Chair: Maayan Davidov
Empathy comes in different forms (affective; cognitive; for others’ distress; for others’ joy; and more). Recent evidence indicates that empathic responses are rooted in early ontogeny (Davidov, Zahn‐Waxler, Roth‐Hanania, & Knafo, 2013; Liddle, Bradley, & Mcgrath, 2015; Roth-Hanania, Davidov, & Zahn-Waxler, 2011). However, many gaps in knowledge still remain regarding the development of different forms of empathy during infancy. This invited symposium seeks to narrow this gap, by presenting new data from multiple projects, examining early empathic abilities in infancy. Presentations will address different forms of early empathy, their development, as well as individual differences and their correlates. Mikko Peltola will present findings on the associations between infant’s attentional bias to faces (fearful and other) and their affective empathy and responsivity to others’ needs; Yael Paz will present findings from a new task examining infants’ cognitive empathy (emotional understanding) at 3 and 6 months (longitudinally), in which infants’ responses to visual and auditory cues of others’ emotions were assessed, when these cues were matched vs. mismatched; Tal Orlitsky will present a study examining the very early responses of infants to others’ distress and joy, from 6 weeks to 12 weeks; and Maayan Davidov will present a longitudinal study examining the development of infant’s empathic happiness (sharing in another’s positive emotion) from 3 to 36 months. Together, this invited symposium will help shed new light on the early development of different forms of empathy, and highlight promising avenues for future research in this area.