But do we always want people to show empathy? Not so, said researchers from the University of California, Davis. A recently published paper suggests that although empathy is often portrayed as a virtue, people who express empathy are not necessarily viewed favorably.
“Empathy has become a sort of ‘catch-all’ for desirable personal qualities,” said Y. Andre Wang, who is a doctoral candidate and lead author of the paper. “But people’s views on empathy are actually more complicated.
“We found that what people think of empathizers depends on who is receiving their empathy. People don’t necessarily like or respect those who show empathy toward morally questionable individuals,” he added.