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Against Empathy

Against Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

The possibility of empathy is a western-buddhist dogma. Empathy, together with its near relative, compassion, may even be considered a necessary axiom of contemporary x-buddhist belief, whether in a secular, crypto, or traditional inflection. For, without the possibility of empathy and compassion, x-buddhism loses its ethical footing, its prime rationale for practice, and its very impetus toward the pro-social utopian. In this post, I’d like to present a paper that challenges the possibility of an activity that resembles our folk notions of “empathy.” The article, by the German thinker Jan Slaby, is aptly title “Against Empathy” (links below).

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Empathy and Compassion
The Empathy Movement Magazine: The latest news about empathy and compassion from around the world - CultureOfEmpathy.com
Curated by Edwin Rutsch
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The Empathy Movement Magazine: Front Page

The Empathy Movement Magazine: Front Page | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Subscribe to our Emailed Empathy Newsletter

==================================

Visit the individual magazines specifically for empathy and;

*   Front Page (this page)
*   Animals
*   Art
*   Compassion

*   Compassionate Communications (NVC)

*   Curriculums
*   Education
*   Empaths

*   Empathic Family & Parenting

*   Empathic Design - Empathy in Human-Centered Design (New!)
*   Health Care

*   Justice

*   Self-Empathy & Self-Compassion
*   Teaching - Learning
*   Work 

*   etc.



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Brenda Robinson's curator insight, May 13, 9:52 PM

Hon. Liz Sandals: Introduce a new course called "COMPASSION" for Grade 1 and Grade 12. https://www.change.org/p/hon-liz-sandals-introduce-a-new-course-called-compassion-for-grade-1-and-grade-12

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Unstable moods may ruin your romantic relationships - The Express Tribune

Unstable moods may ruin your romantic relationships - The Express Tribune | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Lowered brain activity in regions important for empathy could trigger trouble in relationships


Individuals with the illness borderline personality disorder, or BPD may have lowered brain activity in regions important for empathy which in turn could trigger trouble in relationships, the study indicated.


“Our results showed that people with BPD traits had reduced activity in brain regions that support empathy,” said study lead author Brian Haas, assistant professor at University of Georgia in the US.


Individuals with the illness borderline personality disorder, or BPD may have lowered brain activity in regions important for empathy which in turn could trigger trouble in relationships, the study indicated.

“Our results showed that people with BPD traits had reduced activity in brain regions that support empathy,” said study lead author Brian Haas, assistant professor at University of Georgia in the US.....



We found that for those with more BPD traits, empathetic processes are not as easily activated,” study co-author Joshua Miller, psychology professor at University of Georgia noted.

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The Power of Parenting for Social and Emotional Learning

The Power of Parenting for Social and Emotional Learning - Changemaker Education - Medium

Social and emotional learning (SEL) involves acquiring and effectively applying the knowledge, attitudes and skills to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions....

While teaching skills like empathy, active listening and collaborative problem solving, schools are simultaneously preventing unhealthy, high risk behaviors including school violence...


Here are some ideas:

  1. Begin at home. 
  2. Partner with your child’s teacher
  3. Partner with your school.
  4. Advocate.


by Jennifer Miller 

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A mile in their shoes: understanding empathy

A mile in their shoes: understanding empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

“A lot of times, that story never gets told,” says Karen Gerdes, a social worker at ASU. She is interested in empathy, which is the ability to perceive the world from other people’s points of view and to feel what they are feeling.

Empathy is a complex emotion because it involves both unconscious, involuntary responses and conscious, cognitive processes. For example, suppose you’ve had a traumatic experience, like losing a loved one.

“You see someone else who is going through that experience, and your brain automatically starts firing as if it’s happening to you. That helps you to understand a little bit better about what that person is going through,” Gerdes says.

People who are very empathic tend to be more understanding and have stronger relationships. For a social worker, empathy is also an essential part of the job.

