Finland is one of world's least empathetic countries, finds study

Finns are among the worst in the world at walking in the shoes of others, according to an online survey with over 100,000 responses from around the world.

Finns are among the worst in the world at walking in the shoes of others, indicates a study published in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology  - writes helsinkitimes.fi.

The authors of the study analysed the responses of over 100,000 people from around to world to an online survey on empathy in an attempt to explore cultural variation in empathy and rank countries based on how likely their residents were to show compassion and appreciate the views of others.

Finland ranked 58th among the 63 countries that yielded a sufficient number of responses, according to Lännen Media . The only nations with a lower disposition to empathy were Bulgaria, Poland, Estonia, Venezuela and Lithuania.

Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Peru, Denmark and the United Arab Emirates, by contrast, were ranked as the five most empathetic countries on the planet. The top ten was rounded out by South Korea, the United States, Taiwan, Costa Rica and Kuwait.

One of the conclusions drawn by the authors based on the research data is that nations with a higher score in empathy have higher levels of collectivism, emotionality, self-esteem and subjective well-being. The authors also revealed that a higher score in empathy correlated with a positive disposition to volunteer work but, surprisingly, not with a greater tendency to donate money.

The study was conducted at the Michigan State University, University of Chicago and Indiana University.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva

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