdisciplinary approaches and approaches from outside social psychology
Anticipated in press Issue 1, 2022
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Given that the journal is a strong advocate of open science principles, we remind authors that all manuscripts must meet Research Materials Transparency requirements, and we strongly urge all papers to also meet the criteria for Data Transparency. For more details about Open Science Badges and Research Materials Transparency at The Journal of Social Psychology, review our related editorials (Grahe, 2014, 2018).
The journal publishes full-length articles (8,000 words or less) and short reports (2,000 words or less plus one table or figure). Word counts do not include title/abstract/references. Manuscripts should be submitted through the normal process, but authors should select the “Empathy” special issue options during submission. Co-editors for this special issue of JSP will be Judith Hall ([email protected]) and Rachel Schwartz ([email protected]). Questions regarding the suitability for topics in the special issue or other inquiries should be directed to both of the co-editors.
Papers due January, 2021
1st revisions due April, 2021
2nd revisions due July, 2021
Anticipated in press Issue 1, 2022
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