Czech Republic Among World’s Least-Empathetic Nations

Central and Eastern European countries dominate a compilation of the world’s least empathetic countries, according to new study

A new study by researchers at Michigan State University surveyed more than 100,000 people in 63 countries across the globe about their levels of empathy, and those in Central and Eastern Europe have come out at the lower end of the scale.

The study gave participants statements like “I often have tender, concerned feelings for people less fortunate than me” and “I sometimes try to understand my friends better by imagining how things look from their perspective,” and asked them to score them on a scale of 1 to 5 based on how accurate they represent them.

Czech respondents scored a 3.37 – good for 55th out of the 63 countries ranked. Still, that’s a hair better than neighboring Slovakia, which came in at 57.

While there were generally few correlations among the 63 countries by location, those in Central and Eastern Europe ranked in 7 of the lowest 10 positions.

These are the ten least empathetic nations, according to the study:

  • 1. Lithuania
  • 2. Venezuela
  • 3. Estonia
  • 4. Poland
  • 5. Bulgaria
  • 6. Finland
  • 7. Slovakia
  • 8. Latvia
  • 9. Czech Republic
  • 10. Romania
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Map: Michigan State University
Map: Michigan State University

What are the world’s most empathetic nations? Ecuador headed the list, with the United States coming in at number seven. Here’s the top 10:

  • 1. Ecuador
  • 2. Saudi Arabia
  • 3. Peru
  • 4. Denmark
  • 5. United Arab Emirates
  • 6. South Korea
  • 7. United States
  • 8. Taiwan
  • 9. Costa Rica
  • 10. Kuwait

The United Kingdom came in at 47.

The full study was published in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, but Live Science has a nice breakdown here.

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