“Social work is all about improving quality of life for people,” Gerdes says. “We do that by helping them to be their better self, and by creating a society that is more supportive. Empathy is at the core of both of those things.”


by Allie Nicodemo

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Holy Everything: You can't stress empathy enough

Holy Everything: You can't stress empathy enough | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
This empathy/anxiety correlation has huge implications for our lives of faith and our relationships! Without empathy, we are unable to imagine what life is like for other people. Our ability for compassion is decreased.


Our likelihood of decreasing conflict and problem solving is also diminished. Empathy is a big deal. It requires letting go of defensiveness and criticism so we can enter into someone else's story.

So how do we get rid of our empathy roadblocks


Emily Carson 

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Can you learn empathy?

Can you learn empathy? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Some easy empathy exercises include:


  • Really listening to a friend. Keep your mouth shut and your ears open. When you want to say something, nod your head instead. Just hear what the person is telling you, believe that what he is telling you about his emotions is true for him, and then listen some more. Don't judge. Then, listen some more
  • Talk to strangers: This might be tough for introverts, so if you aren't always comfortable chatting about random stuff, remember that a conversation can happen anywhere, including online. The point is to communicate with someone who is different from you. If you're older, talk to a kid; if you're online all day for your job, talk to someone who works with their hands. If you don't know what to talk about, ask about the person's work or what their last vacation was like.
  • Think about who made your clothes or your car, or your meal. At the grocery store, imagine whose hands may have picked your oranges, or who made the pre-packaged sushi plate you've picked up.
  • Read novels or short stories, or go to a play about people whose lives are different from yours.


By: Starre Vartan

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'Please Empathize With Me, Doctor!'

'Please Empathize With Me, Doctor!' | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

We need to combine the science of medicine with its art and to get our doctors and our patients back in sync. Medical schools are finally beginning to recognize this and are revising their entrance test to place more emphasis on the social, not just the biological sciences. It is crucial that we make medicine more humane.

The "Empathize With Me, Doctor!" project is a promising initiative in this direction, developed by Vassilios Kiosses and Ioannis Dimoliatis of the Medical Education Unit at the University of Ioannina in Greece. They write:


We provide an experiential training program aimed at improving health care professionals' empathy, based on the Person-Centered Approach (PCA) founded by Carl Rogers. Unconditional positive regard, empathy, and congruence are elements that can create a safe climate where students develop alternative ways to relate with each other and with their patients.


Allen Frances 

Professor Emeritus, Duke University


Image: http://bit.ly/dP1O76 

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Video: Inmates use empathy to tame wild horses

Video: Inmates use empathy to tame wild horses | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Joe Misner, the ranch manager for Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center's Wild Horse Program explains how wild mustangs and prisoners have benefited from a new program where inmates train wild horses to become more adoptable.


The horses were captured by the Bureau of Land Management for population control and are now up for auction after 120 days of training by inmates. Video by Autumn Payne. Music by Kevin MacLeod "Crossing the Divide"

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At the World's First Empathy Museum, Visitors Walk a Mile in Another Person’s Shoes—Literally

At the World's First Empathy Museum, Visitors Walk a Mile in Another Person’s Shoes—Literally | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Founders of the first ever empathy museum are calling for a revolution of human relationships. Here's how you can help.


You’ve probably heard the the saying, “Never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.


These wise words are the inspiration for the world’s first Empathy Museum, which I’m about to launch in London as part of the Totally Thames festival. Forget all those dusty museums with exhibits behind glass cases: this is different. The Empathy Museum invites you to experience and understand what it’s actually like to be another person, so you can look at the world through their eyes.


Roman Krznaric

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(Empathic Design Workshop) Empathy Circles for Everyone

(Empathic Design Workshop)  Empathy Circles for Everyone | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

It's no secret that I spend a lot of time thinking about, practicing, and spreading empathy. Jeremy Rifkin's The Empathic Civilization anchored my praxis with the thesis: Preserving humanity and the biosphere require empathy.


