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Empathy and Compassion
The latest news about empathy and compassion from around the world - CultureOfEmpathy.com
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A Parent's Wish for Empathy

A Parent's Wish for Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

I’d like to focus on this last point, because it turns out that this lack of perspective-taking – this lack of empathy – is the key to unraveling parent-child tension.


In the cool light of self-reflection, I can now look back at the exchange and realize that my sense of righteous anger was blocking me from advancing the conversation.

When I increase empathy and relook at the situation with compassion, I see a different story.  Perhaps he was afraid, too.  Perhaps he felt powerless, too.  Perhaps he’s learned the exact same pattern I’ve modeled: When you’re afraid, attack.  Perhaps our power struggle was simply two people afraid to honestly share their fears.


By Joshua Freedman

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Compassion Fatigue by Animal Shelter Workers. .

Compassion Fatigue by Animal Shelter Workers. . | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

This very real story could be anywhere in the world, Australia, UK, Europe, but this story comes out of Sacremento US told by The Bee’s Cynthia Cuthbert.


 Compassion Fatigue is becoming a real issue world wide for carers in general, whether you are a carer for animals, elderly, sick or a loved one. This particular story looks at the everyday stress endured by Animal Shelter Workers. .

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Animal Empathy: Do Pigs Have Feelings Too?

Animal Empathy: Do Pigs Have Feelings Too? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

By Kimberly M. Aquilina 

Self-awareness and language are two traits that scientists would say make us human, along with a sense of compassion or empathy, according to Scientific American.


Empathy is defined by Dutch primatologist and ethologist as Franz de Waal as, "the capacity to be affected by and share the emotional state of another, assess the reasons for the other's state and identify with the other, adopting his or her perspective."  

How do we measure empathy in animals?

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Animal shelter workers cope with ‘compassion fatigue’

Animal shelter workers cope with ‘compassion fatigue’ | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Animal shelter workers in the Sacramento area are learning how to cope with “compassion fatigue,” a condition associated with the emotionally draining task of caring for abused and unwanted pets.


The stress can take its toll, according to experts, in the form of “compassion fatigue.


The phrase – more typically used to describe a condition common among nurses and doctors who treat trauma patients – increasingly is being applied to people who care for animals.


“Animal care professionals are some of the most pain-saturated people I have ever worked with,” said J. Eric Gentry, a Florida psychotherapist and leader in the study of traumatic stress and compassion fatigue.


“The very thing that makes them great at their work – their empathy and dedication and love for animals – makes them vulnerable.”


BY CYNTHIA HUBERT
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Stress fighting drug increases empathy in humans

Stress fighting drug increases empathy in humans | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
A drug used for blocking stress levels can also be used as a “compassion pill” to increase empathy, a person’s ability to feel another person’s pain, a study has shown.

The study also found that excessive stress can sap a person’s caring instincts, and this may explain acts of cruelty committed during a heated conflict.

The findings were published in the journal Current Biology.

Stress diminishes empathy both in lab mice and volunteer students who participated in experiments that involved friends and or strangers who immersed their hands in freezing cold water.
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Racial Bias in Neural Empathic Responses to Pain

Racial Bias in Neural Empathic Responses to Pain | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Recent studies have shown that perceiving the pain of others activates brain regions in the observer associated with both somatosensory and affective-motivational aspects of pain, principally involving regions of the anterior cingulate and anterior insula cortex.


The degree of these empathic neural responses is modulated by racial bias, such that stronger neural activation is elicited by observing pain in people of the same racial group compared with people of another racial group.


The aim of the present study was to examine whether a more general social group category, other than race, could similarly modulate neural empathic responses and perhaps account for the apparent racial bias reported in previous studies.

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Black Lives Matter: Building Empathy Through Reading (Part I)

Black Lives Matter: Building Empathy Through Reading (Part I) | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Librarians are peddlers of empathy. We understand that reading is a chemical reaction between reader and writer producing a visceral engagement with the characters that allows us to live the lives of others, if only for for the space of a novel.


