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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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6 Ways to Improve Your Empathy

6 Ways to Improve Your Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Empathy is getting a lot of press these days.  But with a culture of extreme individualism where online interactions outnumber in-person conversations, it can be hard to cultivate an empathetic mind-meld.

But the benefits of strong empathic skills are legion: first, you’ll understand the motivations and needs of people around you. People’s actions, no matter how wacky, will start to make sense (“Well, duh, if that happened to me I’d probably act like that, too.”), which will in turn make you less judgy and defensive - and that will make you less stressed out....


So how can we build our empathetic muscle?  Here are 6 ways to practice:

  • Method #1: Read More (Especially Literature)...
  • Method #2: Be a Mirror...
  • Method #3: Question the Golden Rule...
  • Method #4: Turn the Tables...
  • Method #5: Use These 3 Magic Phrase  (But Only if They're True)  ...
  • Method #6: Let Your Heart Break...


By Ellen Hendriksen,


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The surprising psychology behind why some people become environmentalists

The surprising psychology behind why some people become environmentalists | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
It may not seem immediately apparent why empathy for other humans translates into concern for the environment, where issues (like air pollution) often affect humans but other times focus on animals, plants or nature itself.


Empathy for a tree and empathy for a person do not initially seem as though they would be the same thing.

Nonetheless, the study found a small- to moderate-sized correlation between this measure of empathy and environmental values — as well as environmental activities. For instance, reported the authors, “the stronger a participant’s dispositional compassion the higher the chance that they would donate to one or more nature or environmental organizations.”


by Chris Mooney 

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Petra Sando's curator insight, March 22, 5:11 AM

I just learned about the difference between the Western Worldview and the Deep Ecology Worldview. Clearly, there is a correlation between compassion, empathy, and environmental mindfulness!

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Clinical Empathy Key to Pharmacist–Patient Interactions

Clinical Empathy Key to Pharmacist–Patient Interactions | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Luckily, empathy and communication are learned skills, so pharmacists can develop them through practice and experience. The St. Louis College of Pharmacy, where Dr. Grice is an associate professor, teaches these skills through its internally developed Patient-Centered Communication Tools. Based on a physician-training model, the tools emphasize relationship-building communication and have empathy at their core.
 
“It may help to think of the patient in front of you as a family member or friend,” Dr. Grice told Pharmacy Times. “It could be helpful to ask a colleague to offer feedback on how empathetic you were with a patient.”
 
Despite its importance, empathy is not a stand-alone quality in effective patient communication.
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Australia, a nation in need of compassion-focused therapy

Australia, a nation in need of compassion-focused therapy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

A global movement aims to let compassion guide political and community life. This has obvious relevance for a competition-driven nation with a troubling capacity for harsh attitudes and policy

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The capacity for compassion is with us from birth, but as a community we have lost sight of the value of treating all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. 


That is the opening paragraph of the Charter for Compassion. The charter was developed in 2008 under the leadership of Karen Armstrong, a former nun. She used the proceeds of her prize for the best TED talk in 2008 to establish an international working group to develop the charter.

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Study: Neural mechanisms of empathy in humans: A relay from neural systems for imitation to limbic areas

Study: Neural mechanisms of empathy in humans: A relay from neural systems for imitation to limbic areas | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
How do we empathize with others? A mechanism according to which action representation modulates emotional activity may provide an essential functional architecture for empathy.


The superior temporal and inferior frontal cortices are critical areas for action representation and are connected to the limbic system via the insula. Thus, the insula may be a critical relay from action representation to emotion. We used functional MRI while subjects were either imitating or simply observing emotional facial expressions. Imitation and observation of emotions activated a largely similar network of brain areas.


