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Empathy and Compassion
The latest news about empathy and compassion from around the world - CultureOfEmpathy.com
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The Science of Compassion - All In The Mind - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The Science of Compassion - All In The Mind - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
James Doty emerged from a disadvantaged background in the United States to become a neurosurgeon, an entrepreneur and a philanthropist—only to let his fortune go and dedicate his professional life to the scientific study of compassion and altruism.
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TED Video: The Particular Tragedy of Autistic Girls

TED Video: The Particular Tragedy of Autistic Girls | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

We can help these girls in the usual way, by being ourselves empathetic. But here’s the problem. We, as a culture, are experiencing an “empathy deficit,” as Emily explains in her new book out soon, Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy.

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Rx for Compassion Fatigue

Rx for Compassion Fatigue | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

To a doctor, the death (and even impending death) of a patient represents the ultimate professional failure...

 

But here's the problem: Experiencing empathy and even compassion becomes exhausting if you don't have the skills to maintain healthy mental boundaries and take care of your own stress. Those who work with the terminally ill often become numb when their grief, loss and helplessness feel overwhelming and become unproductive.

 

Compassion fatigue occurs when we try to care for everyone else and neglect our own needs. It happens when we get stuck in "feeling the patient's pain" and can't transform that emotional resonance into true compassion. Fortunately, the practice of mindfulness offers an antidote to this particular type of fatigue because it creates the mental conditions for the most powerful remedy available: compassion.

 

Deborah Schoeberlein
Author, 'Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness'

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The Science of Empathy: Mirror Neurons

The Science of Empathy: Mirror Neurons | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.” -Herman Melville Connection.

 

“empathy,” the simple innate ability to “know what it’s like,” to actually understand. But what is it really? How does it work, and where does it come from?

 

The biological basis for empathy lies, like all emotions, in the brain. It might be more appropriate to substitute “synaptic” in lieu of “sympathetic” in Melville’s aforementioned quote, as empathy goes all the way down to the molecular level, generated by special brain cells nicknamed mirror neurons. These neurons were originally referred to as “monkey see, monkey do” neurons after their discovery by a team of researchers at the University of Parma, Italy.

 

by Matthew Garrett

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Eye of the beholder's curator insight, March 26, 2013 4:46 AM

Absolutely revealing.

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Empathetic Doctors Increase Patient Pain Tolerance - Health News

Empathetic Doctors Increase Patient Pain Tolerance - Health News | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) recently revealed that doctors who have empathy could help increase their patients’ pain tolerance.

 

In particular, the findings of the study looked at how the brain changes to respond to stress and found that certain shifts in the brain result in elevated pain tolerance. The medical researchers discovered that doctors who listened attentively to their patients could help them have better health outcomes. However, the team of investigators is not entirely sure about the mechanism that causes this reaction.

 

Also see the Empathy in Health Care Conference
How can we transform health care system to be more empathic and compassionate?
http://j.mp/N98AoS

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RSA Animate - Empathy as a Revolutionary Force - Roman Krznaric

Introspection is out, and outrospection is in. Philosopher and author Roman Krznaric explains how we can help drive social change by stepping outside ourselves and devloping Empathy. 

 

Culture of Empathy Builder Page: Roman Krznaric
http://bit.ly/yogvQs

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Listen up, doc: Empathy raises patients' pain tolerance

Listen up, doc: Empathy raises patients' pain tolerance | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

A doctor-patient relationship built on trust and empathy doesn't just put patients at ease -- it actually changes the brain's response to stress and increases pain tolerance, according to new findings from a Michigan State University research team.

 

Medical researchers have shown in recent studies that doctors who listen carefully have happier patients with better health outcomes, but the underlying mechanism was unknown, said Issidoros Sarinopoulos, professor of radiology at MSU.

 

img: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pain

 

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Report From: Empathy And Compassion In Society: Starting The Debate For Positive Change

Report From: Empathy And Compassion In Society: Starting The Debate For Positive Change | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

The Empathy and Compassion in Society Conference held in London was very successful in allowing ideas sharing and affirming the attendants in their beliefs about empathy and compassion. Now we believe it is time to spark the debate beyond the walls of conference centres, to bring it to school boards and dinner tables, to social media, to classrooms, even pavements, and to ensure that any top-down efforts meets bottom-up readiness and action.