According to Rifkin, this isn't a soft skill some people embody more than others, but rather a necessary intervention for humanity to get off a collision course. From my end, I endeavor to make it a bigger part of education, the place where we receive most instruction and participate in learning.


For Edwin Rutsch, his reach is a lot wider, more global, and covering people of greater age and geographical range. It is an honor to collaborate with Edwin, and support his work.

Edwin is influenced by Carl Rogers, the father of the person-centered approach to therapy. Edwin shared this quote with me about how empathy arises when one has a companion with them on a journey, which inspires me to cultivate even deeper empathy practices:


Lee-Anne Gray

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EmpathicEducation for a Compassionate Nation: 'Life Is a Performance'

EmpathicEducation for a Compassionate Nation: 'Life Is a Performance' | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

In my work, I promote EmpathicEducation for a CompassionateNation as a method of healing Educational Trauma. Like Rifkin, I believe empathy (and compassion) are critical to preserving the biosphere, and that they are foundational skills for any career in the 21st century. Empathy powers collaboration by attuning people to each other, and not just fixating on one's own goals and experiences.


To promote this foundational skill, I've created an educational experience for students that promotes "dramaturgical consciousness" for Millenials and Gen X'ers.


The Connect Group School is a psychodrama in action because it gives students an opportunity to work through modern dilemmas in education -- in real time. In our Learning Community, students are the actors along with adult co-founders supporting their experiment in how to educate 21st century students. Improv and theater are among the learning experiences provided to our students in an effort to empower them with the skills needed to actively participate in democracy.


Lee-Anne Gray 

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Stress, Brain Wiring, Empathy and Morality

Stress, Brain Wiring, Empathy and Morality | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Chronic stress might affect empathy and morality through its effect on neurotransmitters within the brain, primarily serotonin. Although the relationship between serotonin and depression is complex, we find that most effective anti-depressant medications work by raising levels of serotonin, implying that serotonin availability is defective in depression...


Greater levels of empathy, happiness and moral behaviour within occupations where stress and burnout are common for instance, within the military, medical and corporate sectors, could have wide-ranging implications on health, international relations and diplomacy whilst at the same time improving the moral compass of society as a whole.


By Mithu Storoni

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(Attachment theory) How Loved Children Become Giving Adults

(Attachment theory) How Loved Children Become Giving Adults | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

“Attachment theory” seeks to explain how individuals respond when they feel hurt by a loved one, or separated from them. The theory predicted—and a great deal of research has subsequently verified—that a child who felt like they could turn to a caregiver for help or warmth will grow up to find adult intimacy easier to establish. Psychologists labeled this a “secure” attachment style....


Richman and her colleagues investigated whether attachment style spills over into other domains of adult life—specifically, charitable giving. Many fundraising appeals depend heavily on empathy to provoke giving, trying to create a sense of connection between the prospective donor and a person who needs help. Can that appeal backfire with someone who avoids intimate connections?


After documenting the key role that empathy played in decisions of avoidant participants, the researchers conducted a second study to see if they could remove the experience of emotional investment—and thus create a situation where avoidantly attached people responded the same as other participants in a situation that might involve empathy.


By Josh Elmore 

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Lessons in empathy at a soup kitchen

Lessons in empathy at a soup kitchen | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Recently, there was an article describing a couple of studies that have been done on empathy, that trait that allows us to feel another’s circumstances (“Empathy is Actually a Choice,” Cameron, Inzlicht, and Cunningham, NYT July 12, 2015).


The studies suggest empathy can be learned, that it is not a limited reserve of feeling with a cap. While some individuals seem born with a fully developed pallet of empathy, others have barely a seed, which will require significant nurturing and learning.



The most interesting bit in this article was that when people realized empathy could be learned, they made efforts to improve their own empathy quotient. These people seek out situations that will build their capacity for empathy, but sometimes the lesson comes from a different direction. Part of a course I took on social justice involved going to a soup kitchen.  


