Empathy and Animals
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Empathy and Animals
International News and Information about Empathy and Compassion with, by and for Animals - for more see: CultureOfEmpathy.com
Curated by Edwin Rutsch
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Empathy and Animals Magazine

Empathy and Animals Magazine | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

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These one-to-one empathy sessions support; well-being, healing, practicing to be a better listener and supporting you in creating empathic environments in your relationships, family, school, work, communities and beyond.


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The Origins of Human Empathy May Go All The Way Back to The Ocean

The Origins of Human Empathy May Go All The Way Back to The Ocean | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

A new study led by researchers from the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência in Portugal has provided evidence of the chemical mechanisms behind the spreading of fear among zebrafish, hinting that human empathy could have originated in our aquatic ancestors hundreds of millions of years ago.

Seeing other members of a social group react in fear is handy for anticipating danger. With numerous eyes keeping watch, you have a better chance of getting out alive if you can detect another's panic at a glance.

 

#EmpathyCircles: A highly effective #Empathy building practice. http://EmpathyCircle.com    
#EmpathyTraining: http://BestEmpathyTraining.com

 

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How Human Empathy Can Help Us Understand Animal Sounds

How Human Empathy Can Help Us Understand Animal Sounds | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

It’s no surprise that empathy for our fellow humans is linked to our empathy for non-human animals, which is why it makes sense — according to a new study — that human empathy can increase our ability to understand animal sounds/noises. That can, in turn, improve animal welfare in various industries — most notably, farmed animal welfare.

Science X’s Department of Biology recently conducted a study alongside Agroscope and ETH Zurich (two Swiss institutions), in which researchers looked for “traces of a so-called common emotional system among mammals.” 

#EmpathyCircles: A highly effective #Empathy building practice. http://EmpathyCircle.com    
#EmpathyTraining: http://BestEmpathyTraining.com

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Empathetic people experience dogs’ expressions more strongly

Empathetic people experience dogs’ expressions more strongly | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
The beauty is in the eye of beholder. Empathic humans evaluate both dog and human facial expressions quicker and as more intense than less empathic humans. (Image: Miiamaaria Kujala ja Sanni Somppi)
A study by the University of Helsinki and Aalto University explored how empathy and other psychological factors affect people’s assessments of the facial images of dogs and humans.

The results show for the first time that human empathy, or the ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences, also affects perceptions of the facial expressions of pet dogs.

“Empathy affected assessments of dogs’ facial expressions even more than previous experience of dogs, probably because the face is a biologically important stimulus for humans. Our earlier studies have showed, however, that when considering the entire body language of dogs, previous experience of dogs increases in importance,” explains postdoctoral researcher Miiamaaria Kujala.
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The Complex Ways Humans Empathize With Other Animals

The Complex Ways Humans Empathize With Other Animals | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Empathy for animals is an important research area for conservation groups. Aquariums, zoos, sanctuaries and other nature centers strive to build a connection between visitors and the animals on location that might extend to empathy for those in the wild.

Social scientists identify various types of empathy that translate to different real-life scenarios. Affective empathy, for example, is the ability to feel the perceived emotions or feelings of others, while cognitive empathy involves understanding the experiences of others and imagining their reality. Both affective and cognitive empathy are considered distinct neurological processes.

Empathic concern, on the other hand, is the motivation to end another’s suffering. Neuroscientists say empathic concern is supported by several regions of the brain associated with social attachment and caregiving — the ventral tegmental area, caudate nucleus and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex. Empathic concern sparks action, and can be motivated by either negative or positive stimuli.
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The Complex Ways Humans Empathize With Other Animals

The Complex Ways Humans Empathize With Other Animals | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Empathy for animals is an important research area for conservation groups. Aquariums, zoos, sanctuaries and other nature centers strive to build a connection between visitors and the animals on location that might extend to empathy for those in the wild.

Social scientists identify various types of empathy that translate to different real-life scenarios. Affective empathy, for example, is the ability to feel the perceived emotions or feelings of others, while cognitive empathy involves understanding the experiences of others and imagining their reality. Both affective and cognitive empathy are considered distinct neurological processes.

