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EMPATHY:
SCIENCE OF FEELING
UXPA 2015 | June 25, 2015
Bern Irizarry
@bernirizarry
bern@empathyux.com
Emma Chittenden
@emch...
Where we started
Our journey began in London…
Bernadette Irizarry
CEO and Founder
VLVT / Velvet Hammer
@bernirizarry
Emma Chittenden
CEO
Oubliette
@emchi
SOFT
@bernirizarry, @emchi
SKILL
EMPATHY
@bernirizarry, @emchi
DEFICIT
What is empathy?
Is it “real”? Is it scientific?
@bernirizarry, @emchi
Baron-Cohen, Simon. Zero Degrees of Empathy, 2011
TEDxHouses of Parliament - https://www.youtube.com...
@bernirizarry, @emchi
“Empathy occurs when we suspend
our single-minded focus of attention and
instead adopt a double-mind...
@bernirizarry, @emchi
“Empathy is our ability to identify what
someone else is thinking or feeling and to
respond to their...
@bernirizarry, @emchi
Source: Baron-Cohen, Simon. Zero Degrees of Empathy, 2011
AFFECTIVECOGNITIVE
(Also called Emotional ...
@bernirizarry, @emchi
THE EMPATHY BELL CURVE
Can it be observed?
neuroscientists do the darnedest things
@bernirizarry, @emchi
THE EMPATHY CIRCUIT
Source: Baron-Cohen, Simon. Zero Degrees of Empathy, 2011,
Illustration Produced...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnvSRvmRlgA
Can it be measured?
and why might we want to
Do we have consensus?
cognitive empathy
@bernirizarry, @emchi
DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS
Mirroring Personal 

Distress
Empathetic 

Concern
Cognitive
Empathy
Self
Empa...
Should UX own empathy?
Teams and empathy
@bernirizarry, @emchi
• Online survey fielded to UX, Design, Engineering and
Management teams

• 40 Empathy Quotient from A...
@bernirizarry, @emchi
PHASE 1: Makers Online Survey (June 2015)
• See where we are at as “makers”
• Do profiles emerge?
• W...
1. I can easily tell if someone else wants to enter a conversation.

2. I find it difficult to explain to others things that...
On average, most women score about 47 and most men about
42 on the Empathetic Quotient (EQ) Scale.
0–32 = Lower than Avera...
@bernirizarry, @emchi
SAMPLE QUESTIONS
@bernirizarry, @emchi
@bernirizarry, @emchi
@bernirizarry, @emchi
@bernirizarry, @emchi
@bernirizarry, @emchi
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
• Currently building greater response set to allow for cross-tabs on
team mix and methodologies.

• Recr...
Are we doing this right?
deepening the UX toolkit
@bernirizarry, @emchi
GATHER UNDERSTAND LOOK FOR PATTERN BRAINSTORM & STRATEGY
DEVELOP APPLY
• Accepting and Listening

• ...
@bernirizarry, @emchi
AriAr
HOW DO I KNOW 

WHAT IS HAPPENING
EMPATHETIC
LISTENING
FEELS DIFFERENT
REVIEW FOR
REACTIONS, E...
@bernirizarry, @emchi
AriAr
Remember:
•Be curious about everything
•Be present
•Strengthen quieting your mind (Meditation,...
@bernirizarry, @emchi
“Both Akio Morita of Sony and Steve Jobs
were famous for never commissioning market
research — inste...
In practice
Empathetic Listening
@bernirizarry, @emchi
@bernirizarry, @emchi
@bernirizarry, @emchi
@bernirizarry, @emchi
You are still the
creators and makers -
this is the place where
sparks and seeds land
WELL DESIGNED ...
@bernirizarry, @emchi
• Empathy is about support not persuasion
• It is a shared responsibility (Put the mantle down!)
• P...
THANK
@bernirizarry, @emchi
YOU
Empathy: The Science of Feeling. Do You Have Enough Empathy to Reach Your Full UX Potential? - Bernadette Irizarry and Emm...
Empathy: The Science of Feeling. Do You Have Enough Empathy to Reach Your Full UX Potential? - Bernadette Irizarry and Emm...
Empathy: The Science of Feeling. Do You Have Enough Empathy to Reach Your Full UX Potential? - Bernadette Irizarry and Emm...
Empathy: The Science of Feeling. Do You Have Enough Empathy to Reach Your Full UX Potential? - Bernadette Irizarry and Emm...
Empathy: The Science of Feeling. Do You Have Enough Empathy to Reach Your Full UX Potential? - Bernadette Irizarry and Emm...
Empathy: The Science of Feeling. Do You Have Enough Empathy to Reach Your Full UX Potential? - Bernadette Irizarry and Emm...
Empathy: The Science of Feeling. Do You Have Enough Empathy to Reach Your Full UX Potential? - Bernadette Irizarry and Emm...
Empathy: The Science of Feeling. Do You Have Enough Empathy to Reach Your Full UX Potential? - Bernadette Irizarry and Emm...
Empathy: The Science of Feeling. Do You Have Enough Empathy to Reach Your Full UX Potential? - Bernadette Irizarry and Emm...
Empathy: The Science of Feeling. Do You Have Enough Empathy to Reach Your Full UX Potential? - Bernadette Irizarry and Emm...
Empathy: The Science of Feeling. Do You Have Enough Empathy to Reach Your Full UX Potential? - Bernadette Irizarry and Emm...
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Empathy: The Science of Feeling. Do You Have Enough Empathy to Reach Your Full UX Potential? - Bernadette Irizarry and Emma Chittenden

