Citation: Kelly, T.M. (2014). Classification & Statistical Manual of Extrasensory Experiences. Copyright © 2014 Theresa M. Kelly, MsD. Interested professionals are welcome to Download a Complimentary Copy of the CSM-EE. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The essential feature of the (ES) type of empathy is a case in which an individual’s emotional experience appears to directly produce a similar emotional experience in someone else without the intervention of the five senses. Empathic simulation appears to involve the empathist’s emotional experience producing a similar emotional experience in a participant or vice versa.
This type of empathy also appears to be more non-invasive as participants are typically unaware that, or do not “know” that, the emotional experience is “not their own,” as it appears to be less intrusive than empathic cognition or interaction. The skilled empathist would however be able to identify that the simulated emotional experience originated from him/herself if the empathist knowingly shared the emotion with participants. In other words, the empathist can share his/her own emotional experiences with participants, or the empathist can evoke the sharing process of the participant’s emotional experience to replace his/her own emotional experience. In the end, I believe the most efficient way to view empathic simulation is as though the emotional experiences have been shared via the exact transmission of the experience from one participant to the other (Kelly, 2012).
The first set of specifiers is for identifying whether the experience was intentional or unintentional.
A. Spontaneous. This specifier applies when the empathist and participants share emotional information void of conscious intent on either the empathist’s or any of the participant’s behalf.
B. Intentional. This specifier applies when the empathist intentionally specifies who is to participate in the sharing process, or what emotional information will be shared. If the process involves ‘what’ rather than ‘who,’ participants may be selected subconsciously based on their relativity to the required result.
The second set of specifiers is for identifying the subconscious or conscious need or goal that is assumed to be the catalyst for initiating empathic simulative processes.
A. Adaptive. This specifier applies when emotional information shared is initiated to assist the participants in understanding and adapting to the empathist’s, or group’s and the empathist’s, needs or goals. The most common goal is to provide emotional comfort and/or a sense of security. Here the empathist and participants typically have some level of emotional investment in each other or the situation in which they occupy.
B. Directive. This specifier applies when emotional information shared is initiated to assist the empathist or participants in an action towards a goal (i.e. motivation). In other words, to provide purpose and direction to behavior. This is done in expectation that the empathist and/or participants will be provoked into acting or behaving in a specific or generalized manner as a direct result of the simulated emotional state. Behaviors are affectional (i.e. actions which are taken due to one’s emotions, to express personal feelings). However, while emotional information is exclusively involved in empathic simulation, it does not appear to penetrate the barrier of self-control like impression. Here the empathist and participants typically have some level of emotional investment in each other or the situation in which they occupy.
The third set of specifiers is for identifying the direction of the empathic simulative experience.
A. Input. This specifier applies when a participant shares emotional information with the empathist. Here emotional information in regard to a participant has been shared with the empathist (e.g. the empathist was feeling anxious, but a participant was not feeling anxious prior to simulation; however post simulation, neither the empathist nor the participant felt anxious).
B. Output. This specifier applies when the empathist shares emotional information with a participant. Here emotional information in regard to the empathist has been shared with a participant (e.g. the participant was feeling anxious, but the empathist was not feeling anxious prior to simulation; however post simulation, neither the empathist nor the participant felt anxious).
These specifiers are for identifying the characteristic course of empathic simulative experiences over time.
A. Single Episode. This specifier applies when the empathist or a participant shares emotional information with the other and the experients reports no prior history of episodes. This specifier also applies when the empathist or participants share emotional information to provide purpose and direction to behavior in which the empathist or a participant reports as not typical (i.e. the empathist or participant has not responded in such a way in similar circumstances in the past). Classification can be very difficult in this case, as it is often difficult to identify if the individual reporting the experience is the empathist or a participant (i.e. if they are the initiator of empathic simulative processes).
B. Episodic. This specifier applies when an empathist shares emotional information with other participants of which seems to occur irregularly and of which the duration of the experience is very momentary. An episodic emotional simulation may involve a quick burst of emotion with the duration of the experience lasting only a maximum of a couple of seconds. This specifier also applies when the empathist or a participant shares their emotional state to promote adaptive or directive behavior in the other.
C. Continuous. This specifier applies when an empathist or a participant shares emotional information with other of which seems to occur in a continual manner, or when episodes are so frequent it is difficult for either the empathist or the participant to determine where one episode ends and another begins (e.g. prolonged and closely spaced episodes).
This specifier is for identifying the characteristic mode(s) and sub-mode(s) of an empathic simulative experience. In any case, some emotional investment in the participant, or the situation in which the participant resides, on the experient’s behalf is expected.
A. Dream. Refers to empathic simulation during sleep where the empathist shares information with another participant during the dream state to promote – once awake — adaptive or directive behavior.