By Kate Murray


 

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How to spot a psychopath through yawns, sense of smell and speech patterns

How to spot a psychopath through yawns, sense of smell and speech patterns | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Psychopathy – the absence of empathy or caring about other people – is characterised by a number of traits, such as being selfish, manipulative and having an antisocial lifestyle.


There are a number of ways to spot a psychopath, such as lack of empathy, superficial charm and self-centered impulsivity.


However, there are also some more straightforward methods to do with physical behaviours, scientists have found over recent years.
Immunity to contagious yawning....


Tests showed lower yawn frequency was associated with having less empathy...


Poor sense of smell


By Hannah Osborne 

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Future Lawyers Should Be Screened and Trained for Empathy

Future Lawyers Should Be Screened and Trained for Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

 I recently read an article by Jill Suttie titled "Should We Train Doctors for Empathy?" ...


Those who tend to be attracted to law school in the first place tend to be logical thinkers (rule oriented) and have low EQ levels. Moreover, the research indicates that the training students receive in law school also causes an "erosion of empathy." Furthermore, the more empathic students tend to drop out of law school at a much higher rate. Moreover, "lawyers with 'higher levels of resilience, empathy, initiative and sociability' are more likely to leave law practice than those with lower levels of those traits."


In fact, "some US law firms have used this assessment metric (a scale to measure sociopaths on a scale of 0 to 40, with higher levels being extreme behaviour) in their hiring practice, preferring to employ lawyers with sociopathic index close to 29.


Image: The Village Lawyer, c. 1621, by Pieter Brueghel the Younger

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The Path to Empathy In Senior Living Communities

The Path to Empathy In Senior Living Communities | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
As a coach and onsite trainer in the senior housing industry, I’ve spent a lot of time dissecting and working through leads with sales professionals. I’ve come to realize that we can sometimes show a real lack of empathy towards these families who so desperately rely on us for help.


The instinct of sales people who work in senior housing is correct – they’re trying to connect but they’re doing so with sympathy not empathy, which is a much deeper form of connection. Why? What’s wrong with our approach?

When you empathize, you are able to reach people on a much deeper level. You are able to demonstrate that you understand their feelings and can say, “I know it hurts” rather than, “I’m sorry it hurts.”


With sympathy, you feel sorrow or pity but you don’t specifically understand what they’re feeling. It takes time, work and reflecting on our own past experiences to get to empathy.


Jennifer Lottis

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Sexual-minority men more empathic towards fellow minorities

Sexual-minority men more empathic towards fellow minorities | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
White sexual-minority men may be more empathic toward other minority groups compared to their heterosexual white peers. A new study from the University of Houston College of Education compared the attitudes of white heterosexual men to those of white sexual-minority men.


"Racial empathy is a crucial component of social justice," said Nathan Smith, associate professor in the college's Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences. "'Coming out' as asexual minority may lead to added introspection that, in turn, can lead to increased empathy towards other minority groups."


The research paper, "Translating Oppression: Understanding How Sexual Minority Status is Associated with White Men's Racial Attitudes," was published in the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity, a publication of the American Psychological Association.

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Leslie Hawthorn: Cultivating Empathy - YouTube

When considering how to design products, teams or even common everyday household objects, empathy often doesn't end up on the required features list.


Yet, without empathy, teams with enormous technical skills can fail in their quest to deliver quality products to their users. Incredible projects fail to create communities because they don't exercise it. Fail at empathy and your chances of failing at everything skyrocket.

Leslie Hawthorn


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Teaching empathy can help our children to find success in life

Teaching empathy can help our children to find success in life | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

The UNESCO child and family research centre at NUI Galway recommends that we teach children empathy in schools


Greed is dead. Empathy is in. The opening lines of Frans De Waal's renowned book, 'The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society,' show us the new way of thinking. No longer can we protest that 'It's dog eat dog out there; Darwin made me do it!' Instead, De Waal argues that we have completely overstated the human instinct for selfishness and that most of us are really quite nice.

