Empathy and Compassion
264.6K views | +93 today
Follow
 
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
onto Empathy and Compassion
Scoop.it!

Enriching Our Lives With Empathy

Enriching Our Lives With Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

How does empathy enrich our lives? 

We feel peace and happiness in our own lives when we have
 helped others evolve to greater peace. In our relationships, we feel an expanded sense of spaciousness when we treat each other with compassion. When we are non-judgmental towards others, we are able to focus on their needs.


Empathy towards others is the heightened sense of awareness, partial identification with the feelings of another, and insight into his/her life that lead to their present condition.


Through the eyes and heart of empathy, we begin to gain entrance into the other person's perspectives, values, beliefs, feelings and actions. We may not agree with their attitudes or like their actions, but we can at least glimpse into what life must be like, when seen and felt from their perspective


by Hyder Zahed 


image http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Cassatt


more...
No comment yet.
Empathy and Compassion
The Empathy Movement Magazine: The latest news about empathy and compassion from around the world - CultureOfEmpathy.com
Curated by Edwin Rutsch
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Empathy Movement Magazine

Empathy Movement Magazine | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Sponsored by Edwin Rutsch
Empathy Guide
 and Consulting Services

Subscribe to our Emailed Empathy Newsletter

 

Empathy Magazine Sections

*   Front Page: Empathy& Compassion (this page)
*   Animals
*   Art
*   Compassion

*   Compassionate Communications (NVC)

*   Curriculums
*   Education
*   Empaths

*   Empathic Family & Parenting

*   Empathic Design  (Design Thinking - Human-Centered Design)
*   Health Care

*   Justice

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

*   etc.

 

 

Please Click 'Follow' to receive updates.
It also helps us rise in the rankings 
and gives us more exposure
on Scoop.it. 

 

Thanks so much

Edwin Rutsch, Editor

CultureOfEmpathy.com

Join us on Facebook 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

University of Queensland: Compassion Symposium

University of Queensland: Compassion Symposium | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

The full-day conference welcomes an eclectic mix of practitioners and academics to discuss how compassion can be integrated into research and practice, and the benefits associated with doing so.

Date: Saturday 1 October 2016


Venue: Sir Llew Edwards Building (Building 14, The University of Queensland, St Lucia QLD)


This cross-disciplinary symposium is designed to bring together academics, clinicians, researchers and students from different disciplines within the University and the community to present on how compassion is or could be a part of their research, studies or practice.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

(Empathy @Work) Empathy at Work: Why Empathy Matters in the Workplace

(Empathy @Work) Empathy at Work: Why Empathy Matters in the Workplace | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Businessolver is excited to announce the launch of our new Workplace Empathy Monitor, which surveyed more than 1,000 CEOs, HR Professionals and Employees. This eye-opening study found that there is a gap between how empathetic leaders perceive themselves to be and how their message and action are perceived by employees.

That gap can lead to decreased satisfaction and lowered engagement levels, not to mention employee turnover and low morale. Employees want their priorities, expectations and needs to be heard and understood by their leadership, and leaders are struggling with what to do and say that shows empathy to their employees.

It turns out, there are significant bottom-line benefits to having an empathetic organization. According to Businessolver's research, employees are more likely to take - and keep - a job at an organization that they perceive to be empathetic (even if that means taking a lower paycheck). Consumers, too, are more eager to do business with an organization that they think is empathetic.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

(Empathy @Work) Employees don't feel employers are empathetic enough

(Empathy @Work) Employees don't feel employers are empathetic enough | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

A new survey from benefits administration tech company Businessolver shows that while 60 percent of CEOs view their organization as “empathetic,” only about a quarter of rank-and-file workers feel the same way.

The online poll of 1,840 U.S. adults found that employees and executives nevertheless agree on what constitutes an empathetic workplace...

There is also a great deal of agreement on the ways in which employers and coworkers can demonstrate respect and empathy for each other. At the top of the list is verbal acknowledgement that you are

  1. listening (76 percent),
  2. maintaining eye contact (72 percent), and
  3. showing emotion (70 percent).

 

BY JACK CRAVER

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Building Empathy  

Building Empathy   | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
When our students walk into our classrooms, they bring their whole selves, whether we’re ready for it or not, whether we want it or not. This means we are teaching the whole child whether we mean to or not.

 

We might be trying to appeal to the intellectual side of our students but the emotional side is still present, still listening, and still being guided by its own script.