 

When we speak of empathy at Ashoka we always imply that it should be learned in a way that will lead to compassionate action rather than personal distress – but to get to the stage of positive change, learning to empathise is the first essential step. Ashoka’s vision is thus a world where every child masters empathy, which is why we have created the Start Empathy initiative to generate debate and action.

 

by Lily Lapenna

 

Culture of Empathy Builder Page: Vinciane Rycroft

http://j.mp/MQjPQU

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Evil, part 8: is it possible to explain evil?

Evil, part 8: is it possible to explain evil? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Clare Carlisle: How to believe: Science questions the usefulness of evil as a concept but its rhetorical force in language shows why we need to think about it...

 

From a scientific perspective, the difficulty of explaining evil leads to doubts about the usefulness of the concept. Simon Baron-Cohen, author of Zero Degrees of Empathy, wants to replace the term "evil" with "empathy erosion" or "empathy deficiency". Unlike evil, empathy can be measured by psychiatrists and neuroscientists: it resides in the almond-shaped part of the brain called the amygdala, which is abnormally small in people whose behaviour suggests a lack of empathy. It is thought that neglect or abuse during childhood inhibits the development of the amygdala. On this account, as we come closer to explaining cruelty and aggression, the concept of evil becomes increasingly questionable.

 

Like Baron-Cohen, Philip Zimbardo – who conducted the Stanford Prison Experiment in 1971 – implies that the idea of an evil person is unhelpful, because it obscures more tangible factors that account for human cruelty.

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Empathy Deficiency — On Doctoring

Empathy Deficiency — On Doctoring | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

it’s that empathy, in comparison with the nuts and bolts of diagnosis and treatment, is both underappreciated and under-nurtured.

 

According to a study in Academic Medicine (2008), the “hardening” of physician’s hearts begins in medical school. Using a standardized questionnaire, the vicarious empathy (spontaneous empathetic response) of 419 University of Arkansas medical students was measured at the beginning of each year of school. Over time, the researchers found a significant decline in student empathy scores – especially after the first and third year. There are a number of potential explanations for these findings – academic work-load and stress, poor clinical role models, and, especially after medical rotations begin in the third year, a need for an emotional defense system.

 

 

DUSTIN BALLARD, MDinON DOCTORING

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Dalai Lama Call for Compassion for Animals

Dalai Lama Call for Compassion for Animals | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

His Holiness the Dalai Lama took part in the launch of Humane Society International’s India office and World Compassion Day in India.

 

During the launch of Human Society International’s India office, His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke of human responsibility to protect animals from human-caused cruelty and show compassion. “Animals deserve our compassion. We must know their pain. We should nurture this compassion through education.

 

 

Showing concern about animal rights is respecting their life,” said His Holiness to an audience of about 200 people. Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, remarked that the Dalai Lama’s presence “provides an emotional and spiritual lift to our efforts to elevate animal-welfare campaigns and activities in the subcontinent of India.”

 

By Kimberly Budziak

 

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Hillary Accuses of Israel of Lacking Generosity and Empathy with Palestinians

Hillary Accuses of Israel of Lacking Generosity and Empathy with Palestinians

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Psychiatry - Poor empathy may feature in common psychiatric conditions

Psychiatry - Poor empathy may feature in common psychiatric conditions | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Individuals with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression may be less empathic than individuals without these conditions, according to German study results.

 

However, the severity of this empathic impairment varies among the different psychiatric conditions, say Birgit Derntl (University of Vienna, Austria) and co-authors in Schizophrenia Research.

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Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy

Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy  Being a teenager has never been easy, but in recent years, with the rise of the Internet and social media, it has become exponentially more challenging. Bullying, once thought of as the province of queen bees and goons, has taken on new, complex, and insidious forms, as parents and educators know all too well.