Within this network, there was greater activity during imitation, compared with observation of emotions, in premotor areas including the inferior frontal cortex, as well as in the superior temporal cortex, insula, and amygdala. We understand what others feel by a mechanism of action representation that allows empathy and modulates our emotional content. The insula plays a fundamental role in this mechanism.


by: Laurie Carr

Marco Iacoboni,

Marie-Charlotte Dubeau,

John C. Mazziotta

Gian L. Lenzi

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How liberal discipline policies are making schools less safe

How liberal discipline policies are making schools less safe | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

New York public-school students caught stealing, doing drugs or even attacking someone can avoid suspension under new “progressive” discipline rules adopted this month.


Most likely, they will be sent to a talking circle instead, where they can discuss their feelings.


Convinced traditional discipline is racist because blacks are suspended at higher rates than whites, New York City’s Department of Education has in all but the most serious and dangerous offenses replaced out-of-school suspensions with a touchy-feely alternative punishment called “restorative justice,” which isn’t really punishment at all. It’s therapy.


By Paul Sperry


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Why Pure Empathy is Different from Therapy and Calling Friends

Why Pure Empathy is Different from Therapy and Calling Friends | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

When we launched the 30 day trial of Empathy App, many people asked how our service is different from crisis lines, therapy, or simply calling up a friend.


We are so glad you asked!!! All of the above comparisons also involve empathy, but in most cases these options also involve other things that cloud the empathy. Empathy App provides 100% empathy with none of the other distractions. Of course there will always be a place for crisis lines, therapy, and friends! But sometimes people aren’t necessarily in a crisis, it’s not an emergency, people just want some connection to make their day a little brighter and more complete.


So let’s take a look at how Empathy App is different from therapy and calling friends, and a few instances of when people might call in. 



By Mica Stumpf

Empathy App

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Empathic people are natural targets for sociopaths - protect yourself

Empathic people are natural targets for sociopaths - protect yourself | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
The empathy trap: therapists and counselors almost by definition are empathic, to facilitate clients' recovery – but this quality can mean those carers are targets for sociopaths, aided by what Dr Jane & Tim McGregor call “apaths”. The first UK article on this cruel sport shows how to identify and thus avoid it.

People targeted by a sociopath often respond with self-deprecating comments like “I was stupid”, “what was I thinking” of “I should've listened to my gut instinct”. But being involved with a sociopath is like being brainwashed. The sociopath's superficial charm is usually the means by which s/he conditions people.
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Empathy: The Power of Empathy

Empathy: The Power of Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
In this writing to the churches of Galatia, the Apostle Paul encouraged believers in Christ to extend to one another the courtesy of empathy.

Empathy is the effort to identify with and understand another person’s situation, feelings and motives. It is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings that are being experienced by another. Paul stated that empathy toward others is one means through which the law of Christ finds expression.

Indeed, Jesus was very clear that the entire law and prophets are summed up in the commands to love God with “our all” and to love others as we do ourselves. (Matthew 22:35-40) Empathy – imagining ourselves in the other person’s place – is one way that we can demonstrate Christ’s love to others.
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From Selma to Ferguson: Bridge Builders Needed!

From Selma to Ferguson: Bridge Builders Needed! | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Rather than seek it, bridge builders bring empathy and compassion. Is it our American "bootstrap" mentality that makes it so hard for us to show empathy to others who are different from us? Is it our fearing of returning to poverty or our "let's keep moving forward" attitude? If we hope to build connections across difference, we have to find ways to walk in another person's shoes. There is a quote from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that I keep on a card on the wall by my desk because it helps remind me of the power of empathy, "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's (or woman's) life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility."


Being a bridge builder is not easy. And being self-aware, active, respectful, humble, and empathic are qualities that don't get a lot of play on the front page.


But the secret that bridge builders know is that their endeavors are not solely about doing something for others -- they secure safe haven for each of us. Bridge builders are not altruistic, do-gooders. They are deeply connected to the truth that we are all one, all connected within these United States and across our world.


