Jacob Israelashvili

Dr. Jacob Israelashvili

Postdoctoral Researcher
Jacob Israelashvili

Humans made it to the moon, but sometimes we still find it hard to reach out and understand the person standing next standing to us. To bridge this gap, my research examines the emphatic processes that antecedent understanding and caring for others, building on my background in Psychology and Mathematics (B.A.).

I completed my PhD in Social Psychology at Tel Aviv University with Prof. Rachel Karniol, then spent three years as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam working with Prof. Agneta Fischer and Prof. Disa Sauter as part of the Social Psychology Department. Currently, I work with Dr. Anat Perry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as part of the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab.


In my studies, I developed the idea of empathy as a result of shared experiences. My goal is to understand the strength as well as the weakness of shared experiences in the emergence of empathy, with an eye toward developing interventions that help people to care more and understand better.

Selected recent publications

Israelashvili, J., Sauter D., & Fischer, A. (2020) Different faces of empathy: Feelings
of similarity disrupt recognition of negative emotions. Journal of Experimental
Social Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2019.103912

Israelashvili, J., Sauter D.,& Fischer, A. (2020) Two facets of affective empathy:
Concern and distress have opposite relationships to emotion recognition.
Cognition and Emotion. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2020.1724893

Israelashvili, J., Sauter D., & Fischer, A. (2019) How well can we assess our ability to
understand others’ feelings? Beliefs about taking others’ perspectives and actual
understanding of others’ emotions. Frontiers in Psychology. 10:2475.https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02475

Israelashvili, J., Oosterwijk S., Sauter D. & Fischer, A., (2019) Knowing me, knowing
you: Emotion differentiation in oneself is associated with recognition of others’
emotions. Cognition and Emotion. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2019.1577221

Israelashvili, J., Hassin R., & Aviezer, H. (2018) When emotions run high: A critical
role for context in the dynamic unfolding of real-life intense facial affect.
Emotion. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/emo0000441

Israelashvili, J., & Karniol, R. (2018) Testing Alternative Models of Dispositional
Empathy: The Affect-to-Cognition (ACM) versus the Cognition-to-Affect
(CAM) Model. Personality and Individual Differences, 121, 161-169.

Media Coverage
Interview on my research and "How to build a culture of empathy" (January 2020).