Empathic inference, or everyday-mind reading , is a form of complex psychological inference in which observation, memory, kwledge, and reasoning are combined to yield insights into the subjective experience of others. This comprehensive volume addresses the question of how accurate our readings of thoughts and feelings of others actually are, introducing two invative methods for objectivity measuring this key dimension of social intelligence. Presenting cutting-edge research in this emerging area, the volume offers essential insights into how and why people sometimes succeed, and sometimes fail, in their attempts to understand each other. Leading experts cover such topics as the evolutionary and social-developmental origins of empathic accuracy; physiological aspects of empathic accuracy; gender and other individual difference variables; empathic accuracy and processes of mental control; the dynamic role of empathic accuracy in personal and psychotherapeutic relationships; and the relation of empathic accuracy to applied domains in psychology. This book will be of interest to students, researchers, and professionals in a range of disciplines, including personality and social psychology, clinical and counseling psychology, communication, developmental psychology, and marriage and family studies.
William Ickes, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington, has studied naturally occurring social interaction for two decades. His research over the past ten years has focused more specifically on naturally occurring social cognition and empathic accuracy.