Stella O'Malley


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Introduction to Empathic Design with Edwin Rutsch

Introduction to Empathic Design with Edwin Rutsch | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
This is an initial description of the mini empathic design workshop that Edwin Rutsch, director of the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy is prototyping and testing. We are inviting a select group of people who have a proven background and interest in design or empathy to take part.

Participants: 4 to 5 per workshop
Time Required: 3 hours
Dates/Times: Various dates and time during the coming months.
Location: Meet Online Using Google Hangouts.
Recording: The call is recorded for educational purposes.
No cost to take part in the testing phase.
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IDEO Course - Empathic Design 10 week Course with Edwin Rutsch

IDEO Course - Empathic Design 10 week Course with Edwin Rutsch | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
This is information about the Acumen-IDEO Human-Centered Design Course - Starting August 20th. We are forming two to three teams to take the Acumen-IDEO Human-Centered Design Course together.  


This is a 7 week course, however, since we are doing our own design challenge it takes longer and we will go for 10 weeks. 


  1. 4 to 8 people per team
  2. 10 weeks commitment
  3. 5+ hours per week. 3 hours meetings, 2+ hours readings, research, etc.


We will be doing our own custom design challenge which is initially,
How might we design a more empathic way of being?

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(Empathic Design Workshop) Empathy and Decision Making

(Empathic Design Workshop) Empathy and Decision Making | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

As we were getting seated, I started telling him about an Empathy Design Workshop that I participated in on August 6, 2015. The Workshop was organized by Edwin Rutsch, Founding Director of Center for Building a Culture of Empathy. That organization's "mission is to build a movement for creating a global worldwide culture of empathy and compassion."


Edwin works tirelessly to create such a culture through community organizing, facilitating empathy circles and "creating a portal for resources and information about the values of empathy and compassion. The site contains the largest collection of articles, conferences, definitions, experts, history, interviews, organizations, videos, science and much more about empathy and compassion."


Edwin had invited me to participate because of the various articles I have written on the subject of empathy, specifically, "The Power of Empathy," "Everyone Should Be Required to See 'Inside Out,'" and "Empathy Is Incompatible with Shame and Judgment."



Mark Baer Family Law Attorney, Mediator, Collaborative Law Practitioner, Speaker, and Author


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‘Empathy education’ already exists in Christianity

‘Empathy education’ already exists in Christianity | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Mary Kenny considers the Golden Rule as a means to combat bullying 


It is being proposed by UNESCO that one of the ways to combat bullying in schools is to teach “empathy” to young children. The dictionary definition of empathy is “the power of entering into the feelings of another person and understanding them fully”. 

If children were taught to be empathetic from an early age, perhaps there would be less bullying in schools, colleges and, later, workplaces. If you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes, then you would be less likely to bully or boss them unkindly. That is the view put forward by Prof. Pat Dolan from the UNESCO child and family research centre at Galway.

Who would argue with the notion of ‘empathy education’? Don’t most responsible parents try to teach it anyway when they say to a child who has been unkind to a sibling or playmate – “How would you feel if someone did that to you?”

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Center for Studies of the Person: Where is Empathy Needed in the 21st Century?

Center for Studies of the Person: Where is Empathy Needed in the 21st Century? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
We are a face-to-face community of people for whom the Person Centered Approach plays an important role in our personal and professional lives as a way of being and of doing. Our commitment is to maintain/build/create an environment where each of us can be heard, where we can be ourselves, where we accept and embrace each other as we are.


Where is Empathy Needed in the 21st Century?
January 27-30, 2016 San Diego, California


Our theme for 2016 - Where is Empathy Needed in the 21st Century?  will allow conferees to explore the following questions:


  • What is the present status of Empathy?
  • What is the difference between PCA and other models' view of Empathy?
  • Where is it being applied?
  • How can it add to the world today?
  • What does the future hold for for Empathy – where would we like to see it go?


We will continue with the mix of activities that was so highly prized by participants at our 2015 Conference by providing a balance between:

  • The opportunity to:
    • Connect
    • Encounter, and be in
    • Community


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