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Ever wondered what makes some practitioners truly great? Is there something in how they are wired that sets them apart and amplifies their contributions on products, projects, and within organizations?

Our presenters will explore how recent advances in brain science and empathic competency may offer practice owners and businesses measurable ways to hire and cultivate individuals who can make a true difference in the success of their products and teams. The two will share findings from their 2015 survey of more than 500 practitioners throughout Europe, Canada and the United States on the importance of empathy in designing informational environments.

Join our presenters and hear how a conversation about hiring for fit, the role of certifications, and predicting team success resulted in a journey to understand what really makes us tick.

(Participant count will be updated after research fields to reflect actual participant numbers and respondent geographies).

Published in: Design
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Empathy: The Science of Feeling. Do You Have Enough Empathy to Reach Your Full UX Potential? - Bernadette Irizarry and Emma Chittenden

  1. 1. EMPATHY: SCIENCE OF FEELING UXPA 2015 | June 25, 2015 Bern Irizarry @bernirizarry bern@empathyux.com Emma Chittenden @emchi emma@empathyux.com
  2. 2. Where we started Our journey began in London…
  3. 3. Bernadette Irizarry CEO and Founder VLVT / Velvet Hammer @bernirizarry Emma Chittenden CEO Oubliette @emchi
  4. 4. SOFT @bernirizarry, @emchi SKILL
  5. 5. EMPATHY @bernirizarry, @emchi DEFICIT
  6. 6. What is empathy? Is it “real”? Is it scientific?
  7. 7. @bernirizarry, @emchi Baron-Cohen, Simon. Zero Degrees of Empathy, 2011 TEDxHouses of Parliament - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXcU8x_xK18
  8. 8. @bernirizarry, @emchi “Empathy occurs when we suspend our single-minded focus of attention and instead adopt a double-minded focus of attention” Source: Baron-Cohen, Simon. Zero Degrees of Empathy, 2011
  9. 9. @bernirizarry, @emchi “Empathy is our ability to identify what someone else is thinking or feeling and to respond to their thought and feelings with appropriate emotion.” Source: Baron-Cohen, Simon. Zero Degrees of Empathy, 2011
  10. 10. @bernirizarry, @emchi Source: Baron-Cohen, Simon. Zero Degrees of Empathy, 2011 AFFECTIVECOGNITIVE (Also called Emotional Empathy)
  11. 11. @bernirizarry, @emchi THE EMPATHY BELL CURVE
  12. 12. Can it be observed? neuroscientists do the darnedest things
  13. 13. @bernirizarry, @emchi THE EMPATHY CIRCUIT Source: Baron-Cohen, Simon. Zero Degrees of Empathy, 2011, Illustration Produced by Mike Lombardo
  14. 14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnvSRvmRlgA
  15. 15. Can it be measured? and why might we want to
  16. 16. Do we have consensus? cognitive empathy
  17. 17. @bernirizarry, @emchi DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS Mirroring Personal 
 Distress Empathetic 
 Concern Cognitive Empathy Self Empathy Emotional Empathy Source: Young, Indi. Practical Empathy, 2015
  18. 18. Should UX own empathy? Teams and empathy
  19. 19. @bernirizarry, @emchi • Online survey fielded to UX, Design, Engineering and Management teams
 • 40 Empathy Quotient from Autism Research Center, original filler questions were not recreated here • Set of question perception of importance of empathy in their work, team and company • Currently building greater response set to allow for cross-tabs on team mix and methodologies TEST DESIGN
  20. 20. @bernirizarry, @emchi PHASE 1: Makers Online Survey (June 2015) • See where we are at as “makers” • Do profiles emerge? • What is our perception of empathy? • How and what are we practicing today? • What if any correlation exist to team mix?
 PHASE 2: Longitudinal Study with Teams (September 2016) • Can we move the empathy needle for teams? • How do teams respond when incorporating empathetic mindset? • How is that reflected in their product TEST DESIGN
  21. 21. 1. I can easily tell if someone else wants to enter a conversation.
 2. I find it difficult to explain to others things that I understand easily, when they don’t
 understand it the first time. 
 3. I really enjoy caring for other people.
 4. I find it hard to know what to do in a social situation. 
 5. People often tell me that I went too far in driving my point home in a discussion. 
 6. It doesn’t bother me too much if I am late meeting a friend.
 7. Friendships and relationships are just too difficult, so I tend not to bother with them.
 8. I often find it difficult to judge if something is rude or polite. 
 9. In a conversation, I tend to focus on my own thoughts rather than on what my listener might be thinking. 
 10. When I was a child, I enjoyed cutting up worms to see what would happen. SAMPLE QUESTIONS © 1998, 2015 Simon Baron Cohen, Sally Wainright
  22. 22. On average, most women score about 47 and most men about 42 on the Empathetic Quotient (EQ) Scale. 0–32 = Lower than Average
 33–52 = Average 
 53–63 = Above Average
 64–80 = High
 EMPATHY QUOTIENT SCORING © 1998, 2015 Simon Baron Cohen, Sally Wainright
  23. 23. @bernirizarry, @emchi SAMPLE QUESTIONS
  24. 24. @bernirizarry, @emchi
  25. 25. @bernirizarry, @emchi
  26. 26. @bernirizarry, @emchi
  27. 27. @bernirizarry, @emchi
  28. 28. @bernirizarry, @emchi
  29. 29. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT • Currently building greater response set to allow for cross-tabs on team mix and methodologies.
 • Recruit and plan for longitudinal studies regarding methodologies and team mix.