 

When we ignore these other pieces of a child’s reality, it is to the detriment of their education and our classroom community. An article in the Huffington Post last month highlighted the impact that empathy can have on student behavior and suspensions. I was dismayed to read in the comments that showing empathy cost some teachers their jobs; they were expected to be tough on students who were acting out instead of showing them kindness and understanding.

 

But as the research, the stories of these teachers, and my own experience indicates, it is precisely this human connection that can engage a checked-out student and transform a classroom into a learning community.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Ep. 8. Perspectives Series: Empathy ~ You're Enough

Empathy is a genuine gift of love. It takes courage to be in empathy with someone as they are going down into a challenge state. It's very human to go into challenge state and empathy is not ever easy. It doesn't deny the pain is there.

 

When we try to fix someone's pain, we may think we are trying to save them time. What is often happening is we are feeling, 'I'm not prepared, I'm too vulnerable because all my own fears are exposed in this situation."

 

It's a unique gift to have the courage to just be with someone and say 'you're not alone, you are loved, you are okay, you're enough" and be at peace with the world as it is in that moment.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Anti-anxiety medication limits empathetic behavior in rats - The University of Chicago Medicine

Anti-anxiety medication limits empathetic behavior in rats - The University of Chicago Medicine | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Rats given midazolam, an anti-anxiety medication, were less likely to free trapped companions because the drug lessened their empathy, according to a new study by University of Chicago neuroscientists.

The research, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, validates studies that show rats are emotionally motivated to help other rats in distress. In the latest study, rats treated with midazolam did not open the door to a restrainer device containing a trapped rat, although control rats routinely freed their trapped companions. Midazolam did not interfere with the rats' physical ability to open the restrainer door, however. In fact, when the restrainer device contained chocolate instead of a trapped rat, the test rats routinely opened the door. The findings show that the act of helping others depends on emotional reactions, which are dampened by the anti-anxiety medication.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Empathy Skills: Are You an Empathetic Person? | Reader's Digest

Empathy Skills: Are You an Empathetic Person? | Reader's Digest | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Here's how to tell if you're an empathetic listener and how your empathy skills affect your daily life and relationships.

 

An empathetic person places the needs of people—even animals—over his or her own. “Empathic people are often people pleasers who put other people first,” says Judith Orloff, MD, author of Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA with a private psychotherapy practice specializing in empathy. “They want to help others and have large hearts, but they often give too much away and end up exhausted.” Since you’re so giving and concerned about others, you dislike people who always put themselves first.

 

by  STACEY FEINTUCH

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

(Empathic Parenting) Study: Neuroticism Moderates the Relation Between Parenting and Empathy and Between Empathy and Prosocial Behavior

(Empathic Parenting) Study: Neuroticism Moderates the Relation Between Parenting and Empathy and Between Empathy and Prosocial Behavior | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Links among neuroticism, inconsistent discipline, and empathy were assessed in a longitudinal study of adolescents. Mothers’, but not fathers’, inconsistent discipline predicted decreases in empathy 2 years later, but only for adolescents who were low in neuroticism. For those who were high, there was no effect of inconsistent discipline

 

 Authoritarian parenting was not related to empathy, nor was there any interaction between neuroticism and authoritarianism. Neuroticism also moderated the relation between empathy and adolescent prosocial behavior, with empathy and prosocial behavior positively related for adolescents who were high in neuroticism but not related for those who were low in neuroticism.

 

These findings shed light on the specificity of parenting antecedents of empathic behavior in adolescence as well as the role of personality in this relation.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

(Empathic Education) Why We Should Teach Empathy to Preschoolers: One Berkeley preschool is baking empathy into its curriculum - and for good reason.

(Empathic Education) Why We Should Teach Empathy to Preschoolers: One Berkeley preschool is baking empathy into its curriculum - and for good reason. | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Various studies show that the more empathy a child displays, the less likely they are to engage in bullying, online and in real life. Empathic children and adolescents are more likely to engage in positive social behaviors, like sharing or helping others.

 

They’re also less likely to be antisocial and exhibit uncontrolled aggressive behaviors. That’s a big reason why educators have been devoting more attention to empathy in recent years, integrating it more deeply into schools and curricula. And as Golestan illustrates, some of these efforts are focusing on early childhood education.


Indeed, research suggests the sooner we learn to empathize, the better off we are in the long run. People exposed to empathy earlier in life have greater and longer-lasting emotional benefits than those exposed to it later, or not at all. One recent study suggests that children who are taught social and emotional skills (as opposed to purely cognitive skills) in preschool and kindergarten have better social skills and fewer behavior problems in both kindergarten and first grade, compared with kids who don’t experience that holistic classroom setting.

