Empathy in the Arts
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Empathy in the Arts
Empathy and Compassion in the Arts (Drawing, Writing, Stories, Poetry, Music, Dance, Fine Art, etc) - CultureOfEmpathy.com
Curated by Edwin Rutsch
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Watch Alanis Morissette’s new video for ‘Empathy’ (World premiere)

Watch Alanis Morissette’s new video for ‘Empathy’ (World premiere) | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it
For her 2012 tour, Alanis Morissette took her whole family — husband Mario “Souleye” Treadway and their toddler Ever — around the world as the supposed former infatuation junkie supported her eighth studio album, Havoc and Bright Lights.
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The Neuroscience of Your Brain on Fiction: Stories stimulate the brain. NY Times

The Neuroscience of Your Brain on Fiction: Stories stimulate the brain. NY Times | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

Stories stimulate the brain. Metaphors like “He had leathery hands” rouse the sensory cortex.

 

Brain scans are revealing what happens in our heads when we read a detailed description, an evocative metaphor or an emotional exchange between characters. Stories, this research is showing, stimulate the brain and even change how we act in life.

 

Researchers have long known that the “classical” language regions, like Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area, are involved in how the brain interprets written words. What scientists have come to realize in the last few years is that narratives activate many other parts of our brains as well, suggesting why the experience of reading can feel so alive. Words like “lavender,” “cinnamon” and “soap,” for example, elicit a response not only from the language-processing areas of our brains, but also those devoted to dealing with smells.

 

By ANNIE MURPHY PAUL

 

img http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storytelling ;

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Ron MacLean and Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy with Stories and Fiction

Ron MacLean and Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy with  Stories and Fiction | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

 

Ron MacLean is author of the novels Headlong and Blue Winnetka Skies and the story collection Why the Long Face? His fiction has appeared in GQ, Fiction International, Best Online Fiction 2010, and elsewhere.

 

He is a recipient of the Frederick Exley Award for Short Fiction and a multiple Pushcart Prize nominee. He teaches at Grub Street in Boston.

 Ron wrote the article: Is Fiction Empathy’s Best Hope? We discussed his article and the relationship of empathy and fiction writing. He writes, "What I do care about is the loss of our ability to identify with others. Empathy is a muscle that must be exercised lest it atrophy. It’s a seed that must be cultivated in order to grow—to live. And in a sped-up society in which connection is increasingly fleeting and often virtual, we can’t take empathy for granted anymore.....

 

 It’s paradoxical, even absurd—this idea that made-up stories can develop in us an essential human quality. The idea that reading about people who don’t exist could expand our capacity to care about, and act on behalf of, people who do. But it’s true."

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STUDY: PLOS ONE: How Does Fiction Reading Influence Empathy? An Experimental Investigation on the Role of Emotional Transportation

STUDY: PLOS ONE:  How Does Fiction Reading Influence Empathy? An Experimental Investigation on the Role of Emotional Transportation | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

The current study investigated whether fiction experiences change empathy of the reader. Based on transportation theory, it was predicted that when people read fiction, and they are emotionally transported into the story, they become more empathic. Two experiments showed that empathy was influenced over a period of one week for people who read a fictional story, but only when they were emotionally transported into the story.

 

No transportation led to lower empathy in both studies, while study 1 showed that high transportation led to higher empathy among fiction readers. These effects were not found for people in the control condition where people read non-fiction. The study showed that fiction influences empathy of the reader, but only under the condition of low or high emotional transportation into the story.

 Veltkamp M

 

imh http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading_(process) ;

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Will More Nonfiction Reading in School Lead to a Lack of Empathy?

Will More Nonfiction Reading in School Lead to a Lack of Empathy? | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

The Common Core requires that teachers teach more nonfiction, but how will that affect students?

 

As people are experiencing fiction in their own ways, they are practicing empathy. The fiction they read allows them to experience life as someone else, or in a different time and place, and allows them to be more empathetic in their real lives. As a teacher, I want my students to be productive members of society who are prepared for life after high school, but I also want them to be good citizens who will help someone in need.

