These are the world's least empathetic countries

Louis Dor
Sunday 16 October 2016 09:00
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Picture:(Michigan State University)

On an empathy scale from one to eight, the UK ranks about a three.

This is according to a study which ranked 63 countries around the world by empathetic tendencies. The research placed Ecuador first, followed by Saudi Arabia, Peru, Denmark and United Arab Emirates to round out the top five.

You can see an overview in the below map - countries with too small a sample size were not included and were marked grey:

Picture: Michigan State University(Michigan State University)

The United States placed in seventh, which lead author William Chopik of Michigan State University said marked a downturn for the country.

These changes might ultimately cause us to leave our close relationships behind.

People are struggling more than ever to form meaningful close relationships. So, sure, the United States is seventh on the list, but we could see that position rise or fall depending on how our society changes in the next 20-50 years.

The study, published in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, was achieved by researchers who analysed data from an online survey of 104,000 people around the world. The survey measured people's ability to imagine another's point of view and their tendency toward compassion.

Interestingly, many among the least empathetic countries were found in Eastern Europe - seven of the bottom ten. The least empathetic country included in the study was Lithuania.

A lack of empathy has long been considered a hallmark of psychopathic and sociopathic behaviour, however, as Dr George Simon told the indy100, it is not the only factor to consider in a diagnosis:

The Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised is a checklist of items that clinicians - who are specially trained and certified - use to glean facts from a person's behavioral history that load on the scale. There is a cut-off score above which folks have to register to be considered likely psychopaths.

The core of psychopathy is empathy capacity deficiency so extreme that it leads to a callous, sensesless, and remorseless use and abuse of others. It is in essence the most 'malignant' form of narcissism.

These pathologies exist along a spectrum, and full-blown psychopathy is still a relatively rare phenomenon, although various degrees and manifestations of narcissism are certainly increasingly more common.

In short, this map doesn't tell you where all the psychopaths are, merely which countries are ranking highest on a core trait of psychopathic behaviour.

We're looking at you, Lithuania.

More: The truth about the question that only psychopaths can answer correctly

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