B. Intuitive Impressions/Emotional. Refers empathic simulation during normal or altered (e.g. trance) states of conscious awareness, of which can be described as emotional content shared between the empathist and a participant that results in adaptive or directive behavior.
a. Achievement Emotions. Refers to the class of utilitarian emotions including pride (i.e. associated with an enhancement of ego-identity and self-esteem), elation (i.e. provides an individual with the feeling of living fully), joy (i.e. elicits confidence, comfort, and boosts self-esteem), and satisfaction (i.e. is contributing to a feeling of fulfillment and wellbeing).
b. Approach Emotions.Refers to the class of utilitarian emotions including relief (i.e. results subsequent to a negative emotion when an event has taken a turn for the betterment of the individual or group), hope (i.e. contains some level of uncertainty because it is future orientated, but plays a vital role in adaptation as a means to pursue ones goals), interest (i.e. the emotion elicited when one experiences a feeling of engagement, fascination, and curiosity), and surprise (i.e. accompanied by uncertainty, which keeps one on their toes and stimulated as a means to cope with and adjust to new and unexpected actions and events).
c. Resignation Emotions. Refers to the class of utilitarian emotions including sadness (i.e. evoked when one loses something in life such as a loved one, employment, or social standing, and is typically correlated with resignation and failure), fear (i.e. activates a sense of threat, or uncontrollability, alongside a need to preserve integrity), shame (i.e. the emotion experienced when a negative appraisal of the all-inclusive self is concerned, when an individual experiences humiliation or feels as though others find the individual insignificant or worthless, and can result in a momentary inability to think logically and efficiently), and guilt (i.e. associated with negative self-appraisal, but unlike shame, it is related to specific actions and behaviors).
d. Antagonistic Emotions. Refers to the class of utilitarian emotions including envy (i.e. the emotion evoked when an individual desires what another individual possesses and feels a sense of inferiority in comparison to the other individual), disgust (i.e. the emotion experienced when an individual is confronting something considered repulsive or abhorrent), contempt (i.e. the emotion experienced when an individual feels superior and dominant, but typically does not engage in aggressive behaviors such as assault), and anger (i.e. the emotion experienced when one feels a sense of wrongdoing, on their part or by other individuals, which is considered offensive and is accompanied by a sense of injustice, unfairness, or inequality).
e. Aesthetic Emotions. Refers to the class of emotions including those characteristic of an absence or a less pronounced function for immediate adaptation to a situation of which requires goal relevance evaluation and coping potential. In other words, the aesthetic experience of a work of art or a piece of music is not formed through the appraisal of whether the work meets physical needs, assists in furthering current goals or projects, or is in accordance with personal social values. Instead, aesthetic emotions are the product of an appreciation for the intrinsic qualities of naturalistic beauty, or the qualities of a work of art or artistic performance. A few examples of aesthetic emotions include being moved, in awe, full of wonder, admiration, bliss, ecstasy, fascination, harmony, rapture, and solemnity.
f. Compound. Several submodalities or emotions are involved, in which case each submode and identifiable emotion involved should be noted.
Associated Mental Health Findings
Mental health disorders somewhat common in experients of empathic simulation include: Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Panic Disorder with or without Agoraphobia, (Kelly, 2012).
Associated Medical Condition Findings
Physical medical conditions somewhat common in experients of empathic simulation can include: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Digestive Disorders, and Hypertension or Hypotension (Kelly 2012).
A wide variety of extrasensory phenomena can present with similar phenomenology. These include:
- Clairvoyance and Telepathy. Applied when more than emotional content is shared such as images, sounds, and other sensations. If the experient reports some purely empathic experiences and some experiences involving more than emotional content, the experient should be considered clairvoyant or telepathic with occasional intuitive impressions and/or hallucinations.
- Empathic Cognition. Applied when the emotional state is “known” rather than “shared.” Empathic cognition is often misinterpreted as empathic simulation as both can involve large groups. Differentiating between indirect (i.e. target group » Nature » experient) and direct (i.e. participant » empathist or vice versa) information can be achieved by identifying whether the emotional state was “known” (i.e. the experient was cognizant or aware of the group’s emotional state and could identify that the emotional experience was “not their own”), or shared (i.e. the experient experienced the emotional state of the group).
- Empathic Interaction. Applied when the empathic process does not involve the empathist having a similar emotional experience at the time of an emotional information empathist-to-subject transfer (i.e. when the empathist is “generating” an emotional experience of their choosing in the subject that will be accommodating to the empathist’s needs/intentions).
Criteria for Empathic Simulative Experiences
A. Characteristic phenomenology: all of the following are required criteria for empathic simulative experiences including criteria for empathy in general.
1) Emotional information is shared between the empathist and one or more participants.
2) Involves one or more individuals and direct emotional information sharing.
3) Subconscious need for emotional information sharing present at the time of the experience.