Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 30 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

In the present chapter we examine the role that empathic accuracy plays in people's close relationships. We first define the term empathic accuracy and briefly review the historical precedents of this important construct. We then describe how empathic accuracy is operationally defined and measured within the context of the three major research paradigms that have been developed to date: the dyadic interaction paradigm, the standard stimulus paradigm, and the standard interview paradigm. Next, we summarize the results of the search for reliable predictors of empathic accuracy, starting with characteristics of perceivers and then moving to characteristics of targets.

The rest of the chapter focuses specifically on empathic accuracy in close relationship. This section examines the "motivational dynamics" of empathic accuracy, using Ickes and Simpson's (1997, 2001) empathic accuracy model to specify when perceivers will attempt to accurately versus inaccurately infer their relationship partner's thoughts and feelings. With the empathic accuracy model and its associated research findings as background, we go on to explore the role of empathic accuracy in successful social interactions. Finally, we suggest some useful directions for future research and summarize both the strengths and the limitations of of "everyday mind reading."

Keywords: empathic accuracy, close relationships, research paradigms, the empathic accuracy model, motivated accuracy, motivated inaccuracy, inferential difficulty, perceiver differences, target differences

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.