Empathy Map

This activity further develops the capacity of young people to put themselves in other people’s shoes and understand the point of view and experience of a young gambler. This also creates an opportunity to discuss some of the factors that might influence a young person’s gambling behaviour.




Flip-chart, felt-tip pens

Materials to print:

Empathy Map , Scenario Cards from the Consequences of Gambling activity

Empathy Map


  1. Divide the group into small teams (suggested 2 or 3 teams).
  2. Give each team one empathy map.
  3. Explain they will receive a scenario of a young gambler and they will have to brainstorm and write down what they think his/her experience is with regard to these 6 categories: Hearing: what is it (e.g. messages, comments etc.) that this young person could be hearing from family members, friends, social media that influence them?
    • Thinking: what are their opinions, thoughts and priorities?
    • Seeing: what kind of problems and barriers, and what offers and opportunities does this person see around?
    • Saying: what are their attitudes? Is there any difference between what they think and what they say when with family or friends?
    • Doing: what is their behaviour like? Is there any difference between what they think and what they do when with family or friends?
    • Feeling: what are their aspirations, hopes and worries?
  4. Hand out a Scenario Card to each team.
  5. Ask participants to read it and to put themselves into that person’s shoes, writing down their ideas and thoughts. Set a time to do this.
  6. Each team discusses and brainstorms the experience of the young person in their scenario.
  7. Whole-group feedback and discussion: what are the similarities amongst those different scenarios? How does this inform their understanding of what influences a young person’s gambling behaviour?
  8. Consider asking the group(s) to imagine what might happen next in those scenarios, leading to a range of possible conclusions, some positive, others less so, for each. Questions for discussion might include: How might the principal character(s) feel at each point? What might help them manage the situation more competently? etc.


Alternative options:

In some cases it may be beneficial to get the young people to generate their own scenarios. You could also lead a discussion on a case study/scenario without using the empathy map.


Top tip:

You can create your own empathy map on a flip chart, as illustrated below, drawing a face in the middle and then divide the area around it in 6 parts. Add the respective headings (Hearing, Thinking, Seeing, Saying, Doing, Feeling). Alternatively, you can print the image on the next page.