Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (1):23-24 (2001)

Abstract
Empathy can be viewed as an intervening variable to explain complex webs of causation between multiple factors and the resulting responses. The mediating role of emotion, implicit in the concept of an intervening variable, can be at the basis of the flexibility of empathic responses. Knowledge of the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms is needed for empathy to be considered as a biologically functional intervening variable.
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DOI 10.1017/s0140525x02250013
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