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Empathy and Compassion
The Empathy Movement Magazine: The latest news about empathy and compassion from around the world - CultureOfEmpathy.com
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Can Data Teach Us Empathy? - InformationWeek

Can Data Teach Us Empathy? - InformationWeek | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb in his skin and walk around in it," declares Atticus Finch in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. Gaining that kind of empathic insight is helpful not only for fostering humanity, but for improving business results....


This is the first step toward what Hedman calls "empathic design," an approach he defined in the course of earning his PhD from MIT. He described his techniques in depth in his 2014 paper "Thick Psychophysiology In Empathic Design." His technique is defined by four characteristics:

  • Psychophysiological data is quantitatively measured.
  • The research answers explorative, open-ended questions.
  • The research measures external context.
  • The research measures internal context.


According to Wired, the technique has been used in design development for a number of major brands, including Google, Best Buy, Lowe's, Hasbro, and Lego.


by Ariella Brown

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Rebeccah Nelems: The Good (Empathic) Citizen: A Participatory Study of Youth and Empathy in Canada

Rebeccah Nelems: The Good (Empathic) Citizen: A Participatory Study of Youth and Empathy in Canada | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

She is examining how Canadian youth experience empathy and how empathy affects young people’s conception of responsible citizenship, civic engagement, and social interactions.


With the generous support of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW), Rebeccah Nelems is pursuing a doctorate in sociology with a designation in cultural, social and political thought at the University of Victoria.

By conducting participatory research with a cross-section of Canadian youth and critically examining conceptions of empathy enacted in the Canadian education sector, Rebeccah’s doctoral research addresses the rising prominence of empathy as a social good and the relationship of empathy to evolving conceptions of responsibility and citizenship in Canada. Her work on empathy extends beyond Canada’s borders, as she is co-editor and contributor to Exploring Empathy, an international, interdisciplinary publication that will be published in the winter of 2015-2016 and is an outcome of Rebeccah’s participation in the First Global Conference on Empathy in Prague in 2014. Rebeccah continues to be actively engaged in the local and international children’s rights sector on issues of child/youth accountability and the promotion of youth voices.
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EmpathyWorks: For Empathy!

EmpathyWorks: For Empathy! | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

As a follow-up to a previous blog post, Against Empathy? I would like to share a column by Denise Cummins, PhD, a cognitive scientist and author.


Dr. Cummins is an elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and her research specialty is decision-making and thinking.

In her column, which appeared in Psychology Today in 2013, Cummins argues that Bloom is wrong when he concludes "empathy is prone to biases that render moral judgment potentially harmful.” 

 As Cummins points out in her column, Bloom errs when he posits that empathy for the suffering of individual victims that we can identify with because they are "like us" produces biased and faulty moral reasoning that can lead to mass retribution and violence.


 by Michael Goldstein 

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Can You Be Too Empathic?

Can You Be Too Empathic? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Ashely Papa, writer & contributor for FOX News Magazine recently contacted me to psychologically weigh in on the topic of empathy. She wondered if this virtuous quality could ever cause problems within a relationship. As a therapist, the ability to be empathic is an essential skill to have in order to do your job right.


So, what is empathy? It's the ability to step out of your own experience and emotionally step into and understand the way another person perceives their lives. Most people have this gift, to some degree or another, and in general it's typically considered a good quality to have. But can empathy ever go too far; especially when it comes to our romantic relationships? Ashley and I sat down to discuss the potential downside of being too empathic.


Ashely: If you're an empathic person, and even more so with your boyfriend, how might this screw up the relationship? 

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Introducing A Little Compassion To Your Workplace Culture Has Big Benefits

Introducing A Little Compassion To Your Workplace Culture Has Big Benefits | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Many business leaders firmly believe compassion has no place in the business world. While some managers fear showing too much kindness could be perceived as weakness, others think pressure—not compassion—is the only way to keep employees productive.


..Cultivating a compassionate environment that strives to reduce hardship and increase relationships serves as a win-win situation for everyone.


Employee Retention...

Decreased Stress...

Improved Health...

Compassion is Contagious...

Creating a Culture of Compassion...


Amy Morin


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Empathy’s Ugly Cousin: what is the real difference between empathy and sympathy

Empathy’s Ugly Cousin: what is the real difference between empathy and sympathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Empathy is a wonderful trait. It allows us to connect with people, experience their emotions, share common ground and foster a compassionate approach toward them.

Real empathy is selfless, giving, understanding and accepting. To be all of these things, and to see the effect they have on others, is incredibly nourishing.

In fact, of our nine fundamental human needs, three relate directly to empathy: affection, understanding and identity. We need to feel that we’ve been heard, that we are understood, that we are important and that we are loved.


