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Ability To Literally Imagine Oneself In Another's Shoes May Be Tied To Empathy

Ability To Literally Imagine Oneself In Another's Shoes May Be Tied To Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
New research indicates the way our brain handles how we move through space -- including being able to imagine literally stepping into someone else's shoes -- may be related to how and why we experience empathy toward others.

 

The research was recently published in the online scientific journal PLoS One.

Empathy involves, in part, the ability to simulate the internal states of others. The authors hypothesized that our ability to manipulate, rotate and simulate mental representations of the physical world, including our own bodies, would contribute significantly to our ability to empathize.

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David Hain's curator insight, October 29, 2013 12:52 PM

It's all connected...

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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Our Website CultureOfEmpathy.com

Join us on Facebook Center for Building a Culture of Empathy

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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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Interview: Self-Compassion with Kristin Neff

Kristin Neff established self-compassion as a field of study almost a decade ago. In this interview, we'll explore the three core elements of self-compassion (self-kindness + common humanity + mindfulness) and why it's so important for us to cultivate!

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Men who buy sex have much in common with sexually coercive men

Men who buy sex have much in common with sexually coercive men | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

"It's like she's not really there." - Study participant who bought sex

Men who buy sex have less empathy for women in prostitution than men who don't buy sex, according to a study published online Aug. 31 in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.


The research, co-authored by UCLA professor Neil Malamuth, also found that men who buy sex are more likely to report having committed rape and other aggressive sexual acts....


Those who buy sex, on average, have less empathy for women in prostitution and view them as intrinsically different from other women."

In other studies, a lower level of empathy among men has been associated with sexual aggression toward women.

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How To Teach Empathy

How To Teach Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Ideally, empathy would be the net effect of experience, which in classrooms is both a matter of process and knowledge. Students would learn to empathize rather than be taught to empathize, as a symptom of what they know. Why this is important is a matter of implication and language.


Teaching someone to feel what others feel and sit with emotions that aren’t their own couldn’t be any further from the inherent pattern of academics, which is always decidedly other.


Teaching always begins with detachment—learn this skill or content strand that is now apart from you. Empathy is the opposite; it starts in the other, and finishes there without leaving.

In your classroom, there are dozens of natural sources of empathy. But what about authenticity?

 


by Terry Heick

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Borderline Personality Traits Are Linked To Low Empathy, Study

Borderline Personality Traits Are Linked To Low Empathy, Study | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Patients who suffer from BPD find it difficult to maintain relationships.


Anyone who suffers from "borderline personality disorder", or BPD, is undergoing a mental illness that is characterised by unstable moods, and cannot maintain interpersonal relationships.


Scientists from the University of Georgia explain that it might be due to lowered brain activity in regions important for empathy in those who have borderline personality traits, according to sciencedaily.

"


Our results showed that people with BPD traits had reduced activity in brain regions that support empathy," said the study's lead author Brian Haas, an assistant professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences psychology department


By R. Siva Kumar


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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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Nurture compassion and it will nurture you back: Empathy evolves into compassion, which is “I feel for you”.

Nurture compassion and it will nurture you back: Empathy evolves into compassion, which is “I feel for you”. | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
The side-effects of compassion are plentiful, according to David Hamilton PhD: compassion causes growth on the left side of the prefrontal cortex region. The effect is we find it easier to be compassionate and kind. Compassion begets compassion by creating actual changes in the brain.

Compassion also boosts oxytocin, a key hormone responsible for heart health by reducing blood pressure and dilating our arteries. Oxytocin is a feel good hormone which, when released, fosters our emotional connection, is good for the heart and enhances relationships.
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5 Methods for Getting to the Heart of the Empathetic Leader

5 Methods for Getting to the Heart of the Empathetic Leader | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

So, given our overall workplace culture, where taking the time to connect personally is seen as a distraction from getting business done, how can you add more empathy to your leadership style without sacrificing productivity?

Here are a few simple methods we’ve developed at Business Improv to help our clients lead more empathetically. With this list, I’ve seen leadership styles transform and relationships strengthen, and witnessed the great personal and organizational benefits that resulted.

1. Be present in the moment. 
2. Maintain eye contact.
3. Really listen. 
4. Repeat back, so employees know they’re heard. 
5. Focus on what someone else wants.


by bob kulhan

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The Opportunities For Empathy In The Classroom

The Opportunities For Empathy In The Classroom | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

So much talk about empathy in education recently. Why? What’s the big idea? In “The Role of Empathy in Learning,” I wrote:

“The role of empathy in learning has to do with the flow of both information and creativity. A dialogic interaction with the world around us requires us to understand ourselves by understanding the needs and condition of those around us. It also encourages us to take collective measurements rather than those singular, forcing us into an intellectual interdependence that catalyzes other subtle but powerful tools of learning.”

But where does it come from? What causes it? What are the authentic sources of empathy in a classroom?'


by Terry Heick

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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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