We know that when we give a book to a patron, it can be at once an act of revolution, a strike against ignorance, a catalyst for change, a necessary escape, a life-saving event, a clarion call, a moment of peace, or simply a riveting read. Whatever it turns out to be though, it is always founded in empathy. As readers, each book allows us to, at turns, discover, reaffirm or reimagine what it means to be human.

In the wake of the Ferguson verdict and in solidarity with the growing #BlackLivesMatter movement, it is empathy that we need more than ever.


Indeed, as I reflect on Dr. King’s legacy, I am reminded of this quote by him: “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” Ideally, this communication would happen face-to-face, two individuals in dialogue discovering what it means to be the other. However, in certain cases whether due to lack of representation, access, or will, this is simply not possible. What then?


by Alegria Barclay



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Peak empathy? No, Practical Empathy!

Peak empathy? No, Practical Empathy! | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Given that Indi Young and I first began discussing her new book idea many, many years ago, Practical Empathy: For Collaboration and Creativity in Your Work was a marathon in the making. Even the last mile proved to be full of unexpected (and unpleasant) challenges.

So I’m thrilled (and relieved) that, as of today, Practical Empathy is finally available! And not just in paperback; like all of our books, it’s also available in DRM-free PDF, MOBI, and ePUB formats. Learn more at the book’s site, where you can sample the table of contents, illustrations, FAQ, and read testimonials like this one from Karen McGrane:

Your product design should be informed by a deep understanding of user goals. In Practical Empathy, Indi outlines a way of working that goes beyond data-driven research methods to deliver genuine empathy for the people who use the things we make.

By the way, I know what you’re thinking: everyone’s talking about “empathy” lately. Are we at the point of having reached peak empathy? 



The answer really depends on what we mean by the word.

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Cold Empathy

Cold Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Feeling cold just by watching someone else shiver. Physiological response to seeing another person who is cold.
A recent study showed that people's body temperature actually dropped when they saw images of an actor dipping their hand into ice cold water. They called it cold empathy.
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Living with Uncertainty

Living with Uncertainty | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

The model of empathy dynamics
Click here for an explanation of the multi-level dynamic model of empathy developed by the Living with Uncertainty project.

 Multi-level dynamic model of empathy http://j.mp/1zqhYQc 

Interview with Lynne Cameron
The sound file can be located by navigating via the link below and following these pages: 'Current Activities'
'Audio presenations'.

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The Secret of Empathy

The Secret of Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

In both mice and men, stress from the presence of strangers prevents feelings of empathy, a new study reports.'


“It turns out that even a shared experience that is as superficial as playing a video game together can move people from the ‘stranger zone’ to the ‘friend zone’ and generate meaningful levels of empathy,” said Mogil. “This research demonstrates that basic strategies to reduce social stress could start to move us from an empathy deficit to a surplus.”


“These findings raise many fascinating questions because we know failures in empathy are central to various psychological disorders and even social conflicts at both the personal and societal level,” said Mogil. “It’s also pretty surprising that empathy appears to work exactly the same way in mice and people.”


The research was supported by the Louise and Alan Edwards Foundation, the Natural

Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Pain Society, and Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Contact: Cynthia Lee – McGill University

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Want To Train Your Brain To Feel More Compassion? Here’s How

Want To Train Your Brain To Feel More Compassion? Here’s How | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Many of us know that if we want to become more physically healthy, we can exercise. What if we want to improve our emotional health? Are there ways to train emotional "muscles" such as compassion? Would such training improve our lives?

Compassion meditation is an ancient contemplative practice to strengthen feelings of compassion towards different kinds of people. The feeling of compassion itself is the emotional response of caring and wanting to help when encountering a person’s suffering.


 BY Helen Weng

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When Stress Rises, Empathy Suffers - ROBERT M. SAPOLSKY wsj.com

When Stress Rises, Empathy Suffers - ROBERT M. SAPOLSKY wsj.com | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Humans—and mice—are much more likely to feel empathy toward friends than strangers. New research finds that stress hormones are to blame, writes Robert M. Sapolsky.


It’s rare to find individuals in whom stress brings out the best—fostering calm, rational thinking, deep humanity and the notion that strangers are just friends you’ve yet to meet.