Via Garrick Transell

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Empathy: The Antidote to Bullying

Empathy: The Antidote to Bullying | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Empathy has little to do with slogans, rallies, reports, celebrities, or anti-defamation league banners.Empathy is a quiet, powerful work; it is the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person's feelings, or in simple colloquialism "walking in someone else's shoes." It is about "connecting." Bullying, conversely, is about "disconnection."


The bully needs to identify and establish something about the victim that is different (that provides reason to disassociate) in order to bully. The bully needs to feel and believe there is a disconnection. In some ways bullying serves as a barometer showing the health of our communities. It measures the level of disconnect we allow between one another.


Diane Murrell 

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That's Not Fair! Crime And Punishment In A Preschooler's Mind

That's Not Fair! Crime And Punishment In A Preschooler's Mind | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Jensen and his team believe the kids' reactions suggest that by age 3, they understand the concept of ownership — and feel empathy for those in distress.


And because doling out punishment and taking away toys could cause distress and suffering, the toddlers may have tried to avoid it.




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Why should we care? The need for a renaissance of empathy | The New Existentialists

Why should we care? The need for a renaissance of empathy | The New Existentialists | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Describing empathy as the ability to “feel into” another’s world, Hart contends that empathy requires a person to be able to engage in two functions: an affective sensitivity towards other and self, and an ability to adapt the cognitive perspective and predicament of another.


It’s all about listening, awareness and sensitivity of self and other in personal, social and professional encounters.  Hart asserts that various degrees of empathy exist depending on the profound depth of the individual person.


Hart recommends the integration and development of the following empathic levels into modern life:

Global Empathy: It’s a foundational stage to developing higher-order empathy. Its most accurately portrayed when another person’s experience becomes one’s own—both mentally and emotional.

Egocentric Empathy: It’s a stage that represents developmental growth in empathy. It involves a person being able to cognitively distinguish between their experiences and another’s experiences—without any emotional distinction.

External Empathy:...

Deep Empathy: ...


- Liz Schreiber

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Empathy and the Critic

Empathy and the Critic | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
"Empathy" is a much-discussed term in the humanities these days. While some critics value it and argue that literature desirably promotes it, other critics worry that appeals to this emotion will neglect important matters of social context. In the literature classroom, the best approach is to take time to consider how texts complicate the impulse to empathize.


In this essay, the author discusses the two major camps in the empathy debate in turn. In the first section, she surveys arguments for teaching empathy through literature; in the second section, she reviews the work of several affect theorists who are deeply suspicious about the politics of empathy.


Each section concludes with a discussion of how the positions under review could more fully address the complexities of social and readerly empathy. The author argues that educators need to release their hold on the supposition that reading enriches empathic concern because, in fact, there is little clear evidence that reading changes behavior beyond the private encounter with the book.


by Ann Jurecic

mpathy and the Critic

http://annjurecic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/CE0741Empathy.pdf


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Tools to Teach Teen Compassion & Empathy

Tools to Teach Teen Compassion & Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

As a parent, you want to see your child act with compassion and show empathy to others. They may need a bit of a push and some guidance, though, to learn how to show others these qualities.


Teaching compassion and empathy to children can start when children are very young. However, if you haven't discussed these ideas and values with your children until the teen years, it's not too late. While the sooner you start mentioning these qualities as a family value, the better; you can still give your...


Provide Scenarios...

Discuss Current Events....

Turn the Tables...

Role Model Behavior...

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The Way Forward From Racial Violence: Empathy + Action -

The Way Forward From Racial Violence: Empathy + Action - | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

“Humans aren’t as good as we should be in our capacity to empathize with others. So maybe part of our formal education should be training in empathy. Imagine how different the world would be if in fact we taught ‘reading, writing, arithmatic, empathy.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson


In the wake of the Charleston Massacre, Alex Yarde sees empathy as the way forward.

 

What is missing in our society when a white youth, who is wearing a hoodie and carrying a gun, is welcomed into a traditionally black house of worship to join the members in prayer for an hour and ends up killing 9 people and a black youth, who is wearing a hoodie and carrying candy, is gunned down near his home by a vigilante (arrested 6 times since), who thought the youth was “suspicious”?  I argue it is empathy. 



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STUDY: Individual differences in local gray matter density are associated with differences in affective and cognitive empathy

STUDY: Individual differences in local gray matter density are associated with differences in affective and cognitive empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Robert Eres
Jean Decety 
Winnifred R. Louis
Pascal Molenberghs


Highlights

  • Voxel-based morphometry was performed with empathy scores of 176 participants.
  • Greater gray matter density in insula was associated with affective empathy scores.
  • Greater gray matter density in dmPFC was associated with cognitive empathy scores.
  • Empathy is a multi-component construct.
  • Individual differences in empathy are subserved by anatomical differences.

