A global empathy map has been composed and it puts the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia nearly at the topmost spot.
While the US of A is one of the most empathic countries in the world, it falls behind Saudi Arabia, Peru and Ecuador on the lengthy list. As for the UK, it didn’t even enter the top ten contenders.
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Over 104,000 people from over 63 countries had their ability of empathy and sympathy gauged. Whether they could put themselves in another person’s shoes or have a heart for others was measured.
The results of this survey come as somewhat of a shock since many of the top contenders were into belligerence and wars. The research teams hailed from Michigan State University, the University of Chicago and Indiana University.
As for the survey, it took place online and looked at empathy levels on a country tally basis. This was the first such survey of its kind. There were obviously differences across the globe. Various people expressed their opinions regarding how much they value the opinions of other people.
Many African nations which had sparse populations were excluded from the list. Ecuador was the most warm-hearted as regards its people. Saudi Arabia and Peru clocked in at the second and third places.
Denmark, UAE, Korea, the United States, Taiwan, Costa Rica and Kuwait formed the rest of the countries on the top ten list. The least empathic country was Lithuania.
Seven of the bottom ten countries were in Eastern Europe. The really surprising thing was that the Middle East, which figured in so much of the chaos and warfare that is taking place today, had the highest positions on this list. This may seem paradoxical yet it is true.
The problem was that the empathy which was tested for did not just exist for the people of other countries but those of one’s own country too. As for the United States, it may be facing an erosion of heart and soul.
The empathy levels in this greatest nation on earth were gradually being worn threadbare. The individualism found in the USA evidently got in the way of empathy. Social media played a large role in the promotion of violence and bullying.
Family values were also being undermined thanks to this factor. When people leave the social glue of human contact behind, the isolation and absurdism of loneliness and nihilism take over. These are indeed a dry rot of the mind.
The struggle with finding meaning in a meaningless world is what is going on today. Maybe a return to more traditional forms of relating with others could lead to an amelioration of this moral and human vacuum that has been created today.
This study got published online in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.