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Empathy and Compassion
The latest news about empathy and compassion from around the world - CultureOfEmpathy.com
Curated by Edwin Rutsch
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Scientists Probe Human Nature--and Discover We Are Good, After All: Scientific American

Scientists Probe Human Nature--and Discover We Are Good, After All: Scientific American | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Recent studies find our first impulses are selfless

 

Although this evidence does not definitely solve the puzzle of human nature, it does give us evidence we may use to solve this puzzle for ourselves—and our solutions will likely vary according to how we define “human nature.” If human nature is something we must be born with, then we may be neither good nor bad, cooperative nor selfish. But if human nature is simply the way we tend to act based on our intuitive and automatic impulses, then it seems that we are an overwhelmingly cooperative species, willing to give for the good of the group even when it comes at our own personal expense.

 

By Adrian F. Ward

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Empathy at All Ages and Stages

Empathy at All Ages and Stages | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Empathy is everywhere at Georgetown Day School, from the kindergarteners earnestly trading “peace roses” to resolve peer conflicts to the fifth graders spiritedly debating food access in impoverished DC communities. The school’s comprehensive social curriculum, which encompasses all 1000 of the pre-K to 12th grade students, proves that it is indeed possible to meaningfully teach empathy at any age.

Starting as young as four, GDS students practice mediating conflicts by focusing on their friends’ perspectives, learning to put themselves in others’ metaphorical Velcro sneakers.

By Lita Tandon

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Guns and the Decline of the Young Man

Guns and the Decline of the Young Man | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Even if guns were to vanish, the specter that haunts our young men would still hover in silence, darkly.

A partial solution to these toxic circumstances could be a coordinated cultivation of what might be called an empathic habit. Most people surely felt an impulsive empathy for the parents and survivors involved in the Sandy Hook massacre, as shown by the countless memorial services and candlelight vigils that took place after the murders. But empathy could help best if exercised before rather than after such tragedies.

Empathy could serve many of us: those who have not yet put themselves in the position of a person who is losing their power and those who can aim a gun at someone without imagining themselves on the other end of the barrel. For those of us who belong to a demographic that is doing increasingly better, a trained empathic reflex toward those we know to be losing for our gains could lead to a more deferential attitude on our part and could constitute an invitation for them to stay with us. To delight in their losses and aim at them the question, “How does it feel?” will only trigger a cycle of resentment and plant the seeds for vengeance. It is crucial to accommodate the pain of others.

By CHRISTY WAMPOLE
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Patient Experience Empathy + Innovation

Patient Experience Empathy + Innovation | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Patient experience has emerged as a dynamic issue for healthcare CEOs, physicians, and industry leaders. No provider can afford to offer anything less than the best clinical, physical and emotional experience to patients and families. As patients become savvier, they judge healthcare providers not only on clinical outcomes, but also on their ability to be compassionate and deliver excellent, patient-centered care.

The Patient Experience: Empathy and Innovation Summit is a three-day, multidisciplinary conference devoted to exploring patient experience as a key differentiator essential to the future of healthcare delivery. Click here to see the agenda from the May 20-22, 2012 Summit. The Summit will feature expert panel discussions about the national patient experience movement, providing participants from all disciplines the opportunity to identify shared challenges and inspire innovative solutions to help transform the patient experience and elevate customer satisfaction as a competitive differentiator.
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Dennis T OConnor's curator insight, December 18, 2012 3:46 PM

Annette Schmelling tells me the Cleveland Clinic is world class.  Looks like it to me!

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Ancient Bones That Tell a Story of Compassion

Ancient Bones That Tell a Story of Compassion | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
In Vietnam, archaeologists say, a Stone Age community took care of a man who couldn’t take care of himself.

While it is a painful truism that brutality and violence are at least as old as humanity, so, it seems, is caring for the sick and disabled.

And some archaeologists are suggesting a closer, more systematic look at how prehistoric people — who may have left only their bones — treated illness, injury and incapacitation. Call it the archaeology of health care.

By JAMES GORMAN
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International Coach Federation: Understanding empathy as a mirror neuron tool in a coach kit

International Coach Federation: Understanding empathy as a mirror neuron tool in a coach kit | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
There are numerous examples in our day to day life where we relate to other people’s experiences almost as if they were our own. A person watching a football game can feel the rush and excitement almost to the same extent as the players themselves. While watching suspense movies, we find ourselves totally immersed in the experience of the movie characters. How one is able to tune into other people’s experiences, emotions and intentions so easily and instinctively?
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Schools need to create human beings and citizens who are empathetic

Schools need to create human beings and citizens who are empathetic | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
There is a growing consensus that bullying and other kinds of violence can be reduced by encouraging empathy at an early age

While most of American is jostling over issues like gun control, improving mental health care, and reducing violence in media, we’re missing an indispensable element – why schools need to create human beings and citizens who are empathetic. Empathy is the ability to identify and understand the feelings and conditions of another person. Or as Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Empathic Civilization, puts it, “Empathy is the social glue that allows increasingly individualized and diverse populations to forge bonds of solidarity across broader domains so that society can cohere as a whole. To empathize is to civilize.”

by NIKHIL GOYAL
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Why Asperger’s Does Not Explain The Connecticut Shooting

Why Asperger’s Does Not Explain The Connecticut Shooting | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
By Emily Willingham

Some news coverage in the last 48 hours has mentioned autism in the context of the tragedy in Connecticut, particularly referencing shooter Adam Lanza's possible Asperger’s or "high-functioning" autism. Talking heads have brought up the "empathy" factor when discussing autism, and I'd like to set some of the record on that straight.