The understanding of empathy from a neuroscientific perspective has recently developed quickly, with numerous functional MRI studies associating different brain regions with different components of empathy.

A recent meta-analysis across 40 fMRI studies revealed that affective empathy is most often associated with increased activity in the insula, whereas cognitive empathy is most often associated with activity in the midcingulate cortex and adjacent dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (MCC/dmPFC). 
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Stereotypical views on young adults’ lack of empathy spurs study on youth

Stereotypical views on young adults’ lack of empathy spurs study on youth | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Rebeccah Nelems, a scholar of Sociology and Cultural, Social and Political Thought at the University of Victoria, is about to study just that: how youth today experience empathy.


Recently awarded a Pierre Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Fellowship for her work, she hopes her research will help improve empathy-based curriculum and bring the voices of young people to educators. “


We’ve decided empathy is really important,” she says of the explosion of interest around empathy and its effects.


Acting out of self-interest is seen as such a rational way to act in our society. But look where that has gotten us and the planet? Rebeccah Nelems

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Mirror Neurons: Seminar on Architecture and Empathy

Empathy in Architecture – Emotion and Embodied Simulation in Design” on 21 April 2015 in Helsinki. The third jubilee seminar organized by the Alvar Aalto Academy, the Asko Foundation and the Tapani Wirkkala and Rut Bryk Foundation.

Lectures by:
Juhani Pallasmaa http://youtube.com/watch?v=USyVCEHOJqM


Harry Mallgrave http://youtube.com/watch?v=8JlszI84mkM


Sarah Robinson http://youtube.com/watch?v=kyJgO9FTDqs


Vittorio Gallese http://youtube.com/watch?v=jOGTuJNr_vs

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Service Learning and Empathy

Service Learning and Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

http://roserbatlle.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/service-learning-and-empathy2.pdf


Many studies show how service-learning practices improve empathy on students:

  • Students who engaged in service-learning showed greater empathy and cognitive complexity than comparison groups (Courneya, 1994). 
  •  Students who engaged in quality service-learning programs reported greater acceptance of cultural diversity (Melchior, 1999; Berkas, 1997
  • Middle and elementary school students who participated in servicelearning were better able to trust and be trusted by others, be reliable and accept responsibility (Stephens, 1995).
  • College Students involved in the service-learning assignment were significantly more likely to express empathy in their reflective writing than the students who did not participate in service-learning. (Wilson 2011).
  • Various characteristics of community service-learning are significantly related to empathy levels in elementary school children. (Emerson, 2008)
  •  A study examined if a service learning method was accomplishing its potential in six categories of service-learning objectives: intellectual, skills, affective development, moral and spiritual growth, community outcomes, and college or university outcomes. Results of an initial reading of the narrative evaluations yielded five themes: connecting with learning; student personal issues; empathy and relating to others; changes in outlook; and program feedback. (Soukup, 1999

Other voices from the economic sector, as Jeremy Rifkin, explain how powerful is service-learning in improving empathy: 

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Empathy Is Overrated + Getting Real About Empathy - A 4 Part Series

Empathy Is Overrated + Getting Real About Empathy - A 4 Part Series | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

In this post, I offer a nuanced view of empathy and compassion as well as a critique of the aforementioned researchers’ assumptions and mission.
 

As an introduction to the concept of empathy, here is how Frans De Waal described empathy in Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals


Empathy is not an all-or-nothing phenomenon, and many forms of empathy exist between the extremes of mere agitation at the distress of another and full understanding of their predicament. 


A guest post by L. P.  


GETTING REAL ABOUT EMPATHY


Artilce: Empathy Is Overrated
Simon Baron-Cohen writes: Empathy is like a universal solvent. Any problem immersed in empathy becomes soluble. It is effective as a way of anticipating and resolving interpersonal problems, whether this is a marital conflict, an international conflict, a problem at work, difficulties in a friendship, political deadlocks, a family dispute, or a problem with the neighbour. Unlike the arms industry that costs trillions of dollars to maintain, or the prison service and legal system that cost millions of dollars to keep oiled, empathy is free. And, unlike religion, empathy cannot, by definition, oppress anyone. (From “The science of empathy,” which was at guardian.co.uk, and is now available here.)


The unfortunate implication to be drawn from the quoted passage — by undiscerning readers — is that empathy is a substitute for defense, prisons, the legal system, and religion (“oppressive,” of course).

What twaddle!

