Effective Practices for Fostering Empathy Towards Marine Life

  • Jim WhartonEmail author
  • Kathayoon Khalil
  • Catie Fyfe
  • Ashley Young


Conservation behaviour change is complex, with many internal and external motivations and barriers. Increasing knowledge about ocean animals and ecosystems is important, but not enough to incite meaningful conservation action. Empathy is an important internal driver of human behaviour and may be an important indicator of an individual’s willingness to take conservation action. Despite their exciting potential for fostering behaviour change, affective outcomes like empathy have not had as much attention from marine science educators as cognitive outcomes. This chapter presents the construct of empathy and its components, discusses empathy’s relationship to behaviour change and offers six research-validated practices for developing empathy.


Empathy Anthropomorphism Emotion Affective outcomes Behaviour change 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jim Wharton
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kathayoon Khalil
    • 1
  • Catie Fyfe
    • 1
  • Ashley Young
    • 1
  1. 1.Seattle AquariumSeattleUSA

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