Our thinking

EmpathyLab thinking

I find that many pupils struggle to see the human being behind the news story, and in order for them to truly understand the lives of others, we must ensure that their experiences are enriched. That they learn about the hopes, fears and dreams of others. Only then can we create a tolerant society in which the value of a human being means more than their celebrity status, their wealth or their physical appearance. I believe that this project is vital for that reason.
Bali Rai

We’re just at the beginning of what EmpathyLab will be doing and the difference it will be making to children’s lives. Find out more about our thinking, research and reading that is informing our development.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas
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Our Thinking

Download a summary of our current  EmpathyLab Thinking  outlining why we’re doing it, the difference we want to make and the action research programme we’re planning on developing.

Download our EmpathyLab Think-In flyer  and find out more about the event .


Here is some of the reading that is helping us shape EmpathyLab:

And we’re being inspired by The Empathy Library , Roots of Empathy and Ashoka’s Start Empathy campaign.


The words, stories, empathy and neuroscience research which is framing our thinking and the rationale for our work:

2013: University of Toronto: Reading Other Minds: effects of literature on empathy (PDF) . Maja Djikic, Keith Oatley and Mihnea C Moldoveanu. Scientific study of literature 3:1, 2013, 28-47.

2013: New School for Social Research, New York: Reading Literary Fiction improves Theory of Mind (PDF) . Emanuele Castono, David Comer Kidd. Published Oct 3 2013 issue of Science.

2013: Emory University, Georgia: Short and long term effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain.Gregory Berns, Kristina Braine et al. Brain connectivity, Vol 3, No 6, 2013.

2008: University of Toronto: Keith Oatley, Maja Djikic, Raymond Mar.Review of General Psychology, Vol 3u (article The Science of Fiction, Keith Oatley, New Scientist, 2008).   

2009: Exposure to media and theory of mind development in pre-schoolers (PDF) .Raymond A. Mar, Jennifer L. Tackett, Chris Moore. Published Elsevier, 2009.

2003: The illusion of independent agency: Do adult fiction writers experience their characters as having minds of their own?Taylor, M., Hodges, S. D., & Kohanyi, A. Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, 22, 361-380.

2013: Madrid University: Improving emotional competence through mediated reading.Enrique Riquelme, Ignatio Montero. Mind Culture and Activity, 2013, Part 2, issue 3, 225-239.

2007: Queensland University of Technology: Don’t worry: promoting resilience through the use of book in the classroom (PDF) .Dr Marilyn Campbell. In Primary and Middle Years Educator, 5(1) pp. 3-8, Australian Curriculum Studies Association.

2010: University of Michigan: Changes in Dispositional Empathy in American College Students Over Time: A Meta-Analysis (PDF) . Sara H. Konrath, Edward H. O’Brien, Courtney Hsing. Personality and Social Psychology Review , 2011, 15(2) 180 –198.

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