Hot-Cold Empathy Gap

There is a significant difference in how we act in an emotionally charged state(hot state) when compared to your normal state(cold). When you are in cold state, you cannot predict how you will act when when in a hot state - you predict using your current state.

Eg. Most women will say that they will act strongly if someone misbehaves with them in a sexual way - but if it actually happens, the number of women who act like that is significantly less. The prediction is happening in a cold state while the actual action is happening in a hot state(fear based).

One way to get around this is to simulate hot states and train yourself how to act then - that way you will act out of "muscle memory". Eg. Army training.


An inability to minimize one's gap in empathy can lead to negative outcomes in medical settings (e.g., when a doctor needs to accurately diagnose the physical pain of a patient)