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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Study: Music Can Induce Empathy

Study: Music Can Induce Empathy | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

Press Release

-- According to a new study, empathy is something that can be learned and taught. The research was conducted at the University of Cambridge and the results were published in the Psychology of Music (July 2013). The lead author of the study, Tal-Chen Rabinowitch, predicts that one day school districts will have the option to add “empathy education” to their curriculum. “Perhaps the most important thing the study tells us about the development of emotional empathy is that it is amenable to intervention,” Rabinowitch said. “We now have the (very friendly and enjoyable) tools to influence and enhance emotional empathy in children, a significant building block for shaping a more empathic and other-minded society.”

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Debra Manchester's curator insight, August 2, 2013 11:20 AM

Music is the universal language. See a wonderful example of music and lessons to build social and emotional intelligence in children at KidsEps.org.

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Study: Music Can Induce Empathy

Study: Music Can Induce Empathy | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

Press Release

-- According to a new study, empathy is something that can be learned and taught. The research was conducted at the University of Cambridge and the results were published in the Psychology of Music (July 2013). The lead author of the study, Tal-Chen Rabinowitch, predicts that one day school districts will have the option to add “empathy education” to their curriculum. “Perhaps the most important thing the study tells us about the development of emotional empathy is that it is amenable to intervention,” Rabinowitch said. “We now have the (very friendly and enjoyable) tools to influence and enhance emotional empathy in children, a significant building block for shaping a more empathic and other-minded society.”

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Debra Manchester's curator insight, August 2, 2013 11:20 AM

Music is the universal language. See a wonderful example of music and lessons to build social and emotional intelligence in children at KidsEps.org.

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Developing Empathy in the Art Room | The Art of Ed

Developing Empathy in the Art Room | The Art of Ed | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

A 2009 study Within Connections: Empathy, Mirror Neurons and Art Education by Carol S. Jeffers reminds us that the art room might just be the perfect environment for teaching empathy.  In her article, Jeffers discusses the experiences students have when identifying with and creating different works of art. Artistic exploration helps a student to identify his or her “self” while figuring out his or her place in the community and the world. Thanks to what are called mirror neurons, a student can experience empathy just by sharing artwork or experiences, even if he or she is not the creator of the piece. This puts a whole new spin on the importance of student reflections, class critiques and artist statements!

 

Jessica Balsley, Founder of  The Art of Education

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Study: How Narrative Relationships Overcome Empathic Bias: Elizabeth Gaskell's Empathy across Social Difference

Study: How Narrative Relationships Overcome Empathic Bias: Elizabeth Gaskell's Empathy across Social Difference | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

Modern and historical scholarship on empathy has consistently demonstrated that people are more likely to empathize with those who are similar to themselves. This empathic bias for similarity means that the affective bonds and ethical motivations that accompany empathy are significantly diminished in relationships with outgroups, as defined by sociological difference. I argue that narrative empathy is uniquely capable of circumventing the similarity bias through compositional strategies related to foregrounding and perspective.

 

Turning to modern research on reading as well as to accounts of reading in the nineteenth century, I propose a two-part argument: first, that the act of reading can overcome the bias that scholars have observed in relationships between people and, second, that narrative empathy has the potential to prevent future cases of bias by reconfiguring readers' criteria for similarity.

 

Mary-Catherine Harrison

 

img http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book

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Creative Writing and Empathy: How Writing Fiction Helps You Connect With Others

Creative Writing and Empathy: How Writing Fiction Helps You Connect With Others | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

Writing forces you to “walk in your characters’ shoes” in a way that reading can’t.

 

Empathy and fiction: what’s the connection? Empathy is an important thing: when you lack it completely, you’re a psychopath, and no one wants that, except perhaps if you happen to be a character in a thriller.

 

One of my friends who studies psychology posted this on Facebook a while back: it’s an article about why men should read fictionand claims that reading fiction teaches men to empathize with others.

 

Victoria Grefer

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Creative Writing and Empathy: How Writing Fiction Helps You Connect With Others

Creative Writing and Empathy: How Writing Fiction Helps You Connect With Others | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

Writing forces you to “walk in your characters’ shoes” in a way that reading can’t.

