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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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Leadership and Empathy -4 Tips to Improve Your Capacity for Empathy - Project Eve

Leadership and Empathy -4 Tips to Improve Your Capacity for Empathy - Project Eve | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Empathy is not only one of the key abilities linked with great leadership, it is the new hit wonder for everybody.

 

4 ways to improve empathy:
 

Set yourself aside. Try inhibiting your own beliefs and personality and adopt the view of the other
.Ask questions. The more knowledge you have about the background and situation of others, the better your ability to take their view.
 Use your imagination. Imagination is a power of the human mind to reckon with and a key stone in empathy. Use your capacity for imagination to understand what a situation feels like for the other without getting yourself caught up in the feelings as your own. Empathy is other-directed. It is about imagining being the other, not about how you would feel in that particular situation.
 Practice. Practice. Practice. Empathizing is harder than you think, so try as often as you can to deepen your empathic understanding of others. At meetings, dinners, everyday conversations try to set aside your own view of the world, and take a dive into the feelings of the other.
 by Mette Vesterager
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The Sanctuary 2013 Conference: "Mindfulness and Compassion",

The Sanctuary 2013 Conference: "Mindfulness and Compassion", | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

This year's conference "Mindfulness and Compassion", will demonstrate why developing compassion is good for mind, body and soul.   It will show that we can really understand others only when  we understand ourselves and that we will only know what’s best for others when we know what’s best for ourselves.  The main speaker this year is highly renowned professor Paul Gilbert, founder of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT).

 

This Conference is equally relevant to psychologists, neuroscientists, health, social care and teaching professionals as well as mindful practitioners, counsellors and therapists.  In fact anyone interested in the topic will find this conference stimulating, informative and useful for daily living.

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What's Wrong With Empathy

What's Wrong With Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Some experts believe empathy leads to bad moral judgments and bad social policy.

 

To most of us, the idea that empathy is a good thing is a no brainer. The more we empathize with the plight of others, the more ethical and moral we behave towards them. Yet a number of psychologists and philosophers reject this view. Empathy is "narrow-minded, parochial, and innumerate" claimed Paul Bloom, a Yale professor of Psychology in a recent New Yorker article (May 20, 2013).According to Jesse Prinz, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at City University in New York “…empathy is prone to biases that render <moral judgment> potentially harmful.”

 

Academics who distrust empathy seek to improve public policy by making us aware of inherent biases in human reasoning. As Bloom and Prinz point out, people have very different reactions to the suffering of individuals than to the suffering of unseen groups. We are happy to donate to save an individual but not willing to raise our taxes to save larger numbers of people. Because of this inherent “bias” in human nature, these critics argue, empathy is at best a starting point—a motivationto get us thinking --but then reason and deliberation should take over and dominate the subsequent discussion, judgment, or policy-making.

 

by Denise Cummins, Ph.D.

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Study Finds Teenagers Lack Cognitive Empathy

According to a recently published six year study in "Developmental Psychology," cognitive empathy, or the mental ability to take others' perspective, isn't properly developed in teens. To test out the findings, 'TakePart Live' host Cara Santa Maria plays a game of "Adolescent Teenager or Convicted Sociopath?" with guest cohost Will Weldon.

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Empathy and Prevention - a reply to Paul Bloom

Empathy and Prevention - a reply to Paul Bloom | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

In the May 20, 2013 issue of the New Yorker Paul Bloom argues convincingly that policy should include more rational argument and less empathy. Empathy leads us to spend a million dollars to get a single little girl out of a well, and yet have to scrap over pennies for building a fence that keeps the girl out of the well in the first place. Empathy leads us to commit an outsized amount of research funds to a deadly disease that affects only a few people, while ignoring or underfunding research that would prevent diseases in the first place. Empathy leads us to worry about the effects of mitigation of global warming because of anecdotes about people who might be put out of business with greater regulatory efforts to reduce carbon emissions, while not being able to envision and prevent the effects on future generations (now a cliche).

Bloom is right about all of this. But he is wrong about his conclusion.

 

He writes (his final paragraph): 

 

By Halley Faust,

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Jocelyn Stoller's curator insight, October 20, 2013 4:05 PM

Empathic imagination (conceiving long-term ramifications beyond the effects on our narrow in-group) and reflective thinking (as well as common sense) are necessary in conjunction, if we want to solve the vast problems that confront us.


