We often think of empathy as an automatic process. However, empathy is often context-dependent. Our willingness to empathize with others changes with different situations and with different people. A new paper by Jamil Zaki resolves this tension by underscoring the role of motivation in empathy. Motives drive our willingness to empathize. In his paper, Zaki highlights specific motives that drive people to avoid and approach empathy, illustrates a motivated model of empathy, and suggests potential interventions to maximize empathy. For a complete list of SSNL publications, click here.