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Empathy is the reaction an individual will have to the observed experiences of another person (David, 1983). How empathetic a person is relevant to both nature and nurture sides of the argument. This is considering the fact that although we learn behaviours from our parents and friends and are constantly influenced to sway towards certain morals; there is also evidence to suggest that some people are inherently more empathetic than others and were born to be this wayASHLEY ALDRIDGE Facing down fear to help: A young mother of two, Aldridge ran barefoot to a railroad crossing to rescue a man whose wheelchair was stuck on the tracks. She yanked him free just before a train would have hit them. “I don’t really think of myself as a hero, but my kids tell me all the time that I am,” This is a clear example of behaviour that will influence her children to become more empathetic people as they grow older. This is because, due to the fact that they were at such a young age at the time, they will be more susceptible to imitate their parents behaviour and  as seen in the extract, the kids tell the mother that she is a hero, clearly demonstrating that they think positively of her behaviour. Therefore the nurture debate is very relevant to determining whether a person is empathetic or not, suggesting that the more kind and empathetic behaviour they witness during their early childhood, the more likely they are to bring this into their adulthood.”Patients with anterior insular lesions had a hard time evaluating the emotional state of people in pain and feeling empathy for them, compared to the controls and the patients with anterior cingulate cortex lesions.” said Dr. Jin Fan, corresponding author of this study and an assistant professor at the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai.The same site concluded that participants with autism also had anterior insular cortex damage. It is in fact common knowledge that people with autism typically have difficulty empathising with people experiencing physical or emotional pain. Overall, we can conclude that empathy is also relevant to the nature side of the debate because of the section of the brain relating to empathy is used more and grows in size the more a person uses it. In addition, some people inherit a larger anterior insular cortex from their parents, meaning that they find it easier to empathise from birth.

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