This is a false dichotomy and a semantical fallacy.

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Emotions are Not Bad Behavior - Blocking empathy

Emotions are Not Bad Behavior - Blocking empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Our evasive tactics are called "empathy blockers". Empathy blockers save us the trouble of listening, but they cost us our connection with each other.

 

Sometimes we use empathy blockers inadvertently because we are anxiously trying to save our children from emotional pain. Ironically, the greatest salve for our children comes from being heard, not from us trying to change how they feel. For all of these reasons, we all use empathy blockers from time to time, quite automatically and unconsciously. You could say we are all quite skilled at blocking. Here are some of the most common examples used when children become emotional:

 

by Robin Grille

 
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Lon Woodbury's curator insight, October 18, 2013 11:51 PM

Interesting expansion on the damage sometimes done by acting on the impulse to save our children from hurt. -Lon

Maria Teresa Frezet terapeuta olistica's curator insight, October 19, 2013 1:16 PM

Interessante articolo che conferma come sia importante accogliere le emozioni per quelle che sono, perché ricordiamoci che i bambini imparano quello che sentono! E se per caso ci accorgiamo che i nostri bambini reprimono le emozioni invece di viverle con chiarezza, chiediamoci dove noi facciamo la stessa cosa e mettiamo in atto un cambiamento dentro di noi! SE CAMBIAMO NOI, LE PERSONE INTORNO A NOI NON POSSONO CHE CAMBIARE!

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Why Empathy is the Force that Moves Business Forward

Why Empathy is the Force that Moves Business Forward | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Behind every successful business, you are likely to find a leader who has mastered the skill of empathy.

 

One of the hallmarks of a successful business is its ability to harness creativity to constantly push into new territory. Without growth and innovation, businesses stagnate and eventually fade away. Those with staying power, however, have mastered an intangible, often overlooked factor that allows them to focus on the future with clarity: empathy. While that may surprise many, I am certain that the ability to connect with and relate to others—empathy in its purest form—is the force that moves businesses forward.


Though the concept of empathy might contradict the modern concept of a traditional workplace—competitive, cutthroat, and with employees climbing over each other to reach the top— the reality is that for business leaders to experience success, they need to not just see or hear the activity around them, but also relate to the people they serve.


By Jayson M. Boyers

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We empathise more with our enemies than our friends - because we need to know when they're at their most dangerous

We empathise more with our enemies than our friends  - because we need to know when they're at their most dangerous | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Researchers from the University of Southern California examined activity in the 'pain matrix' of the brain, which activates when a person watches another suffer.

 

Humans feel the pain of their enemies more strongly than the discomfort of their friends - because that is when their opponents are most dangerous and unpredictable, scientists claim.

 

While many people might assume that they would empathise most with those they care about, a study has found that the opposite is true and the reason is one of self preservation as humans need to understand why an enemy is in pain to rule out the risk of retribution.

U.S. scientists discovered the part of the brain that is associated with empathising with the pain of others is activated more strongly by watching the suffering of hated enemies.

 

By SARAH GRIFFITHS

 

 

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Teens Lack Empathy?

Teens Lack Empathy? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

We've been wondering for years why teens seem to be so self-centered and at times so insensitive to the thoughts and feelings of others. This is true of both teen boys and girls. Just consider all of the dreadful bullying that goes on during the teen years. Interestingly, just today I had a mother of a teen come to my office to ask why her teen is so self-centered. Well, a new study may provide us with some answers A recent study by Jolie van der Graff and colleagues published in the journal Developmental Psychology tracked "cognitive empathy" of teens over time.

 

The findings of this study are fascinating and may explain quite a bit about the behavior of teens.The study findings included: Beginning at age 13 teen girls show an increasing ability to engage in "cognitive empathy" which is defined as the ability to understand another individual's perspective or point of view. 

Barbara Greenberg
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Five Surprising Ways Oxytocin Shapes Your Social Life

Five Surprising Ways Oxytocin Shapes Your Social Life | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
New research is finding that oxytocin doesn’t just bond us to mothers, lovers, and friends—it also seems to play a role in excluding others from that bond.

 

It’s been called the cuddle hormone, the holiday hormone, themoral molecule, and more—but new research suggests that oxytocin needs some new nicknames. Like maybe the conformity hormone, or perhaps the America-Number-One! molecule.