 

Empathy and fiction: what’s the connection? Empathy is an important thing: when you lack it completely, you’re a psychopath, and no one wants that, except perhaps if you happen to be a character in a thriller.

 

One of my friends who studies psychology posted this on Facebook a while back: it’s an article about why men should read fictionand claims that reading fiction teaches men to empathize with others.

 

Victoria Grefer

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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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Study finds musical interaction cultivates empathy in children | The Raw Story

Study finds musical interaction cultivates empathy in children | The Raw Story | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

Schools could one day add “empathy education” to their curriculum. New research suggests that understanding the emotional state of others is something that can be learned and practiced.

 

According to a study published in the July issue of Psychology of Music, playing musical games can help cultivate a sense of empathy in children.

 

“Perhaps the most important thing the study tells us about the development of emotional empathy is that it is amenable to intervention,” Tal-Chen Rabinowitch of the University of Cambridge, the lead author of the study, told PsyPost. “We now have the (very friendly and enjoyable) tools to influence and enhance emotional empathy in children, a significant building block for shaping a more empathic and other-minded society.”

 

By Eric W. Dolan

Culture of Empathy Builder Page: Tal-Chen Rabinowitch
http://bit.ly/KQZRY5

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Empathy and Music: Intertwined or Independent?

Empathy and Music: Intertwined or Independent? | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

Recently, in one of my classes, we were asked to take a quotient online. A lot of the questions pertained to social situations and how you react to them, the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and many other human nature type questions. I found this quotient to be pretty interesting, although it wasn’t until the end that I actually knew what it was for – it was measuring my capacity for empathy.

 

I wondered why my teacher at a music school would want us to take this quotient. What did empathy have to do with music? But after taking the test and really thinking about it, I realized that my professor might have been on the right track. Perhaps empathy has a larger role in music than we realize.

 

By Lindsay Kupser

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Empathy is a Contact Sport...Bleeding Hearts Need Not Apply

Empathy is a Contact Sport...Bleeding Hearts Need Not Apply | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

Paul Bloom gives important and eloquent voice to the critics of “empathy” in his recent piece in the New Yorker. I read it with great interest, respect, and gratitude to him for shining a light on how the idea of empathy can be misperceived and misused, especially politically.


Much of the confusion lies in various interpretations of what “empathy” is and is not. 
What it is:
Empathy is the capacity to recognize emotions that are being experienced by another person. One may need to have a certain amount of empathy before being able to experience accurate sympathy or compassion. – Wikipedi

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Reading fiction boosts empathy, reduces discomfort with uncertainty

Reading fiction boosts empathy, reduces discomfort with uncertainty | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

Reading literary fiction — even something as short as 10 pages — can increase empathy, improve decision-making and make people more comfortable with uncertainty, suggest two new Canadian studies. In other words, the very pursuit we use to distract us from real life might actually make us better at living it.

 

Lead author Maja Djikic said the findings have particular repercussions for our schools, where she notes a “dangerous trend” away from the arts and soft skills. This observation dovetails with a January report from Scholastic showing that reading for pleasure on a regular basis (five to seven days a week) is indeed a waning activity among youths, having fallen to 34 per cent in 2012 from 37 per cent two years earlier.


BY MISTY HARRIS, 

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John Scott Lucas's comment, June 20, 2013 5:29 AM
One more reason that high stakes testing is not the answer to our education dilemnas.
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ACTING AND EMPATHY: Intensive Acating Workshop - Anna Deavere Smith

ACTING AND EMPATHY: Intensive Acating Workshop - Anna Deavere Smith | Empathy in the Arts | Scoop.it

Acting and Empathy
Acting is a transformational experience. It is the art of communicating stories but it is also the art of receiving the stories that others are trying to tell you. Quite simply, it is the art of empathy.

 

Those who acquire some of acting’s basic skill sets can use them to become stronger leaders and more successful managers and negotiators. We have designed a week that will inspire actors and refine their skills. It will give other professionals invaluable insights into others and themselves.

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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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