 

I want them to be able to think about their actions and how they affect the world around them and then make choices that benefit themselves, but also benefit the greater good. If we take fiction out of the curriculum, there is a danger that this will not happen. Teaching fiction is vital to creating well-rounded young adults, and is also necessary in practicing empathy.

by Ashley Lauren

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Writer's Corner: Empathy is Crucial

Writer's Corner: Empathy is Crucial | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

3) Let readers empathize with the character. This might be the most powerful way to establish a fast “connection” between your character and reader. Let your flawed, imperfect character be the object of the reader’s empathy. In real life, isn’t it easier to like someone with whom you empathize? In literature, my favorite example of this comes from Colleen McCullough’s sweeping novel, The Thorn Birds. I read it more than fifteen years ago and can still remember with great clarity the opening scene. On her fourth birthday, little Meggie sits, gazing at her new doll, every detail lovingly described. The doll is precious because Meggie had longed for it for months, and finally, her mother had saved enough money to purchase it.

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Humans have the need to read

Humans have the need to read | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

Psychologists from Washington University used brain scans to see what happens inside our heads when we read stories. They found that "readers mentally simulate each new situation encountered in a narrative". The brain weaves these situations together with experiences from its own life to create a new mental synthesis. Reading a book leaves us with new neural pathways.

 

...This is significant because recent scientific research has also found a dramatic fall in empathy among teenagers in advanced western cultures. We can't yet be sure why this is happening, but the best hypothesis is that it is the result of their immersion in the internet and the quickfire virtual world it offers. So technology reveals that our brains are being changed by technology, and then offers a potential solution – the book.

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Can Reading a Novel Change the World (to be more empathic)?

Can Reading a Novel Change the World (to be more empathic)? | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

Yes, according to Roman Krznaric, empathy expert. Just look at Uncle Tom's Cabin.

 

Yet Pinker, together with philosopher Martha Nussbaum, psychologist Keith Oatley and historian Lynn Hunt, is amongst a new band of champions for the idea that reading can indeed change not just ourselves, but the world. If we want to put this idea to the test, a good starting point is one of the most popular novels of the nineteenth century, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. What interests me, though, is not simply the extraordinary social impact of this admittedly sentimental story, but what its writing reveals about the origins of morality itself.

 

By Roman Krznaric

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Getting lost in a novel means you're more empathetic

Getting lost in a novel means you're more empathetic | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

People who lost themselves in the fiction showed more empathy than people who did not become as involved in fiction or read nonfiction. 

 

“[W]hen we get lost in a book, we are in another world, in which we can freely experience the character’s feelings and thoughts as if they were our own, through which we ‘learn’ how other people think and feel about problems in life. This again can be transferred to real life, so by reading a book and getting involved in the story, we are able to sympathize with other people,” Bal says.

 

By Meghan Holohan

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Why Empathy is the Key to Story

Why Empathy is the Key to Story | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

To write fic­tion, you must develop your capac­ity be empa­thetic. Empathy is so much a part of what the writer does that it would be impos­si­ble to get by with­out it.

 

In fact, you could even argue that empa­thy is syn­ony­mous with story. Don't believe me? Plug the word story for empa­thy into this list of def­i­n­i­tions for empa­thy that I found on Wikipedia:

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George Lewis and Edwin Rutsch: Dialogs on How to Build a Culture of Empathy with Photography

George Lewis and Edwin Rutsch: Dialogs on How to Build a Culture of Empathy with Photography | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

 George Lewis and Edwin Rutsch: Dialogs on How to Build a Culture of Empathy with Photography

 

George Lewis is a photographer exploring the nature of empathy. He says, "For me, one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century is to make people more visible to one another, to find ways for people to engage, empathize, and learn of each other’s deepest values and concerns. We need to lay the foundations for a new global human identity, one that transcends differences and is predicated on mutual understanding and respect, celebrating the beauty of difference. In short my art is all about Empathy. " 

Culture of Empathy Builder Page:  George Lewis

http://cultureofempathy.com/References/Experts/Others/George-Lewis.htm

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Compassion: The End Of Suffering…

Compassion: The End Of Suffering… | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it
When love becomes divine love, compassion also fills the heart. Love is the inner feeling and compassion is its expression. Compassion is expressing your heartfelt concern for someone — for a sufferinghuman being. Therefore, love and compassion are two sides of the same coin; they coexist. Amma

 

“Compassion is the external expression of the love we feel inside…” Mātā Amṛtānandamayī Devī (Amma)

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Shashi's curator insight, March 30, 2013 10:30 PM

“Compassion is the external expression of the love we feel inside…” Mātā Amṛtānandamayī Devī (Amma)

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Guggenheim Symposium - Empathy, Affect, and the Photographic Image

Learn more at http://www.guggenheim.org/dijkstra

 

In conjunction with Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective, on view at the Guggenheim Museum June 29-October 8, 2012, leading scholars discussed the role that empathy plays in the interactions among photographer, subject, and viewer. Organized by Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator, Photography, and moderated by George Baker, University of California, Los Angeles.

