Capital University’s non-credit Empathy Experiment immerses students in the plight of the working poor to promote understanding.
The banner on the side of the Capital University music conservatory has an outline of a sneaker and asks, “They walked a mile in someone else’s shoes. How much did they learn?”
Inside the hall in Columbus, Ohio, a few hundred people wait to find out. They are here this evening late in April for the concluding event of the Empathy Experiment — an experiment not in an empirical sense, but in teaching empathy.
Humanistic psychology is a psychological perspective which rose to prominence in the mid-20th century in response to Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory and B.F. Skinner's Behaviorism.[citation needed ] With its roots running from Socrates through the Renaissance, this approach emphasizes an individual's inherent drive towards self-actualization and creativity.
Empathy is one of the most important aspects of humanistic therapy. This idea focuses on the therapist’s ability to see the world through the eyes of the client. Without this, therapists can be forced to apply an external frame of reference where the therapist is no longer understanding the actions and thoughts of the client as the client would, but strictly as a therapist which defeats the purpose of humanistic therapy. Included in empathizing, unconditional positive regard is one of the key elements of humanistic psychology. Unconditional positive regard refers to the care that the therapist needs to have for the client. This ensures that the therapist does not become the authority figure in the relationship allowing for a more open flow of information as well as a kinder relationship between the two. A therapist practicing humanistic therapy needs to show a willingness to listen and ensure the comfort of the patient where genuine feelings may be shared but are not forced upon someone. Marshall Rosenberg, one of Carl Rogers' students, emphasizes empathy in the relationship in his concept of Nonviolent Communication.
Decision making under risk entails the anticipation of prospective outcomes, typically leading to the greater sensitivity to losses than gains known as loss aversion. Previous studies on the neural bases of choice-outcome anticipation and loss aversion provided inconsistent results, showing either bidirectional mesolimbic responses of activation for gains and deactivation for losses, or a specific amygdala involvement in processing losses. Here we focused on loss aversion with the aim to address interindividual differences in the neural bases of choice-outcome anticipation. Fifty-six healthy human participants accepted or rejected 104 mixed gambles offering equal (50%) chances of gaining or losing different amounts of money while their brain activity was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We report both bidirectional and gain/loss-specific responses while evaluating risky gambles, with amygdala and posterior insula specifically tracking the magnitude of potential losses. At the individual level, loss aversion was reflected both in limbic fMRI responses and in gray matter volume in a structural amygdala–thalamus–striatum network, in which the volume of the “output” centromedial amygdala nuclei mediating avoidance behavior was negatively correlated with monetary performance. We conclude that outcome anticipation and ensuing loss aversion involve multiple neural systems, showing functional and structural individual variability directly related to the actual financial outcomes of choices. By supporting the simultaneous involvement of both appetitive and aversive processing in economic decision making, these results contribute to the interpretation of existing inconsistencies on the neural bases of anticipating choice outcomes.
Behavioral ﬁnance argues that some ﬁnancial phenomena can plausibly be understood using models in which some agents are not fully rational. The ﬁeld has two building blocks: limits to arbitrage, which argues that it can be difﬁcult for rational traders to undo the dislocations caused by less rational traders; and psychology, which catalogues the kinds of deviations from full rationality we might expect to see. We discuss these two topics, and then present a number of behavioral ﬁnance applications: to the aggregate stock market, to the cross-section of average returns, to individual trading behavior, and to corporate ﬁnance. We close by assessing progress in the ﬁeld and speculating about its future course.
When people with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory—those who can remember what they ate for breakfast on a specific day 10 years ago—are tested for accuracy, researchers find what goes into false memories.
The ability to infer intentions of other agents, called theory of mind (ToM), confers strong advantages for individuals in social situations. Here, we show that ToM can also be maladaptive when people interact with complex modern institutions like financial markets. We tested participants who were investing in an experimental bubble market, a situation in which the price of an asset is much higher than its underlying fundamental value. We describe a mechanism by which social signals computed in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex affect value computations in ventromedial prefrontal cortex, thereby increasing an individual’s propensity to ‘ride’ financial bubbles and lose money. These regions compute a financial metric that signals variations in order flow intensity, prompting inference about other traders’ intentions. Our results suggest that incorporating inferences about the intentions of others when making value judgments in a complex financial market could lead to the formation of market bubbles.
“In academia, as in most spheres of life, you come across overly competitive and self-serving individuals. However, the majority of my experiences have been positive. So what are the traits of these altruistic academics?”
Via Jocelyn Stoller
Every mainstream science which touches on political or religious ideology attracts more than its fair share of deniers: the anti-vaccine crowd v mainstream medicine, GMO fearmongers v geneticists, creationists v biologists, global warming deniers v climatologists. Economics is no different, but economics cranks differ in that they typically make false claims about the content of economics itself, as opposed, or as a prelude, to false claims about the way the world works. That target sometimes making it hard for non-economists to differentiate crankery from solid criticism.
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