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STUDY: The role of shared neural activations, mirror neurons, and morality in empathy – A critical comment

STUDY: The role of shared neural activations, mirror neurons, and morality in empathy – A critical comment | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Highlights

  • We review the social neuroscience of empathy.
  • We discuss the terms cognitive, motor and affective empathy.
  • We explore the possible roles of shared neural activations in empathy.
  • We critically discuss the relationship of mirror neurons and empathy.
  • We outline that empathy and morality are not directly linked.


In the last decade, the phenomenon of empathy has received widespread attention by the field of social neuroscience. This has provided fresh insights for theoretical models of empathy, and substantially influenced the academic and public conceptions about this complex social skill.


The present paper highlights three key issues which are often linked to empathy, but which at the same time might obscure our understanding of it.


These issues are:

  • (1) shared neural activations and whether these can be interpreted as evidence for simulation accounts of empathy;
  • (2) the causal link of empathy to our presumed mirror neuron system; and
  • (3) the question whether increasing empathy will result in better moral decisions and behaviors.


The aim of our review is to provide the basis for critically evaluating our current understanding of empathy, and its public reception, and to inspire new research directions.

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(Empathic Family) Using Empathy to Connect with Your Kids

(Empathic Family) Using Empathy to Connect with Your Kids | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Positive parenting educators and mental health therapists talk a lot about empathy. When when parents want to know how to respond when their kids are angry or anxious, I suggest responding with empathy first.

I tell parents to think of empathy as “finding the feeling” in what their child is saying or experiencing.


If your child is upset, you could say, “You’re so mad that Sophie took the marker without asking!” When you respond with empathy, you help your child put their feelings into words and make them feel that you understand.


Here are some empathy tips:
  • Be Present:
  • Wait for Calm: 
  • Connect:



by Nicole Schwarz

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How Anxiety Destroys Relationships (and How to Stop It) Empathy Resolves Anxiety

How Anxiety Destroys Relationships (and How to Stop It) Empathy Resolves Anxiety | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
There is an abundance of information about how anxiety impacts our health—mentally, emotionally, and physically.


Have you considered the impact anxiety may have on the health of your relationship?


Anxiety can cause periods of panic, feelings of fear or overwhelm, and a general sense of unease and tension. It can take over your thoughts and bleed into many areas of your life.


By Kristine Tye,

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Crystal | Communicate with anyone, based on personality

Crystal | Communicate with anyone, based on personality | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

"If there was an award for the app that has the biggest positive impact on my work, it would go to Crystal." Richard Banfield, CEO of Fresh Tilled Soil

What's the difference between a bad communicator and a good one? Empathy.

Crystal creates unique personality profiles for every person with an online presence, preparing you to speak or write in someone else's natural communication style.

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Can Compassion Change the World?

Can Compassion Change the World? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

By Jill Suttie

Daniel Goleman talks with Greater Good about his new book, A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama's Vision for Our World.


The Dalai Lama has a long history of meeting and collaborating with social scientists—psychologists, neuroscientists, economists, and others looking to understand the science of human emotions and behavior. Through these collaborations, he has learned about the research in this area and has encouraged scientists to pursue fields of inquiry more directly aimed at serving the public good.
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Wired for kindness: Science shows we prefer compassion, and our capacity grows with practice

Wired for kindness: Science shows we prefer compassion, and our capacity grows with practice | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Some of the evidence that compassion can be cultivated comes from studies on “social-emotional learning” (or SEL), school programs that complement the standard emphasis on academics with age-attuned lessons in self-awareness, managing upsetting emotions, empathy, relationship skills, and smart life decisions.

One SEL program, MINDUP, increased not just empathy in elementary school students, but also upped the number of their actual acts of kindness, according to a study published in January in the journal Developmental Psychology.


By Daniel Goleman 

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How attentive, empathetic, and caring was your physician? Greater Empathy - In Just 3 Hours?

How attentive, empathetic, and caring was your physician? Greater Empathy - In Just 3 Hours? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

How attentive, empathetic, and caring was your physician the last time you had to go to the doctor’s office?


Or, if you’re a physician, do you ever wonder how your patients perceive you?We recently reported on a study that showed severity of cold symptoms decreased among patients treated by physicians who demonstrated high levels of empathy.


Empathy is a crucial skill when working with people who are sick or facing the diagnosis they most fear. 


So a training program to help medical practitioners develop a greater sense of attentiveness and empathy could offer patients tremendous support and relief, no matter what they’re facing.


A study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, conducted by Helen Reiss, MD from Massachusetts General Hospital, investigated the effects of three 60-minute neuroscience-based empathy training sessions on physicians and their patients.



BY RUTH BUCZYNSKI

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