 

No writer is better poised to explore this territory than Emily Bazelon, who has established herself as a leading voice on the social and legal aspects of teenage drama. In Sticks and Stones, she brings readers on a deeply researched, clear-eyed journey into the ever-shifting landscape of teenage meanness and its sometimes devastating consequences. The result is an indispensable book that takes us from school cafeterias to courtrooms to the offices of Facebook, the website where so much teenage life, good and bad, now unfolds.

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Empathy 2.0 « RSA Comment

Empathy 2.0 « RSA Comment | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

The US election was defined as much by candidates’ perceived ability to empathise as economic policy, argues Mark Honigsbaum.

When Mitt Romney was caught on camera writing-off 47 per cent of Americans as tax avoiders, Democrats were quick to jump on his remarks as an example of the Republicans’ ‘empathy deficit’. Since Barack Obama identified a lack of empathy as the cause of America’s bitter partisan divides, a series of studies have shown that politcally engaged conservatives score lower on empathy than their liberal equivalents.

 

 

By Mark Honigsbaum

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STUDY: Current Opinion in Neurobiology - Empathy circuits

STUDY: Current Opinion in Neurobiology - Empathy circuits | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

The social neuroscientific investigation of empathy has revealed that the same neural networks engaged during first-hand experience of affect subserve empathic responses. Recent meta-analyses focusing on empathy for pain for example reliably identified a network comprising anterior insula and anterior midcingulate cortex.

 

Moreover, recent studies suggest that the generation of empathy is flexibly supported by networks involved in action simulation and mentalizing depending on the information available in the environment. Further, empathic responses are modulated by many factors including the context they occur in. Recent work shows how this modulation can be afforded by the engagement of antagonistic motivational systems or by cognitive control circuits, and these modulatory systems can also be employed in efforts to regulate one's empathic responses.

 

Haakon G Engen,

Tania Singer

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What is MBCT? mindfulness-based cognitive therapy

What is MBCT? mindfulness-based cognitive therapy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

MBCT stands for mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Now I know what you are thinking, what is mindfulness-based cognitive therapy? Essentially, it is a type of psychotherapy that involves many different types of treatment options. The therapy focuses mainly on cognitive therapy and meditation. The goal is to achieve a present oriented and nonjudgmental attitude in the patient. This is defined as mindfulness and it is something that is difficult to achieve, but can be accomplished through mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.

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Nurses launch 'compassion drive'

Nurses launch 'compassion drive' | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

More emphasis should be placed on nurses providing compassionate care in hospitals, industry leaders have said.

In a new campaign aimed at reassuring the public, chief nursing officer for England Jane Cummings said action must be taken to ensure the values nurses stand for are not betrayed...

 

With the launch of Compassion in Practice - a three year strategy for nursing - Ms Cummings will call for new ways of measuring patient feedback, getting trusts to review their culture of care and their staffing levels and explaining in public how they impact on standards.

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Listen up, doc: Empathy raises patients’ pain tolerance

Listen up, doc: Empathy raises patients’ pain tolerance | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

A doctor-patient relationship built on trust and empathy doesn’t justput patients at ease – it actually changes the brain’s response to stress and increases pain tolerance, according to new findings from an MSU research team.

 

“We need to do more research to understand this mechanism,” he said, “but this is a good first step that puts some scientific weight behind the case for empathizing with patients, getting to know them and building trust.”

 

Published in the journal Patient Education and Counseling, the study was part of a broader effort at MSU, led by professor of medicine Robert Smith, to establish standards for patient-centered health care and measure its effectiveness.

 

Contact(s): Andy McGlashen , Issidoros Sarinopoulos

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Dennis T OConnor's curator insight, December 4, 2012 1:05 AM

How is it that we are just now discovering the medical benefits of essential values? (I know, this is ancient wisdom we just haven't been taught.)

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Compassion in Society Conerence: The science of compassion

Compassion in Society Conerence:  The science of compassion | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Can we be taught to care more about our fellow humans? Christina Patterson joins the scientists and thinkers who believe a true understanding of empathy could transform the world we live in.