 

 By Shuka Kalantari

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

5 ways of responding with empathy and empowerment to Brexit 

5 ways of responding with empathy and empowerment to Brexit  | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
I’ve been practicing NVC and sharing with others for some years now and it seems ever more crucial to be able to connect with people who have a different view from me.  I want to find ways to relate in these situations that are more likely to lead to mutual understanding and connection and the possibility of meeting everyone’s needs.

HERE ARE 5 WAYS OF RESPONDING WITH EMPATHY TO THIS NEW SITUATION WE FIND OURSELVES IN. YOU MAY LIKE TO PRACTICE THEM TOO.

ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR OWN PHYSICAL RESPONSE

Was it shock, did you find your heart in your mouth as you found out on the morning of June 24th?
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Stanford’s Virtual Reality Lab Cultivates Empathy for the Homeless

Stanford’s Virtual Reality Lab Cultivates Empathy for the Homeless | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

The burgeoning field of Virtual Reality — or VR as it is commonly known — is a vehicle for telling stories through 360-degree visuals and sound that put you right in the middle of the action, be it at a crowded Syrian refugee camp, or inside the body of an 85-year-old with a bad hip and cataracts.  

 

Because of VR’s immersive properties, some people describe the medium as “the ultimate empathy machine.” But can it make people care about something as fraught and multi-faceted as homelessness?...

The study, called Empathy at Scale, puts participants in a variety of scenes designed to help them imagine the experience of being homeless themselves. 

 

By Rachael Myrow

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

The Secret Underground History of Empathy

The Secret Underground History of Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
What we will cover:
  • If empathy is so great, why does there seem to be so little of it in the world?
  • Can empathy be trained?


Explore the secret underground history of empathy in such thinkers as

  • David Hume,
  • Immanuel Kant,
  • Theodor Lipps,
  • Sigmund Freud,
  • Edmund Husserl,
  • Martin Heidegger in this lecture.


Surveys show that most people think that empathy is compassion. The world certainly needs more compassion, but it is not synonymous with empathy. Empathy tells you what the other person is experiencing as a vicarious experience, and not an identification; compassion (and ethics) tells you what to do about it. Empathy is oxygen for the soul. If one is feeling short of breath at the end of the school year or business cycle, it is possible that they are in need of expanded empathy.

 

BY LOU AGOSTA

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

(Empathic Healthcare) Enhancing compassion in general practice: it’s not all about the doctor

(Empathic Healthcare) Enhancing compassion in general practice: it’s not all about the doctor | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
‘Patients were left lying in soiled sheets or sitting on commodes for hours. Some patients needing pain relief got it late or not at all.’1

 

Such were the findings from the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry with recommendations for recruiting compassionate staff and having clinician compassion training.2 However, this call for compassion is not new. Medical codes of practice require us to practise with compassion.

 

Compassionate care should be routine, a daily motivation and practice not unlike antisepsis and hand washing.

The crisis of compassion in medicine is multifaceted in origin and no universal panacea is likely to be found. Many of us cannot define compassion or articulate the differences between compassion and empathy.

 

Others might argue that compassion training is redundant as doctors are either compassionate or not. We remain remarkably ignorant about compassion, unsure of what it is, where it comes from, or what might influence compassion in our practices.

 

by 

Antonio T Fernando,

Bruce Arroll,

Nathan S Consedine

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

(Empathic Design) Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Empathy and Acceptance in Design and Community

Working on and with the web is engaging in that most human of endeavors: Communication. Even so, it’s easy to forget that the people we interact with and those who access and interact with our creations are just that: People. Learn how to make empathy and acceptance driving forces for your interactions and designs to build great informational experiences for everyone.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

(Empathy @Work) Use Empathy to Revolutionize Your Workplace

(Empathy @Work) Use Empathy to Revolutionize Your Workplace | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

We found that the lost element – and key to an engaged, happy workforce – is empathy. And so, Businessolver spent the last year studying how empathy – or lack thereof – affects businesses. The end result is our hallmark research, the Businessolver Workplace Empathy Monitor, which we were excited to unveil yesterday at our Vision 20/16 Chicago user conference.  

Surveying more than 1,000 leaders, HR professionals, and employees, the Workplace Empathy Monitor gets to the bottom of why empathy matters in the workplace. Just a snapshot of key findings affirms our belief that change is needed:  

Only 24 percent of Americans believe that organizations are empathetic versus 60 percent of CEOs.  
31 percent of employees believe profit is all that matters to their organization, and that their organization doesn’t care about employees. 
1 in 3 employees would switch companies, for equal pay, if the other company was more empathetic. 