Vernā Myers 



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Why True Analytic Collaboration Relies on Empathy

Why True Analytic Collaboration Relies on Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
The Need for Empathy


So what can be done?
If our analytics efforts' success relies on collaboration, and our irremovable biases stand in the way of our achieving it, what can we do to move forward? The answer, quite simply, is empathy.
This may seem counterintuitive. After all, we expect analytics to remove emotion from the decision-making process. But setting emotion aside in order to let data drive decision making does not preclude team members from being empathetic to the viewpoints and concerns of others in the organization.


Too often today, that empathy is lacking. In its absence, the use of analytics ceases to be a tool through which we can achieve better outcomes for the organization at large, and instead becomes just another means through which individuals advance personal agendas.


By Joanna Schloss  



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The Compassion Interviews

The Compassion Interviews | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

This is a collection of interviews I did with some of the most compassionate people I could find. My goal is to create new role models of compassion for the next generation to emulate and learn from. Click on photo or name to watch interview.





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5 Habits of Highly Compassionate Men

5 Habits of Highly Compassionate Men | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

by Kozo Hattori


I remember being a very compassionate child. While watching "The Little House on the Prairie," I cried my eyes out when Laura couldn’t give Pa a Christmas gift. But 12 years of physical abuse and being forced to the confines of the “act-like-a-man box” wrung most of that compassion out of me by the time I reached adulthood.

Although I was what therapists call “high-functioning,” my lack of compassion was like a cancer that poisoned my friendships, relationships, business affairs, and life. At the age of 46, I hit rock bottom. Unemployed and on the verge of divorce, I found myself slapping my four-year-old son’s head when he wouldn’t listen to me.

As a survivor of abuse, I had promised myself that I would never lay a hand on my children, but here I was abusing my beloved son.


I knew I had to change. I started with empathy, which led me to compassion


  • 1. Learn to see compassion as strength....
  • 2. Have compassionate role models...
  • 3. Strive to transcend gender stereotypes....
  • 4. Cultivate emotional intelligence....
  • 5. Practice silence...
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7 things rich people and psychopaths have in common

7 things rich people and psychopaths have in common | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

1. Lack of Empathy
Psychopaths are incapable of empathy — understanding the feelings and experiences of others and responding appropriately.


A lack of empathy was also linked to those who are rich and powerful in a 2008 study by social psychologists from the University of Amsterdam and UC Berkeley, reports The New York Times. The study paired up strangers and asked them to share difficult moments in their lives with each other, like the death of a loved one or divorce. The study’s participants who were more powerful in terms of wealth and social status showed less compassion and attentiveness to the struggles of their less-powerful counterparts.

Dacher Keltner, a Berkeley psychology professor involved in the study, explained that people tend to focus on social connections with people who offer them the most value. To the wealthy, those with few material assets and little social power matter the least.


The less-well-off, however, rely more on social connections for support, and so are more willing to listen to others and give their experiences greater weight. This kind of “social distance” can lead successful people to display less empathy for those of lower socioeconomic statuses.


By MORGAN QUINN

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Therapist to patient: ‘What I hear is …’

Therapist to patient: ‘What I hear is …’ | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

USC Viterbi professor’s research of empathy could improve relationships between professionals and clients  


Acording to the American Journal of Psychiatry, approximately 10 million Americans undergo psychotherapy treatment each year.

For USC Viterbi School of Engineering Professor Shrikanth Narayanan, this prompts the question, “How do we know how well psychotherapy works? What works and what doesn’t?”

Narayanan is part of an interdisciplinary team developing a new way to evaluate psychotherapy and therapists, relying on the science of signal processing to measure empathic processes.


This includes automatically detecting  “empathetic opportunities,” as well as characterizing “expressions of empathy.” Eventually, this system could lead to better matches — and better outcomes — between patients and therapists.


BY Erin Rode

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Empathy Drug? UC Researchers Find Parkinson’s Pill Also Makes People Less Tolerant Of Inequality

Empathy Drug? UC Researchers Find Parkinson’s Pill Also Makes People Less Tolerant Of Inequality | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

A drug that is used to treat Parkinson’s disease has also been found to make patients less tolerant of inequality and engage in more equitable behaviors.


