On an empathic accuracy task (inferring the thoughts and feelings of a target person) … women’s advantage held only when women were given a task assessing their feelings of sympathy toward the target prior to performing the empathic accuracy task. … Payments in exchange for accuracy improved the performance of both men and women and wiped out any difference between men’s and women’s performances. Together, the results suggest that gender differences in empathic accuracy performance are the result of motivational differences and are not due to simple differences of ability between men and women.
More here. This isn’t exactly good news for men. Women who think men can’t empathize probably demand less empathy than women who realize men are fully capable of empathy. Hat tip to Robert Wiblin.