Empathy Conversations – Testing their effectiveness in a policy making environment: A Pilot Study

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Empathy Conversations – Testing their effectiveness in a policy making environment: A Pilot Study

Empathy is often defined as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. This pilot study tested a method for creating empathic exchanges between two groups of fourteen people – one group of seven, who were in a position to influence policy development, and the other group of seven who were experiencing financial and employment difficulties. The differences in the participants’ lived experiences were significant, and included financial wealth, organisational influence, and educational attainment.

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Empathy is often defined as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. This pilot study tested a method for creating empathic exchanges between two groups of fourteen people – one group of seven, who were in a position to influence policy development, and the other group of seven who were experiencing financial and employment difficulties. The differences in the participants’ lived experiences were significant, and included financial wealth, organisational influence, and educational attainment.

56 page pilot study report by Dr Lynne Reeder, Australia21 Director and Empathy Project Leader