Introduction, Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator, Photography, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Moderator introduction, George Baker, Associate Professor of Art History, University of California, Los Angeles

"The Age of Empathy" and Rineke Dijkstra's Photographic Portraits, Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator, Photography, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

You've Lost That Loving Feeling, Johanna Burton, Director of the Graduate Program, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College

For Rineke Dijkstra, a Tiergarten is Not a Tear Garden, Carol Mavor, Professor of Art History and Visual Studies, University of Manchester

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Is Fiction Empathy’s Best Hope?

Is Fiction Empathy’s Best Hope? | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

Narrative expands our view of the real people in our lives."

 

Empathy takes exercise. And cultivation.

 

In his essay “Only Love and Then Oblivion,” written in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the novelist Ian McEwan addresses the mental work empathy demands. While it’s hard to invoke 9/11 without that ominous date becoming the focus, consider his main point:

 

The 9/11 hijackers used fanatical certainty, misplaced religious faith, and dehumanizing hatred to purge themselves of the human instinct for empathy. Among their crimes was a failure of the imagination.”

 

By Ron MacLean

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Entering Another's Experience

Entering Another's Experience | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it
In fiction one can become someone other than oneself

 

Psychologists are familiar with the idea of perspective taking, knowing some aspect of what another person is thinking. Only recently have they started to investigate the idea of experience-taking: entering the experience of another.

 

Experience-taking, a term proposed Geoff Kaufman and Lisa Libby (2012), may be thought of as more radical than perspective taking. It's a kind of merging with another: not just thoughts and beliefs, but a state of being. Empathy is an example in day-to-day life. But yet larger effects, perhaps, occur in fiction when we identify with a literary character. So, although we remain ourselves we can become Anna in Anna Karenina or we can become Elizabeth in Pride and prejudice. Kaufman and Libby say that in experience-taking:

 

by Keith Oatley, Ph.D.

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Shashi's curator insight, March 30, 2013 10:27 PM

Empathy is an example in day-to-day life. But yet larger effects, perhaps, occur in fiction when we identify with a literary character. So, although we remain ourselves we can become Anna in Anna Karenina or we can become Elizabeth in Pride and prejudice. 

__
Shashi
ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

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Does Reading Novels Make Us More Empathetic?

Does Reading Novels Make Us More Empathetic? | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

Reading is bound to boost our vocabulary, but can it make us better at relating to others, too? A new study explored the unexpected connection between reading and empathy.

 

The answer, according to a new study, is “yes.” The study found that people who “got lost” in fiction books showed more empathy than those who were less engrossed in their reading material or who pored over nonfiction. So what’s the science behind the science fiction?
 

The study tested out how the transportation theory of psychology affects empathy. “Transportation” is the idea that relating to a fictional character (whether good, bad, or ugly) can affect how people behave even after they close the book. The researchers wanted to find out if becoming emotionally absorbed in a story (aka “transporting”) specifically affects empathy — not only toward the characters, but also in real life. The results of the study suggest this theory might be on point: Readers who demonstrated a high level of emotional transportation also showed high levels of empathy, even a week after reading.

 

by Sophia Breene

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Shashi's curator insight, March 30, 2013 10:29 PM

The study tested out how the transportation theory of psychology affects empathy. “Transportation” is the idea that relating to a fictional character (whether good, bad, or ugly) can affect how people behave even after they close the book. The researchers wanted to find out if becoming emotionally absorbed in a story (aka “transporting”) specifically affects empathy — not only toward the characters, but also in real life. The results of the study suggest this theory might be on point: Readers who demonstrated a high level of emotional transportation also showed high levels of empathy, even a week after reading.

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Why Sharing Stories Brings People Together | Psychology Today

Why Sharing Stories Brings People Together | Psychology Today | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it
Our brains sync up when we tell stories. By Joshua Gowin, Ph.D....

 

When you tell a story to a friend, you can transfer experiences directly to their brain. They feel what you feel. They empathize. What's more, when communicating most effectively, you can get a group of people's brains to synchronize their activity. As you relate someone's desires through a story, they become the desires of the audience. When trouble develops, they gasp in unison, and when desires are fulfilled they smile together.