Where does this many-monikered neuropeptide come from? Scientists first found it in mothers, whose bodies flood with oxytocin during childbirth and breastfeeding—which presumably helps Mom somehow decide that it’s better to care for a poopy, colicky infant than to chuck it out the nearest window. And, indeed, one study found a shot of oxytocin more rewarding to rat-mommies than a snort of cocaine. (Don’t worry, Dads: You can also get some of that oxytocin action.)


By Jeremy Adam Smith |

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John Michel's curator insight, October 18, 2013 12:01 PM

Here is a round-up of recent discoveries about oxytocin, boiled down to five cuddly and not-so-cuddly ways it might shape your social life.

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Self-Compassion Step by Step

Self-Compassion Step by Step | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Thank you for your wonderful feedback regarding our new audio learning course with Dr. Kristin Neff on the liberating power of kindness and self-care, entitled Self-Compassion Step by Step: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself.

 

Why does it feel so natural to be compassionate and kind to those we care about –yet so hard to treat ourselves the same way? “Our culture teaches us to use self-criticism for motivation and to build self-esteem by constantly measuring ourselves against everyone else,” says Kristin. “We need to re-learn the essential skill of being genuinely nurturing and supportive toward ourselves.” In Self-Compassion Step by Step, Kristin reveals the clinically proven power of self-kindness, with practical training for cultivating an enduring and unshakable sense of your fundamental human worthiness.

 

Self aceptiance project

http://vimeo.com/63110008


Matt Licata

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AI is over: this is artificial empathy – Greg Stevens – The Kernel

AI is over: this is artificial empathy  –  Greg Stevens – The Kernel | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Mattersight’s system, on the other hand, is more like “artificial empathy”: it takes the same stream of verbal input, and it extracts information about the speakers mood, personality, and interaction style. This is basically the same thing that people do intuitively when listening to one another: assessing mood, feelings, and personality.

 

A truly insightful person can “read” people very effectively. Empaths sometimes bill themselves as “psychics” and impress audiences by doing “cold reads” on strangers with amazing accuracy. In fact, however, such people are using the same types of subtle cues that Mattersight uses to recognize patterns and divine personality traits.

 

GREG STEVENS

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Are You Addicted to Empathy? Consider alternatives to automatic empathy.

Are You Addicted to Empathy? Consider alternatives to automatic empathy. | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Empathy feels good in the moment, but it is not always the best thing in the long run. Sometimes, an authentic response is better for you and for the person you're trying to connect with. In today's culture, we are expected to empathize with things we don't really agree with. Empathy has become synonymous with “good.” The habit of automatic empathy is rarely questioned because it makes you look "bad." So I was pleased to find a fellow blogger questioning it, and we decided to write a joint blog on the subject.

 

Romanian Psychologist Lucia Grosaru described to me the crisis mentality in Bucharest as a result of recent small earthquakes. “You hear a lot of anxiety, but the earthquake risk is the same as it has always been,” Ms. Grosaru explains. This interested me because I am a resident of the earthquake-prone San Francisco Bay Area, and I too dislike jumping on anxiety bandwagons. 

 

by Loretta Graziano Breuning, Ph.D.

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Empathy Stretching: It’s all about helping our children experience switching places and seeing and feeling from another side

Empathy Stretching: It’s all about helping our children experience switching places and seeing and feeling from another side | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Sadly, parents are not as intentional about elevating empathy in their child-rearing efforts. Academic achievement seems to be at the top of our radars these days. That’s why I’m passionate about nurturing empathy and why I get so energized when teachers share ways to weave social-emotinonal learning into their curriculums. Barbara Gruener is one of those teachers-and she’s a marvel to our profession. Barbara is a gifted school counselor and character coach at a National School of Character in Friendswood, Texas.

 

Here’s the post from Barbara, a fabulous teacher at a National School of Character School, and one strategy she uses to nurture empathy.  There are dozens of possibilities – the key is to look for those intentional moments to weave empathy stretching into your classroom day. Thanks Barbara! I’m proud to know you! 

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A touch of compassion: ‘We’re creating individuals who don’t know how to reach out to each other’

A touch of compassion: ‘We’re creating individuals who don’t know how to reach out to each other’ | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
A psychologist believes nurturing compassion is the key to solving personal problems and societal ills

 

Paul Gilbert, author of the best-selling self-help book Overcoming Depression, and, more recently, The Compassionate Mind, wants people to wake up to the value of compassion.

