How Empathetic Are Americans? Meh
US ranks 7th of 63 countries in first-time ranking
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2016 7:33 AM CDT
The US could do better on the empathy front.   (AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer, John D. Simmons)

(Newser) – Americans aren't the worst by far, but we could use some help in the empathy department, a new study finds. A ranking of "the ability to understand and share the feelings of others" in 63 countries found the US in seventh place, Science Daily reports, behind Saudi Arabia. Why didn't Americans fare better? Michigan State University's William Chopik, lead author of the study in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, says our psychology has changed in recent years, with Americans becoming more self-centered. "These changes might ultimately cause us to leave our close relationships behind," Chopik says. "So, sure, the United States is seventh on the list, but we could see that position rise or fall depending on how our society changes in the next 20-50 years."

Here are the 10 most empathetic countries:

  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