According to a statement from the University of California, researchers at UC Berkeley and UCSF studied the effects of tolcapone. The drug prolongs the effects of dopamine, which is a chemical associated with reward and motivation in the prefrontal cortex.

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Entangled Empathy: From an Ethics of Justice to an Ethics of Empathy: Lori Gruen & Edwin Rutsch

Entangled Empathy: From an Ethics of Justice to an Ethics of Empathy:  Lori Gruen & Edwin Rutsch | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Lori Gruen is Professor of Philosophy, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University where she also coordinates Wesleyan Animal Studies.


Her work lies at the intersection of ethical theory and practice, with a particular focus on issues that impact those often overlooked in traditional ethical investigations, e.g. women, people of color, non-human animals. She has published extensively on topics in animal ethics, ecofeminism, and practical ethics more broadly


 Lori is author of, 
Entangled Empathy, An Alternative Ethic for Our Relationships with Animals.

"Empathy is also something we are taught to "get over" or grow out of.  We learn to quash our caring reactions for others, and our busy lives and immediate preoccupations provide  excuses for not developing empathy."



From the book description, "In Entangled Empathy, scholar and activist Lori Gruen argues that rather than focusing on animal "rights," we ought to work to make our relationships with animals right by empathetically responding to their needs, interests, desires, vulnerabilities, hopes, and unique perspectives. Pointing out that we are already entangled in complex and life-altering relationships with other animals, Gruen guides readers through a new way of thinking about - and practicing - animal ethics."

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Viterbi School of Engineering - Measuring Empathy

Viterbi School of Engineering - Measuring Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Narayanan is part of an interdisciplinary team developing a new way to evaluate psychotherapy and therapists, relying on the science of signal processing to measure empathic processes. This includes automatically detecting  “empathetic opportunities,” as well as characterizing “expressions of empathy.”  Eventually, this system could lead to better matches between patients and therapists and better outcomes.

Signal processing measures and analyzes data, including human-generated data such as speech, language, text and nonverbal behavior.  Narayanan’s current research on empathy only evaluates vocal behavior—speech, language and nonverbal cues such as laughter. Computers analyze audio recordings of therapist-patient interactions. However, the system may eventually analyze visual behavior, such as gestures and facial expressions.

“In our experiment, we have accomplished a prototype system that is able to assess therapist empathy from audio recordings and give quantitative scores of empathy in a human, interpretable way,” said Bo Xiao, a Ph.D. candidate in Electrical Engineering who has worked on the project since 2011.


BY: ERIN RODE

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(Benefits of Empathy) The Science of Empathy Meets the Internet

(Benefits of Empathy) The Science of Empathy Meets the Internet | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Since the advent of the first iPhone in 2007, we have seen incredible growth in smartphone usage worldwide. Developers continue to strive to make the devices mimic actual humans more closely, as was recently romanticized in film Her. But is a device a worthy substitute for actual human interactions? While the rise in technology has promised us greater ease and connection, critics have shown that this era is marked by greater disconnection. ...

Why is a lack of empathy so bad for our health?

While many may think that empathy is simply a pleasant emotion that has no relevance to our overall wellbeing, recent research shows that actually empathy may be one of the most significant factors in determining one’s happiness, physical health, and even longevity. 

By Mica Stumpf
Empathy App
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Study: Shame, guilt and empathy in sex offenders.

Study: Shame, guilt and empathy in sex offenders. | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
If high levels of shame hinder the experience of empathy, then for those sex offenders who may be unable to, or have great difficulty experiencing empathy due to excessive shame, empathy training as part of their treatment might render them a greater risk.


Such training might have the effect of teaching individuals who lack empathy to some degree skills in acting empathically, but may not necessarily enhance the genuine experience of it. Thus, teaching empathy to some sex offenders may have the effect of improving their grooming skills as being able to feign empathy might be useful when it comes to securing victims.


