To imagine a mountain rising is to project my own feelings of striving upward into it.
Psychologists vigorously debated whether the phenomenon engaged actual movements of muscles and limbs, or was merely a mental exercise that made use of “the mind’s muscles.” As it happened, the same decades that saw Einfühlung become vital to art psychology also saw the rise of the new field of experimental psychology.
Some clinicians turned to empathy as a therapeutic skill that required the therapist to put aside judgment in order to see the world more fully from the client’s perspective.
Furthermore, the war had exposed social fault lines between those of different races, religions, and cultures.
A variety of empathy scales were designed to chart who possessed more, and who had less, of the ability.
In popular journals and newspapers of the 1950s, advice columnists touted empathy to better connect husbands and wives, mothers and daughters.As a means to understand others, empathy gained cultural influence after the Second World War.Soldiers suffering from war trauma and neuropsychiatric injuries put clinical psychologists and psychiatrists in high demand.It was thus in 1908 that two British psychologists, Edward Titchener and James Ward, coined “empathy” for Einfühlung.Titchener, director of the Cornell psychological laboratory, fashioned the term empathy on analogy to sympathy, but distinct from it.Some striking examples are given that may help you improve your own creativity.If you can plow through the sometimes overly old-fashioned writing style.Sympathy, a much older term, was touted by moral philosophers of the 18th century as an in-born moral sentiment.Adam Smith, famous for his free-market economics, called sympathy a means of “changing places in fancy with the sufferer.” But if sympathy meant one felt with or alongside of another, Titchener explained that with empathy one entered into the object and experienced it from the inside.Students from all over the world flocked to German psychological institutes and laboratories to carry out experiments evaluating sensation and perception.It soon became imperative to translate German terms into English.