More typically, stress literally and metaphorically narrows our field of vision; it tends to makes us less generous and cooperative in economic games, more xenophobic, more likely to interpret ambiguous expressions as hostile ones, and more likely to displace frustration and aggression onto those around us. As this new study on the biology of stress found, it also makes us less likely to feel someone else’s pain.


Science has amply demonstrated that, when we are stressed, there are adverse consequences for our blood pressure, digestive tract, immune system and so on. This research shows that, when we are stressed, there are also adverse consequences for those stuck being around us.


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Ratchet Reality TV Decreases Empathy, Increases Aggression Towards Black Women

Ratchet Reality TV Decreases Empathy, Increases Aggression Towards Black Women | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

She told Martin today, TruthInReality will discuss the “Intersectionality of media representation, historical stereotypes, misogyny and how that ties in to the normalization of relational aggression among women, between men and women and how it ultimately violent images a women particularly on reality television decrease empathy for women and increases male aggression towards women.”

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Biological explanations, less empathy

Biological explanations, less empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Biological explanations of mental illness reduce clinicians’ empathy for their patients, according to a new Yale study.

U.S. physicians were given a series of fictitious patients with various mental illnesses that were explained using either biological or psychosocial reasons. Doctors exhibited less empathy after reading the biological explanations. Furthermore, clinicians believed medication, not psychotherapy, to be a more effective treatment when symptoms were explained biologically.


The finding comes at a time when there has been a shift to conceptualizing psychiatric disorders as biomedical diseases, according to lead author and psychology graduate student Matthew Lebowitz GRD ’16.


There is no doubt that advances in genetics and neuroscience have revolutionized how we see mental health, he added, but it is important to understand their pitfalls, too. 


BY ERIN WANG

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Cultivating Empathy in Schools

Cultivating Empathy in Schools | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

There has been a lot written about the importance of empathy within schools. As an educator, being able to relate and connect with our students is so important because it allows the classroom to become a community; a place where people feel safe and valued. In a classroom or a school which is centred around empathy, students are unafraid to express themselves and try out new things.


In a 10-part journal series a school Principal, Michelle Hughes, from New York writes about her experiences in cultivating empathy within her students, teachers, and staff. Hughes speaks about the importance of not only cultivating empathy with the students, but with teachers.


Here is an excerpt from the first journal entry:.

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Chimps learn social behaviour from each other

Chimps learn social behaviour from each other | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
  • Researchers from the University of St Andrews and Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, showed chimpanzees learn kindness by watching each other
  • Claim it's the first evidence children and chimps share traits of altruism
  • In the experiment, pairs of chimps, monkeys, children and adults chose whether or not to reward each other with treats
  • Study found that adults did but monkeys and young children didn't
  • Children and chimps learned kind behaviour off more generous individuals

...Monkey see, monkey don't: The study revealed that capuchin monkeys (stock image shown) and young children didn’t display any prosocial traits in certain situations. But some children who failed to display kindness, showed generous behaviour after watching other kinder children.

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How Empathy Can Make You Colder, Literally

How Empathy Can Make You Colder, Literally | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Just looking at someone who appears to be cold is enough to make us begin feeling cold ourselves, according to a University of Sussex study.

Have you ever been stuck outside on a sweltering, muggy day and had someone tell you to think about icebergs and skiing? They may just be onto something! It’s called temperature contagion.

Thirty six study participants watched videos of people with their hands in visibly warm or cold water, and the researchers measured their body temperature. Watching someone feeling cold didn’t just make the participants feel colder. Their body temperatures actually dropped in response to that imagery on the screen.


The lead researcher on the team – Neuropsychiatrist Dr Neil Harrison – says that this response is likely tied to empathy.



by Becky Striepe


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Why Empathy at Work Works!

Why Empathy at Work Works! | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Empathy is the ingredient necessary to facilitate healthy relationships and keep your social and professional relationships running smoothly.


Empathetic leaders identify with and understand another person’s feelings, situation, and driving forces. They put themselves in the other person’s shoes, see what they see, and understand their feelings. Empathy, however, needs to be balanced with critical thinking, logic, and objectivity.