 

For as long as you've got your audience's attention, they are in your mind. When you hear a good story, you develop empathy with the teller because you experience the events for yourself. This makes sense. Stories should be powerful. They helped us share information long ago, before we had a written language and Wikipedia.

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Novels and Empathy

Novels and Empathy | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it
George Eliot famously declared that "If Art does not enlarge men's sympathies, then it does nothing." Eliot would be glad to know that she was right: reading novels really does make us nicer. As the British Psychological

Society Digest notes:
The more fiction a person reads, the more empathy they have and the better they perform on tests of social understanding and awareness. By contrast, reading more non-fiction, fact-based books shows the opposite association. That's according to Raymond Mar and colleagues who say their finding could have implications for educating children and adults about understanding others.
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Ted-Ed: How Fiction Can Influence Real World Events

Ted-Ed: How Fiction Can Influence Real World Events | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

Educator Jessica Wise and her cohorts have come up with a compelling Ted-Ed video on how novels throughout history have helped shape real-world events. “Reading and stories can be an escape from real life, a window into another world — but have you ever considered how new fictional experiences might change your perspective on real, everyday life? From Pride and Prejudice to Harry Potter, learn how popular fiction can spark public dialogue and shape culture.”

 

A great lesson for readers of all ages!

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Reading fiction as a means to greater empathy - Counseling Today

Reading fiction as a means to greater empathy - Counseling Today | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

For many counselors, retreating into the depths of a novel can often be a much-needed and well-applauded act of self-care. But can reading fiction actually make someone a better counselor? Empathy-focused research in the past few years suggests that this may very well be a possibility.

 

Keith Oatley, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Toronto, and Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, have found that people who read fiction on a regular basis appear to be more equipped to understand and empathize with others.

 

by Kathleen Smith

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Positioning Your Story for Success: The Significance of Creating Empathy

Positioning Your Story for Success: The Significance of Creating Empathy | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it
There is a specific structure to a well-told or well-crafted story. It begins with creating empathy for the central character. In fiction as well in life, can you skip this essential ingredient and have a story be as compelling without it?

I use this movie to illustrate the significance of creating empathy for central character(s) at the start of a story. When you do this in fiction as well as in life, you create a connection with your audience.

by Jen GrisantiStory /Career Consultant, Author, Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC
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Master the Art of Empathy - Intent Blog

Master the Art of Empathy - Intent Blog | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

 Continuing our look at imaginative empathy and how empathy is a core part of great acting, here is an interview by the Deepak Chopra Well with acting instructor Diana Castle. For 25 years she has been exploring and teaching the role of empathy in acting.  See the video and interview at http://j.mp/WlPkKE

 

Master the Art of Empathy
 

"Chopra Well: You are an acting instructor and also teach empathy skills. How are empathy and acting related?

Diana Castle: Acting is all too often thought of and even encouraged to be a narcissistic profession – and yes, there are plenty of cultural narcissists today. However the truth in the art of acting is to be found in the heart of empathy. A great actor is that human being who is willing to exchange his or her personal interpretive framework for an alternative interpretive framework, or as Atticus Finch said in To Kill A Mockingbird, to walk a mile in another person’s shoes."

 

More at Culture of Empathy Builder Page:  Diana Castle

j.mp/W38zKR

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Culture of Empathy Builder: Diana Castle

Culture of Empathy Builder: Diana Castle | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

Diana Castle and Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy with Acting

 

Diana Castle is a first generation American born of a holocaust survivor. She attended a fine arts high school before graduating with a BFA in theatre with a music minor. She began her career in both musicals and dramatic roles in NYC, in national tours and regional theatre, as well as on stages internationally.
 

 "Diana Castle’s THE IMAGINED LIFE™ – Acting As The Art of The Empathetic Imagination- is a creative philosophy and practical application of your natural empathetic imagination to the art of acting...

 

Diana works with actors, singers, writers and directors of diverse backgrounds from all over the world in an effort to illuminate an experience of alternative perspectives, facilitate catharsis and create community through her creative philosophy and the empathetic imagined life experience."

 

We had a fun, dynamic and almost 2 hour discussion about the nature of empathy and how to embody it through acting. We explored how to not just talk about empathy, but embody it.

 

Culture of Empathy Builder:  Diana Castle

j.mp/W38zKR

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