Conceptual Definitions

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Conceptual Definitions

Question 1

Perspective taking: within the psychological survey, perspective taking entails the ability of an individual to view a problem or other form of the situation from another point of view other than that which directly connects him or her to it. The cognitive process will involve the person mentally disconnecting him or herself from the emotional attachment to the situation, and placing himself or herself in the virtual position of another person experiencing the problem in a different way.

Fictional involvement: This process involves the ability of an individual to “transport” themselves to an imaginary place where they are able to experience situations. Within the context of empathy, this process is believed to be a crucial tool for evaluating empathy. When people expose themselves to fictional literature, they increase their ability to become empathetic because they are able to apply their emotions in different types of stories.

Empathic concern: This aspect of empathy attempts to evaluate the differences between possessing the feeling of empathy and how it is portrayed by the individual. Emotions of empathy are often displayed by tenderness when comforting others. However, it is possible that there exist people who possess the feeling of empathy but are either not aware of showing tenderness or are simply not inclined to do so. As such, a crucial discussion question would be ‘Is tenderness directly related to empathy?’

Emotional contagion: This is the phenomenon whereby two or more people display the same emotion through actions. Typically, the emotion is influenced by others and is often preceded by the mimicry of physical acts such as a change in body posture and use of different interjections until the emotions eventually converge.

Question 2

Empathy can be defined as the ability to share in other people’s feelings. An individual is able to share these feelings in such a way that the emotions of the suffering party are similar to the one experiencing empathy. As a key element of emotional intelligence, empathy serves as a tool for evaluating a person’s behavior in order to understand what they experience. Aside from just identifying a person’s feelings, it is the ability to act further on these concerns in a bid to help them. Thus, if a person is experiencing sorrow, one is able to draw from the physical reflection of these sentiments, such as crying, sadness, and dullness. Empathy further allows a person to experience the same emotions, which may lead to attempts at comforting as a means of alleviating the emotional pain.

Question 3

Horror: The allure of horror films has long been a part of film production. Within the context of emotions, horror films tend to exude tension within an audience through mystery and terror. Repeated exposure to these feelings, they tend to become more suppressed. This may have a negative effect on the manner in which the audience experiences the feelings of others in the end.

Comedy: Comedy tends to connect with the humorous aspect of human nature. As such, it is literature consisting of satire, jokes and other forms of art intended to make them laugh. It appeals to the human emotion through amplifying the humorous elements.

Tragedy: This can be described as films that depict overwhelming destruction, suffering, and death. People are able to experience empathy through crying. As such, tragedy films can be used to enhance feelings of empathy even in real life situations.

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