 

Gilbert, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Derby in England, defines compassion as a “basic kindness, with a deep awareness of the suffering of oneself and of other living things, coupled with the wish and effort to relieve it.”

 

“There has been a complete neglect of compassion in our world,” he says. “For example, humans are a very tactile species, and we respond to hugs and cuddles, yet the fear of paedophilia is creating a generation of children who aren’t touched [by people other than close family members],” he says.

 

Sylvia Thompson
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Suzan Clark's curator insight, January 27, 2014 2:47 PM

How can someone love you, if you don't?
Stop comparing yourself to others..  one will always lose. Then you are either a loser, or they are.. 
Don't be around people who play games with themselves by comparing, they will either act as if they have won internally or lost. 
And will always have something to prove. Self compassion is the root of compassion towards others. A critical self is critical of others.
"Make a fair observing  thinking space"
 

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Empathetic chimps comfort each other like humans, study says

Empathetic chimps comfort each other like humans, study says | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
A new study examines how chimps interact with one another.

 

Scientists studying bonobo chimpanzees at a sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo have found that apes raised with their mothers tend to cuddle and comfort others who are in distress, but that orphaned chimps show markedly less empathy toward others. Along with the common chimpanzee, bonobos are human beings’ closest living relative...

 

The bonobos’ capacity for empathy closely resembles that of human children, whose ability to empathize with others tends to be limited when they have suffered abandonment or lack of emotional support at an early age.


by  Delila James

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Adding Empathy to Medical School Requirements | Center for Advancing Health

Adding Empathy to Medical School Requirements | Center for Advancing Health | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Is it possible for a young medical student to understand a patient's experience? Or the day-to-day life of a person with a chronic illness? In 'Healthy Privilege' – When You Just Can't Imagine Being Sick, Carolyn Thomas observes that "what I've learned since my heart attack is that, until you or somebody you care about are personally affected by a life-altering diagnosis, it's almost impossible to really get what being sick every day actually means. Such is the bliss – and the ignorance – of healthy privilege."

 

After experiencing a rare eye infection that resulted in her "worst  pain ever," first-year medical student Natalie Wilcox shared that "as doctors, it is our job not only to provide care, but to comfort, and to do this we must acknowledge our patients' feelings." While noting that every person experiences pain differently, Wilcox adds, "By recalling my own pain, I bring forth real empathy rooted in shared experience."

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Louise Botha's curator insight, November 12, 2013 7:23 PM

Most of us will at some time be on the receiving end of hospital care. Surely it does not take that experience for us to show empathy for our patients

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Eye Contact Affects Patients’ Perception of Clinician Empathy --Doctors Lounge

Eye Contact Affects Patients’ Perception of Clinician Empathy --Doctors Lounge | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

 Physicians who make direct eye contact and engage in a moderate amount of social touch are perceived by patients as being more empathetic, according to research published online Aug. 14 in the Journal of Participatory Medicine.


Enid Montague, Ph.D., of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues reviewed videotaped clinical encounters and asked patients to fill out questionnaires to assess the association between nonverbal communication behaviors and patient perceptions of clinician empathy

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New Private Empathy Circles Forming with Edwin Rutsch - most effective way to practice & deepen empathy

New Private Empathy Circles Forming with Edwin Rutsch -  most effective way to practice & deepen empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

I'll be offering a series of private weekly Empathy Circles via online Google Hangouts. Each Empathy Circle is limited to four people and is 1.5 hours. After years of; practicing and studying empathy, interviewing 100's of the world's top experts on empathy and compassion, holding hundreds of Empathy Circles, I have found these circles to be absolutely the most effective way to experience, practice and deepen the benefits of empathy. Many more benefits, see http://j.mp/1aqZuhI

How it Works and What to Expect
==========================
Empathy Circles are a quiet space that gives you the time to be listened to through reflective dialog, where your conversation is uninterrupted and then reflected back to you until you feel that you have been fully heard, seen and validated to your satisfaction. We accompany each other in our personal journeys. These circles of equal peers serve as a platform for nurturing and developing deeper empathy. They are a foundational base and first step in a curriculum of empathy based processes, skills and way of life.

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Miguel Garcia's curator insight, October 19, 2013 8:23 AM

creando espacios intersubjetivos

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Thinking about Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, and Empathy (or Lack Thereof) -- (insight from Daniel Goleman)

Thinking about Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, and Empathy (or Lack Thereof) --  (insight from Daniel Goleman) | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

A few days ago, Diane Rehm interviewed Daniel Goleman, prompted by the release of his new book, Focus: The Hidden Driver Of Excellence.