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Practical Empath For Collaboration and Creativity in Your Wor By Indi Young

Practical Empath  For Collaboration and Creativity in Your Wor By Indi Young | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Conventional product development focuses on the solution.


Empathy is a mindset that focuses on people, helping you to understand their thinking patterns and perspectives.


Practical Empathy will show you how to gather and compare these patterns to make better decisions, improve your strategy, and collaborate successfully.



Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Business Is Out of Balance
  • Chapter 2: Empathy Brings Balance
  • Chapter 3: Put Empathy to Work
  • Chapter 4: A New Way to Listen
  • Chapter 5: Make Sense of What You Heard
  • Chapter 6: Apply Empathy to What You Create
  • Chapter 7: Apply Empathy with People at Work
  • Chapter 8: Apply Empathy Within Your Organization
  • Chapter 9: Where Do You Go from Here?
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Empathy, key component in moral studies - Malaysia

Empathy, key component in moral studies - Malaysia | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

BY DR ILHAVENIL NARINASAMY

While schools aim for academic excellence, there is also a need to inculcate in students the values of patience and compassion.


Nel Noddings, an expert in Moral Education has voiced her opinion that excellent citizens who are polite, forgiving, respectful toward elders, and are kind, loving and able to understand the difficulties of other people need to be “churned out” by the schools.


With violence, anti-social behaviour, bullying and aggression among young people escalating at a frightening rate, it is clear that schools need to “nurture’’ empathy among students.

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Ingroup-Outgroup Bias in Contagious Yawning by Chimpanzees Supports Link to Empathy

Ingroup-Outgroup Bias in Contagious Yawning by Chimpanzees Supports Link to Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Humans favor others seen as similar to themselves (ingroup) over people seen as different (outgroup), even without explicitly stated bias. Ingroup-outgroup bias extends to involuntary responses, such as empathy for pain. However, empathy biases have not been tested in our close primate relatives. Contagious yawning has been theoretically and empirically linked to empathy.


If empathy underlies contagious yawning, we predict that subjects should show an ingroup-outgroup bias by yawning more in response to watching ingroup members yawn than outgroup. Twenty-three chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) from two separate groups watched videos of familiar and unfamiliar individuals yawning or at rest (control). The chimpanzees yawned more when watching the familiar yawns than the familiar control or the unfamiliar yawns, demonstrating an ingroup-outgroup bias in contagious yawning.


These results provide further empirical support that contagious yawning is a measure of empathy, which may be useful for evolutionary biology and mental health.


Matthew W. Campbell 
Frans B. M. de Waal

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UX 101 For Startups: Designing With Empathy

UX 101 For Startups: Designing With Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Perhaps the greatest challenge of user experience design (UX) is to fully embrace empathy – to really understand what it’s like for an outsider to engage with what you’re making


But what can a new company do to make its product experience more intuitive and empathic?


Great UX design requires the ability to shift your perspective from your own desires and problems to the point of view of someone with a completely different set of desires and problems. Luckily, there are plenty of tools and techniques available to eliminate some of the guesswork, such as testing, analytics, and feedback.

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Video games and empathy: Should artists be psychologists when it comes to levelling playing fields?

Video games and empathy: Should artists be psychologists when it comes to levelling playing fields? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

But do these fictional accounts of bullying actually build empathy in the player?

“Empathy is not just showing compassion for the feelings of another. Instead, empathy is understanding how the world looks and feels to another in their current situation,” says therapist and former game designer Howard Scott Warshaw, also known as the “Silicon Valley Therapist.”

“The kinds of things that need to be done to encourage empathy are probably beyond the scope of a video game. The crucial part of building empathy is having a caring relationship in which I feel valued. Video games are interactive experiences, but they are not relationships.” So who is right? The studio or the therapist? Both, likely.

 

Liana Kerzner

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Point Break for Schools - Build Empathy, Stop Bullying - YouTube

Point Break is a 1-day workshop registered with SAMHSA as an evidence-based program. It aims to promote resiliency, build empathy, break down barriers between youth, and ultimately, reduce campus violence and reduce bullying.

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