Empathic ability comes in two forms. One is the social ability to recognize the emotion someone is feeling by following social cues, subtle vocal fluctuations, and other nonverbal communications.
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Empathy and Compassion in Society Conference - Video is now Online

Empathy and Compassion in Society Conference - Video is now Online | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
"Almost 600 professionals and 300 young people gathered over three days at the first Empathy and Compassion in Society conference in London in November 2012. The conference asks what happens when we choose to put compassion at the very centre of our professional lives, and whether it is possible to cultivate compassion."
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..is our Education System Creating an Uncompassionate Society?

..is our Education System Creating an Uncompassionate Society? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
One of the most telling moments was when a young man named Sam announced that school life was not set up to help him and his fellow teenagers to be kind and compassionate. The name of the game, he said, is to get good exam results - end of story..

Following the recent news that the UK has the world's sixth best education system, I thought now would be a good time to share some of my own research.

This research involved zero analysis of exam results, no evaluation of teacher performance, and has yielded not a single league table. My findings are based entirely on the three days that I spent at a conference in London called Empathy and Compassion in Society.

Andy FraserJournalist focusing on sport, meditation, well-being and compassion
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Study: Healthcare Provider Empathy and Clinical Outcomes in Diabetes

Study: Healthcare Provider Empathy and Clinical Outcomes in Diabetes | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Study examines the relationship between physicians' empathy and reducing complications from diabetes

Physician empathy in this study was shown to help in reducing serious metabolic complications from diabetes. In an earlier study published in 2011, Hojat et al reported that “patients of physicians with high empathy scores were significantly more likely to have good control of hemoglobin A1c (56%) than were patients of physicians with low empathy scores
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A Demonstration of Pain Empathy GT BMED 4752 FALL 2012

Pain empathy involves conscious and unconscious processing of another person's pain. It causes the activation of pain neural pathways and allows for recognition and understanding of an injury. It is also thought to provide motivation to ease suffering in others.
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Audio: Do we become empathetic human beings by nature or nurture?

Audio: Do we become empathetic human beings by nature or nurture? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Do we become empathetic human beings by nature or nurture? Dr. Perri Klass, a primary care pediatrician, explored the topic in "Understanding How Children Develop Empathy," a recent article in The New York Times.

Decisions to act out of kindness, compassion, and concern confront us regularly in our lives. They vary in scale and impact, from the choice to hold the door to choosing to help someone in grave danger.

In moments of empathy, our emotions go a step further. Beyond sympathy, empathy allows us to share and experience the emotions of another.

Dr. Perri Klass is a primary care pediatrician and the author of a recent article in The New York Times, “Understanding How Children Develop Empathy.”
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Mindfulness Training and the Compassionate Brain: Meditation cultivates concentration, empathy, and insight at a neural level.

Mindfulness Training and the Compassionate Brain: Meditation cultivates concentration, empathy, and insight at a neural level. | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Meditation cultivates concentration, empathy, and insight at a neural level.

 

A study from November of 2012 found that participating in an 8-week meditation training program can have measurable effects on how the brain functions even when someone is not actively meditating. In their report in the November issue of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston University (BU), and several other research centers also found differences in those effects based on the specific type of meditation practiced.

 

"The two different types of meditation training our study participants completed yielded some differences in the response of the amygdala − a part of the brain known for decades to be important for emotion − to images with emotional content," says Gaëlle Desbordes, PhD, a research fellow at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at MGH and at the BU Center for Computational Neuroscience and Neural Technology, corresponding author of the report. "This is the first time that meditation training has been shown to affect emotional processing in the brain outside of a meditative state."

 


Christopher Bergland 

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Compassion Fatigue: Practical Applications for Nursing Professionals.

Compassion Fatigue: Practical Applications for Nursing Professionals. | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Nurses are on the front line of care for the ill, wounded, and traumatized individuals and are called upon to deliver compassionate care to their clients. Empathy and compassion are essential qualities for successful healing environments, vital for both the providers and receivers of health-promoting interactions.

Betsy Murphy is a certified holistic nurse who is interested in exploring mind body methods to help preserve compassion in nurses.
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Mikul Brown's curator insight, April 8, 2013 7:15 PM

An added element that may be what you needed to help your patients #nursing 

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Teaching the ABCs of Attention, Balance and Compassion: Susan Kaiser Greenland at TEDxStudioCityED

Founder of the Inner Kids program, Susan Kaiser Greenland adapted adult meditation practices for kids, seeing a marked improvement in their capacity to focus, calm themselves, and manage stress. She is also the author of The Mindful Child.