 

Everyone smiled. The woman who greeted me on the door smiled and the woman who told me where to register smiled and so did the woman who gave me a badge. Perhaps these women always smile, or perhaps they thought they had to.

 

You might think "professionals in education, health and social care" don't need to be taught about compassion. You might think compassion was what got them into their jobs. You might, in that case, have been living in a world where you've never been in a hospital, or a care home, or a school. Compassion is what gets some people into nursing, teaching or social care. But compassion isn't easy to keep up. Compassion, as those of us who have had experiences of the lack of it, in hospitals, doctors' surgeries or relatives' care homes, know, can fade.

 

Christina Patterson

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Are psychopaths in the workplace on the rise and what does it mean?

Are psychopaths in the workplace on the rise and what does it mean? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
How can businesses deal with psychopathic employees? Dr. Paul Babiak, co-author of "Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work," explains.

 

Are most workplace psychopaths able to empathize at all?


Dr. Paul Babiak: Lack of empathy, remorse and guilt are some of the defining features of a psychopath, whether they are incarcerated, out in public or working for an organization.
So, I would say they are incapable of feeling any empathy for those they manipulate. They also do not feel any loyalty to their companies or teams, despite a persona (mask) that portrays them otherwise.

 

 

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Empathy, communication, student leaders key to tackling cyberbullying

Empathy, communication, student leaders key to tackling cyberbullying | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

In schools, that means working harder to cultivate a “culture of empathy” that extends beyond classrooms into cyberspace, he said, because technology makes it easier to factor conscience and morals out of communications. School systems that have experienced the greatest success in establishing a sense of “collectiveness” do so by enlisting students to lead the effort, he said.

 

Empathy must extend to those accused of cyberbullying. Because adolescents have yet to fully develop coping mechanisms for dealing with frustration, anger or jealousy, society must guard against scapegoating those accused of cyberbullying.

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Drew Bulbuk's curator insight, June 25, 2013 8:38 PM

This is an interesting look at what could be done to prevent cyberbullying. If someone gets so upset, and takes it out on others online, they have no repercussion.  Legislature was recently passed to hold people accountable for this actions.  A school in Maine is even forcing students to use the internet through their online profiles, which can be easily tracked by the school district.  This is a great way of preventing the issue, but it certainly doesn't change the person.  It does a good job of showing people that their actions are detrimental as well.  The article states that adolescents have a hard time with coping mechanisms because they are still so immature in nature.  A separate paper I read on a different site quoted a 15 year old boy that said he only cyberbullied someone because it was a response to being cyberbullied the week before.  This mentality makes since for someone that age, and really shows where the source of the problem can lie.

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Is it true? "You don't need religion to have morals. If you can't determine right from wrong then you lack empathy, not religion."

Is it true? "You don't need religion to have morals. If you can't determine right from wrong then you lack empathy, not religion." | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Please take our Facebook Poll and invite friends.
http://facebook.com/questions/490349921009675/

I'm asking my friends: Is it true? "You don't need religion to have morals. If you can't determine right from wrong then you lack empathy, not religion." (please explain)
 

Center for Building a Culture of Empathy
http://cultureofempathy.com
 

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Video: Is compassion innate or learned?

Video: Is compassion innate or learned? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Dr. Jennifer Hartstein examines recent, amazing displays of kindness by a bus driver in Canada and an NYPD officer, and discusses whether such selflessness is a matter of genes or if it can be learned.

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Turns Out Empathy is Contagious

Turns Out Empathy is Contagious | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Is empathy contagious? Turns out it is.

 

That may be hard to believe. Especially at this time of year, when frantic shoppers cut lines to snag deals and even the good folk at the Salvation Army fall prey to thieving employees.

 

But, in fact, empathy is part of our anatomy. It's just that, like a muscle, it needs to be flexed. Scientists have already identified "mirror neurons" -- soft-wiring that compels us to feel what others are feeling. When someone else yawns, we yawn. When another suffers, we suffer, too. But now, neuro-researchers have discovered a second empathy highway.

 

by Liza Finlay

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