Are followers of far-right populist parties intolerant due to lack of empathic ability?
Followers of right-wing parties such as Sverigedemokraterna, Fremskrittspartiet, and Dansk Folkeparti are described as intolerant, conspiratory against the media and politicians, they ignore facts and are xenophobic etc.
But are there reasons we do not think about affecting our choices of political opinion?
Regarding a study from Örebros Universitet a persons level of empathy has a direct impact on the level of tolerance and attitude towards immigrants.
”Empathy is something we are partly born with, but as we also learn through observations of various important people in our environment. It is reasonable that if parents and friends are tolerant and if young people have friends with a different ethnic background, it will affect how young people’s empathy develops. Empathy, in turn, is important for youth attitudes towards immigrants. The more empathetic young people, the more tolerant attitudes they have… The positive results of my survey are that young people who have friends with a different ethnic background develop higher empathy and are more tolerant of immigrant backgrounds. I saw that friendship with immigrant friends could also counteract the impact of intolerant parents or friends.” , says researcher Marta Miklikowska.
So, is it right to say that the political development of intolerance growing today is not only a political problem? Is the problem actually that several people have not had the chance in their lives to develop their empathy? Can a person be empathically underdeveloped? And are there more problems to wait in the wake of low empathic ability?