Understanding How Children Develop Empathy

The capacity to notice the distress of others, and to be moved by it, can be a critical component of what is called prosocial behavior, actions that benefit others: individuals, groups or society as a whole. Psychologists, neurobiologists and even economists are increasingly interested in the overarching question of how and why we become our better selves.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/10/understanding-how-children-develop-empathy/