 

by Jon Shanahan

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Architectural Empathy: Why Our Brains Experience Places Like People 

Architectural Empathy: Why Our Brains Experience Places Like People  | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
This is the second excerpt from Robert Lamb Hart’s new book, A New Look at Humanism – in Architecture, Landscapes, and Urban Design, which aims to apply the insights emerging from the maturing sciences of human life – evolution, ecology, and the neurosciences – to day-to-day practice in design offices. Within a section called “The mind that encounters architecture,” he explores how the human mind accelerates learning by searching for comparisons: ‘how can I understand this place, all this new complexity, in terms of what I already know?’ Then it links our new perceptions into patterns of earlier learning.

In The Architecture of Happiness, philosopher Alain de Botton tells a persuasive story about how we tend to perceive buildings and people in similar terms – and are led by the same in-born empathy into parallel concepts using the same vocabulary.

 

He explores how we tend to experience – his word is transubstantiate – architecture in terms of ourselves; in his words, we call things “happy” that make us happy. In addition to architecture, the idea applies equally to landscapes and cityscapes and to everyday objects that we give personalized names – like houses or boats.

 

 Robery Lamb Hart

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

14 Ways to Cultivate Empathy

14 Ways to Cultivate Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

An antidote to being judgmental. Linda: Some people are under the false impression that empathy is something that you either have or you don’t...

 

Here are some practices for cultivating empathy:

  1. Practice committed, non-reactive listening by tuning in to the deeper levels of their message.
  2. Move away from right and wrong thinking.
  3. When you notice judgments in the mind, remind yourself about “different strokes for different folks.”
  4. Become more tolerant and accepting of the values and styles of others.
  5. Make room for the full range of intense feelings in yourself and others: fear, hurt, confusion, anger, sadness, grief, shame, guilt, joy, and happiness.
  6. Resist giving advice even if it’s solicited.
  7. Bring forth warmth, affection, and your open heart.
  8. Be willing to share your own personal struggles to normalize whatever struggle they are going through.
  9. Bring a sense of curiosity by asking more questions, in an attempt to understand the deeper meanings of their experience.
  10. Remember that there is no such thing as win-lose in relationship. There is only lose-lose and win-win. We both win through understanding.
  11. Show respect for the human predicament. We all make mistakes while we are learning.
  12. Understand the distinction between unskillful behavior and their character, and be sure to only speak about the behaviors.
  13. Look for their strengths and remind them of those strengths.
  14. Be grounded in the truth that we are all growing and there is an innate drive toward healing and mastery.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Are Anxiety Drugs Making Us Less Eager To Lend A Helping Hand? drugs are blunting our empathy

Are Anxiety Drugs Making Us Less Eager To Lend A Helping Hand? drugs are blunting our empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Antianxiety medications can be enormously helpful to people bedeviled by severe anxiety — no doubt about that. But by tamping down anxious feelings, could it be that these so-called “anxiolytic” drugs are blunting our empathy and rendering us less willing to lend a helping hand to those in need?

That’s the word from the scientists responsible for a provocative new study showing that lab rats given a drug called midazolam (MDZ) were less willing than untreated control rats to help release a trapped cage mate.

 

David Freeman

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

(Teaching Empathy) (Michele Borba) 3 Ways to Teach Empathy With Media Literacy

(Teaching Empathy) (Michele Borba) 3 Ways to Teach Empathy With Media Literacy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Empathy may be one of the most important social skills we learn as humans.

 

Without it, not only do we fail to understand how our actions affect others, but we also lack the imagination and creativity needed to design tools and communicate our ideas beyond our own communities of like-minded people. Indeed, without some degree of empathy, we may not be able to communicate at all.

 

And yet, empathy also happens to be one of the most difficult skills to teach, rife as it is with complexity and emotion.

 

The importance and challenges of teaching empathy have come into renewed focus, thanks in part to bestselling author Dr. Michele Borba's latest book, "UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World."

 

Other recent events - ranging from the mass shooting in Orlando, to the firestorm caused by a letter from a rape victim read out loud to her attacker, to the growing global refugee crisis - all test our ability to imagine what it must be like to live in another person's shoes for a day.

 

 Emily Long

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

(Empathic Education) Study: Teaching Tools to Improve the Development of Empathy in Service-Learning Students 

(Empathic Education) Study: Teaching Tools to Improve the Development of Empathy in Service-Learning Students  | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Students participating in service-learning classes experience many benefits, including cognitive development, personal growth, and civic engagement. Student development of empathy is an understudied area, especially with respect to how students develop empathy through interactions in their service-learning placements.?