  30. 30. Are we doing this right? deepening the UX toolkit
  31. 31. @bernirizarry, @emchi GATHER UNDERSTAND LOOK FOR PATTERN BRAINSTORM & STRATEGY DEVELOP APPLY • Accepting and Listening • Neutral • Perspective Gathering • Summarize • Spend Time Reviewing • Crystallize and write key ideas • Reactions, Guiding Principles • and Emotions • Investigate Similarities/Differences • Beliefs • Decision • Sketching • Storytelling • Share Support as they are not persuade
  32. 32. @bernirizarry, @emchi AriAr HOW DO I KNOW 
 WHAT IS HAPPENING EMPATHETIC LISTENING FEELS DIFFERENT REVIEW FOR REACTIONS, EMOTIONS & 
 GUIDING PRINCIPLES DISENGAGE & BUILD
 PLATFORM FOR SUPPORT PRACTICE AND ENGAGE
 CONSISTENTLY
  33. 33. @bernirizarry, @emchi AriAr Remember: •Be curious about everything •Be present •Strengthen quieting your mind (Meditation, Mindfulness) •Be supportive (Not a usability study) •Follow their lead (Leave the interview guide at home) •Tell me more about that? Why is that? Use as few words as possible while showing you are interested NOT YOUR AVERAGE INTERVIEW
  34. 34. @bernirizarry, @emchi “Both Akio Morita of Sony and Steve Jobs were famous for never commissioning market research — instead, they’d just walk around the world watching what people did. They’d put themselves in the shoes of their customers. https://hbr.org/2012/05/empathy-the-most-valuable-thing-they-t
  35. 35. In practice Empathetic Listening
  36. 36. @bernirizarry, @emchi
  37. 37. @bernirizarry, @emchi
  38. 38. @bernirizarry, @emchi
  39. 39. @bernirizarry, @emchi You are still the creators and makers - this is the place where sparks and seeds land WELL DESIGNED BY JON KOLKO
  40. 40. @bernirizarry, @emchi • Empathy is about support not persuasion • It is a shared responsibility (Put the mantle down!) • Practice • Hire for curiosity
 • Invent new tools! THINGS TO REMEMBER
  41. 41. THANK @bernirizarry, @emchi YOU

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