As societies evolve and take in a greater number of distinct cultures, histories, and traditions, the ability to empathise with each other becomes vital, for all our sakes. In an effort to get as close as possible to seeing life through another’s eyes, researchers from the University of Malta are creating a virtual reality experience that allows users to step into someone else’s shoes.
Words by Dr Vanessa Camilleri.
From a young age we are often taught that if we want to understand someone else’s perspective, we must first walk a mile in their shoes. This ability to place ourselves in another’s position is what we call empathy. This component of emotional intelligence is known to increase prosocial behaviour and reduce individualistic traits, meaning that it can lead to a better quality of life where practiced, whether at home, in the workplace, or any other environment.