 

This article describes a project designed to pilot teaching tools (e.g., self-assessment, reflective writing) related to empathy development in 12 undergraduate students. This study examined changes in level of student empathy across the semester, critical incidents linked to such changes, factors that enhanced or challenged empathy development, and student metacognition related to empathy. Findings suggest that certain experiences, such as observing the emotional experiences of others or being given more responsibility at a community site, might prompt changes in level of empathy for service-learning students.

 

Strategies for integrating findings from this pilot project into other service-learning courses and future directions for empathy research are also described.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Special Needs Digest: Why It’s Imperative to Teach Empathy to Boys

Special Needs Digest: Why It’s Imperative to Teach Empathy to Boys | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Too often children’s playrooms reinforce gender stereotypes that put boys at risk of failing to gain skills critical for success in life and work. The most important of these? Empathy.

Meg Bear, Group Vice President of Oracle’s Social Cloud, calls empathy “the critical 21st century skill.” She believes it’s the “difference between good and great” when it comes to personal and professional success.

Researchers at Greater Good Science Center out of the University of California, Berkeley, echo Bear’s assertion. They define empathy as “the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.

Why is empathy important?

First, empathy breeds courage. In a recent study of nearly 900 youth, ages 11-13, Nicola Abbott and Lindsey Cameron’s, psychology researchers at University of Kent, found that participants with higher levels of empathy were more likely to engage in “assertive bystander behavior.”

 

 

By Gayle Allen and Deborah Farmer Kris

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Can Dementia Steal Your Empathy?

Can Dementia Steal Your Empathy? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
In patients who suffer from any form of dementia, the loss of memory and other effects of the disease are devastating both to the patient and to those who care for them. Dementia can be caused by a variety of illnesses, one of the most well known being Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).

 

A similar form of dementia that can result from a disruption in the tau and TDP43, is known as behavior variant Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD). While it can be caused by protein disruptions similar to AD, it’s actually different. It used to be known as Pick’s disease, after Arnold Pick, MD who described the first case of it in the late 1800s.

 

It impacts the frontotemporal lobe exclusively and a new study from Australia shows that a particular symptom of it is a loss in empathy in patients diagnosed with it.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Empathy Vs Sympathy Or Apathy: Can Adults Learn Empathy?

Empathy Vs Sympathy Or Apathy: Can Adults Learn Empathy? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Can Adults Learn Empathy?

 

“The best and most beautiful things in life cannot be seen, not touched, but are felt in the heart.” Helen Keller

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Rats feel empathy for other rats, unless they're on antidepressants

Rats feel empathy for other rats, unless they're on antidepressants | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

A 2011 study found that when a free rat came in contact with a rat trapped in a container, the free rat was empathically motivated to release the distressed rat from its cell. But a new study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, noted that a rat put in a similar scenario but given an anti-anxiety medication, was less likely to free its trapped peer.

Both studies were led in part by Peggy Mason, professor of neurobiology from the University of Chicago. In the most recent study, Mason discovered that rats given the antidepressant midazolam were less likely to free a fellow rat from a locked compartment, but would, however, open the same restrainer device when it contained chocolate instead. The drug dampened a test rat's emotional connection with a distressed peer, but did not limit its physical ability to open the container if it so chose to.

 

Basically, the free rat acted like an self-centered, cocoa-fueled jerkwad. 

 

By Chris Plante

 

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

(Empathic Design) Not feeling it? Learn how to navigate the roadblocks to empathy

(Empathic Design) Not feeling it? Learn how to navigate the roadblocks to empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
What disrupts empathy?
In the study by the Max Planck Institute, participants were paired up, and each person was shown an image that was either pleasant or unpleasant. At the same time, they were each given something equally pleasant or unpleasant to touch, such as soft fur or slime. (The tactile stimuli ensured that participants’ thoughts wouldn’t trump their emotions in subsequent decision-making.)

 

The outcome was striking: When experiencing different stimuli, the participants were more likely to project their feelings and circumstances onto the other person, rather than the other way around, confirming that empathy relies on being in a neutral or shared state.

“Up to now, the social neuroscience models have assumed that we mainly draw on our own emotions as a reference for empathy. This only works, however, if we are in a neutral state or the same state as our counterpart—otherwise, the brain must counteract and correct,” stated Tania Singer, who headed the research team.

 

Suzanne Barnecut

more...
No comment yet.