Attribution theory is outlined and considered in terms of the treatment of sex offenders, and the view that guilt but not shame should be encouraged when working clinically with sex offenders will be explicated against the backdrop of what is currently known about shame and guilt, and their effects on empathy.

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The Compassionate vs. Empathetic Brain

The Compassionate vs. Empathetic Brain | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
An area of neuroscience research with the potential to profoundly change the way we think and interact in society (from classrooms to living rooms to boardrooms) is the work being done in labs focused on understanding the difference between compassion and empathy. The compassion-empathy difference is more than semantic; the consequences are pragmatic.


The distinction is real and so is its effect on society: knowing the difference can help individuals build resiliency and avoid burnout as well as turn “empathy gaps,” which have recently made headlines, into junctures for local community and national strength.


Compassion and empathy are not synonymous. Empathy is feeling the same emotion as someone else and compassion is feeling kindness towards another person.


Where empathy is about stepping into the shoes of another to understand and share their feelings, compassion is about acquiring a 360 degrees understanding of the suffering or problem that a person is experiencing and taking action to resolve it. Compassion is a two-step process of understanding and acting but empathy is only one step and it is about emoti

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Review - A Sentimentalist Theory of the Mind - Philosophy

Review - A Sentimentalist Theory of the Mind - Philosophy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Slote next introduces a new argument about feelings being involved in opinions/beliefs.


He says that if we agree that we can accept another's opinion - and he understands accepting as a kind of empathizing - and since the object of empathy can be only feelings, this means that another's opinion (or beliefs) has to include feelings in order to be empathized with. In this context Slote has in mind cases of being influenced by another's opinion, an empathic osmosis.


The conclusion is valid but only as long as there is no other object of empathy than another feeling and this is not what all philosophers agree with (including one of Slote's main references, M. Hoffman in his book on empathy, 2000). 

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Interview: Leslie Jamison: The Empathy Exams: Novelist explores empathy, writing and sharing stories

Interview: Leslie Jamison: The Empathy Exams: Novelist explores empathy, writing and sharing stories | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

How did it impact you as a writer, especially as a writer of a book that is oriented around the exploration of empathy?


Leslie Jamison: I felt so many things simultaneously about the ways in which the release and promotion of my book––and its exploration of empathy––was intersecting with a world that seemed to need more empathy so badly: mainly I felt sadness, about each new iteration of loss and injustice.


During all this, I was getting asked to talk to medical students and therapists––people who certainly knew much more about the daily clinical practice of empathy than I did––and I was getting asked questions about Ebola and Michael Brown and beheading videos.


I was speaking alongside psychologists and scientists who had been studying and publishing about empathy for years.


By Katie Fernelius

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The Secret Life of the Brain: Episode 4: The Adult Brain - YouTube

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/brain/episode4/index.html



"We are feeling machines that think"

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5 Habits of Highly Compassionate Men

5 Habits of Highly Compassionate Men | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

by Kozo Hattori


I remember being a very compassionate child. While watching "The Little House on the Prairie," I cried my eyes out when Laura couldn’t give Pa a Christmas gift. But 12 years of physical abuse and being forced to the confines of the “act-like-a-man box” wrung most of that compassion out of me by the time I reached adulthood.

Although I was what therapists call “high-functioning,” my lack of compassion was like a cancer that poisoned my friendships, relationships, business affairs, and life. At the age of 46, I hit rock bottom. Unemployed and on the verge of divorce, I found myself slapping my four-year-old son’s head when he wouldn’t listen to me.

As a survivor of abuse, I had promised myself that I would never lay a hand on my children, but here I was abusing my beloved son.


I knew I had to change. I started with empathy, which led me to compassion


  • 1. Learn to see compassion as strength....
  • 2. Have compassionate role models...
  • 3. Strive to transcend gender stereotypes....
  • 4. Cultivate emotional intelligence....
  • 5. Practice silence...
more...
No comment yet.