Susan shares her insights on how children can learn practical skills to live more balanced, joyful lives. Her approach for teaching mindfulness to kids involves research-based techniques and playful activities.
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Moral evaluations of harm are instant and emotional, brain study shows | ScienceBlog.com

Moral evaluations of harm are instant and emotional, brain study shows | ScienceBlog.com | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

People are able to detect, within a split second, if a hurtful action they are witnessing is intentional or accidental, new research on the brain at the University of Chicago shows.

The study is the first to explain how the brain is hard-wired to recognize when another person is being intentionally harmed. It also provides new insights into how such recognition is connected with emotion and morality, said lead author Jean Decety, the Irving B. Harris Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at UChicago....

The research may help inform other areas of neurodevelopment research, including studies of the moral responses of psychopaths and of children who lack empathy for others, displaying what are called callous-unemotional traits.

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Tragedy underscores need to teach empathy

Tragedy underscores need to teach empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
For 30 years, we've taught children to care foremost about themselves. That was a mistake.

As the country pours out its empathy for the latest shooting victims, we all ask ourselves the question: "Why do events like this happen?"

I believe the root cause is our nation's fetish with self-esteem building and our collective failure over the last 30 years to teach our children how to empathize with one another.

I am a counselor in a residential treatment program that works with kids who have a vast array of personality disorders. I go to work with the knowledge that if my coworkers and I are not effective in the messages we are sending to the students we work with, any one of them has the potential to produce the scene that was witnessed Friday in Newtown, Conn

Article by: LUKE MILLER
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Daily Kos: Empathy, Pain, Politics, and Polarization

Daily Kos: Empathy, Pain, Politics, and Polarization | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
We may or may not, be hardwired to be empathic creatures -- but without it, human society can become one very ugly place. A place without help; a place without hope; a place built upon the bricks of anger and fear.
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Empathy comes from the heart, not the mind

Empathy comes from the heart, not the mind | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
In his book, "Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis," Jeremy Rifkin argues that "...what is needed is a more transparent public debate around views of freedom, equality and democracy…a moratorium on the hyperbolic political rhetoric and incivility...and begin a civil conversation around our differing views on human nature. This would offer us a moment in time to listen to each other, share our feelings, thoughts, concerns and aspirations, with the goal of trying to better understand each others' perspectives, and hopefully find some emotional and cognitive common ground."
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Naughty or Nice? A Brain Chemical May Tell

Naughty or Nice? A Brain Chemical May Tell | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
A "moral molecule" can influence how generous or selfish you are.

Chemicals in your body can influence how generous or selfish you are, and, in recent years, experiments have explored the role of one called oxytocin — which one researcher calls the "moral molecule."

In an experiment known as the ultimatum game, one of two people is given a sum of money, say $100, and told he must decide how to split it with person No. 2. If person No. 2 is dissatisfied with the split, then she can reject it, but then the money vanishes, and neither person gets any.
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The Problem with Empathy

The Problem with Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
One parent reflects on the painful side of empathy when tragedy strikes

I needed a minute. With tears streaming down my face, all I could think of was that empathy really sucks. I really truly did not want to feel what those other mothers must be feeling. I didn’t want the fear, the anguish, the shock, the disbelief. I can’t believe Ashoka wants us all to master this.

During past random shootings in the US (the batman screening or even Columbine), I felt the way I feel when I hear about famine in Africa. Deeply concerned at an intellectual level but no tears streaming down my face.

By Karabi Acharya
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Who would kill children?

Who would kill children? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
The psychiatric diagnoses that can be connected to a lack of empathy are numerous. Someone can have fallen victim to schizophrenia and be suffering the delusion that others must die to save the earth. Hence, there is no grief for the people who must die. Someone can be drug dependent and inebriated to the point that his core empathy is suppressed, due to intoxication. Someone can be personality disordered--a "sociopath" who steals, cheats and commits violent acts without guilt.

Yet, these diagnoses still don't speak to the underlying cause of someone losing empathy. What about that? Regardless of what diagnosis we speak of, we still need to think about what causes those conditions marked by having little or no feeling for others.

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The Takeaway - Is Empathy Inherited or Taught? Listeners Respond

The Takeaway - Is Empathy Inherited or Taught? Listeners Respond | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Is empathy inherited? Is it taught? Dr. Perri Klass shared her thoughts and recent findings with the Takeaway and listeners are sharing their opinions.

"Empathy like sociopathy is innate. you can't teach a sociopath to feel love. empathy is something, a love for some sort of human condition and sociopaths can't feel love. so if it isn't there to have the ability to feel than i don't believe you can teach it.”
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Piers Morgan Quack Says People With Autism Lack Empathy: ‘Something’s Missing In The Brain’

Piers Morgan Quack Says People With Autism Lack Empathy: ‘Something’s Missing In The Brain’ | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Following a sketchy report that Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza may have had autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight booked a so-called expert named Dr. Xavier Amador to come on the air and slur people with autism.

Dr. Amador, a media-friendly psychologist (a specialty that does not deal with autism) told Piers Morgan that “a symptom of autism” is that “something’s missing in the brain, a capacity for empathy, for social connection, which leaves the person suffering from this condition prone to serious depression and anxiety.”
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