  Ms. Rehm perked up when Mr. Goleman mentioned empathy.  Here is what he said:


Well, empathy requires three things because there are three kinds of empathy, and actually each one of them draws on a different brain system. One kind of empathy is cognitive empathy, which means I understand how you think about things, how you perceive. You need that for a real dialogue, for true conversation. The other kind of empathy is emotional empathy, feeling with the person. And a third kind of empathy is empathic concern. When someone is in need, when someone is suffering, you feel for them. You want to help them. And I think that real health, particularly mental health is having all three.


And later in the hour, Mr. Goleman made this comment to a caller.We have a mechanism in the brain which will close down empathy so you can think clearly.

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Young Apes Show Empathy & Comfort Each Other Like Human Kids, New Study Suggests

Young Apes Show Empathy & Comfort Each Other Like Human Kids, New Study Suggests | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Apes orphaned by the African bushmeat trade lack the social savvy of apes raised by their mothers, a new study finds.

 

"By measuring the expression of distress and arousal in great apes, and how they cope, we were able to confirm that efficient emotion regulation is an essential part of empathy," study researcher Frans de Waal, of Emory University's National Primate Research Center, said in a statement.


"Empathy allows great apes and humans to absorb the distress of others without getting overly distressed themselves," de Waal said.


LiveScience  |  By Stephanie Pappas

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10 Science-Based Reasons To Start Meditating Today INFOGRAPHIC - Emma Seppala Ph.D.

10 Science-Based Reasons To Start Meditating Today INFOGRAPHIC - Emma Seppala Ph.D. | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

For the last 10 years, I have been involved in researching the impact of meditation on health and well-being. When my colleagues at Stanford and at other universities started researching meditation, most of us expected that meditation would help with stress levels. However, what many of us did not anticipate was the extent of the benefits the data ended up showing.
 

http://EmmaSeppala.com


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The Self-Acceptance Project

The Self-Acceptance Project | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Self-acceptance is one of our most difficult challenges, no matter how much meditation or therapy we’ve tried. In this FREE video event series, Tami Simon speaks with contemporary luminaries in spirituality, psychology, and creativity to learn how we can truly embrace who we are.

 

No matter how much spiritual practice, self-improvement, or therapy we’ve undertaken, there is one area where many of us still find ourselves challenged every day: self-acceptance. It seems all too easy to fall into the trap of judging ourselves as inadequate, finding fault with our achievements or our bodies, and believing our self-critical inner voices that insist we’ll never measure up to who we ought to be. Is there a solution?

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Searching for the Social in Contagious Yawning | Scientific American

Searching for the Social in Contagious Yawning | Scientific American | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Even if it turns out that some yawns can be explained through purely physiological means, yawning is also contagious for humans and other species. If someone watches someone else yawning, they’ll be likely to yawn as well. That means that there is social component to yawning, and it might be related to empathy. It turns out that there’s a correlation between a person’s self-reported empathy and their susceptibility to reacting to a yawn contagion, and those who are more skilled at theory of mind tasks are also more likely (PDF) to yawn contagiously.

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Nonverbal Interpersonal Interactions in Clinical Encounters and Patient Perceptions of Empathy | Journal of Participatory Medicine

Nonverbal Interpersonal Interactions in Clinical Encounters and Patient Perceptions of Empathy | Journal of Participatory Medicine | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
The authors show that eye contact and social touch are significantly related to patient perceptions of clinician empathy.

 

 ..The relationship between nonverbal behaviors and patient perceptions of clinicians has been underexplored. The aim of this study was to understand the relationship between nonverbal communication behaviors (eye contact and social touch) to patient assessments of clinician (empathy, connectedness, and liking). Methods: Hypotheses were tested including clinician and patient nonverbal behaviors (eye contact, social touch) were coded temporally in 110 videotaped clinical encounters. Patient participants completed questionnaires to measure their perception of clinician empathy, connectedness with clinician, and how much they liked their clinician. Results: Length of visit and eye contact between clinician and patient were positively related to the patient’s assessment of the clinician’s empathy...


Enid Montague,

 Ping-yu Chen, 

Jie Xu, 

Betty Chewning & 

Bruce Barrett 

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