Empathic concern, on the other hand, is the motivation to end another’s suffering. Neuroscientists say empathic concern is supported by several regions of the brain associated with social attachment and caregiving — the ventral tegmental area, caudate nucleus and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex. Empathic concern sparks action, and can be motivated by either negative or positive stimuli.
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Empathy for wildlife a driving force for conservation

Empathy for wildlife a driving force for conservation | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

#EmpathyCircles: A highly effective #Empathy building practice. http://EmpathyCircle.com    
#EmpathyTraining: http://BestEmpathyTraining.com

 

Did you know that Woodland Park Zoo has a team in our Learning & Innovation department dedicated to developing and carrying out a range of Empathy Initiatives? Empathy is a powerful emotion that drives our connection with those around us.

 

 Empathy can be developed, strengthened and reinforced throughout our lives, and can be an important driver for positive social change. Our Empathy Initiatives work to foster empathy for animals in order to empower our guests and the community to make conservation a priority in their lives.

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Using Empathy for Animals to Engage Young Children in Early Engineering Education 

Using Empathy for Animals to Engage Young Children in Early Engineering Education  | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
How do you introduce engineering practices and skills to young learners? Smithsonian educators suggest it starts with empathy.

 

Considered this way, the connection between early engineering and socioemotional learning, specifically the development of empathy, becomes clear, and has inspired the “Engineering through Empathy” collaboration between the Smithsonian Science Education Center and the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. 

 

Empathy is the ability to understand, appreciate, and value the thoughts and feelings of others, whether that “other” is a person or an oyster. This can be challenging work to do for young children who are still developing the capacity to understand that another person can think or believe something that the child herself does not. Animals provide an amazing opportunity for educators to scaffold young children’s abilities to think and act with empathy, because children immediately understand animals as “other,” but can also easily appreciate the needs and experiences they have in common with animals.  

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Animals can teach children empathy

Animals can teach children empathy.
Did you know that teaching children empathy skills early in life can increase their confidence and help them better handle stressful situations?


Empathy is critical to success throughout life and is a necessary component to developing positive relationships and building rewarding careers.;


Empathy leads to stronger relationships with people and animals, and helps prevent animal cruelty and neglect, as well as bullying in schools. 

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How to listen — really listen — to someone you don’t agree with |

How to listen — really listen — to someone you don’t agree with | | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Listening may not be the most exciting part of conversation, but it’s essential if you want to have a meaningful exchange with another person.

Think about a time you felt misunderstood by somebody. Did you defend yourself? Correct them? Or simply disengage? Regardless of your response, you likely didn’t feel comfortable with them.

Now think of how it feels to be understood — you can relax, you want to open up, you feel more trusting. When you listen in a way that makes the other person feel heard, they are more likely to share information with you. And when you are actively listening, you are also more likely to take it in.

In my training as a psychologist, I spent a lot of time learning how to actively listen. I can tell you from years of experience that having a productive dialogue is not possible without active listening.

Tania Israel

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Can Animals Recognize Their Own Reflection? 

Can Animals Recognize Their Own Reflection?  | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Daniel Povinelli was in high school when he first read about a clever experiment, published in 1970, that showed chimpanzees—but not monkeys--can recognize themselves in mirrors.

"I bought into the story of mirrors and self-recognition hook, line, and sinker," he recalls. "Because it is a compelling story."

All it took was a simple mirror, or so the story went, to reveal that our close chimpanzee relatives are self-aware, with the same kind of basic self-concept that humans have.
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Mice Share Each Other's Feelings of Pain, Fear, and Relief

Mice Share Each Other's Feelings of Pain, Fear, and Relief | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
"The ability to empathize with others stems from a long evolutionary history that includes empathy-like behaviors in animals beyond humans. Whales and primates grieve alongside members of their social groups, for example, while rodents are able to recognize and respond to the fear and pain of their neighbors." —Amanda Heidt

"Mice may ‘catch’ each other’s pain—and pain relief: After an hour of mingling, healthy mice mirror a companion’s pain or morphine-induced relief." —Carolyn Wilke

“Pain isn’t just a physical experience...It’s an emotional experience as well." —Stanford University neuroscientist Dr. Monique Smith
faithfultwang's comment, March 29, 2021 6:23 AM
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Working a desk job could keep your mind agile later on in life

Working a desk job could keep your mind agile later on in life | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
The study started in 2011, when Peggy Mason, professor of neurobiology, found that rats consistently free their trapped companions, even giving up on a bit of chocolate for them. The empathy of rats has been demonstrated in several later studies, and it’s already a well established phenomenon.

But Mason also found that when rats are treated with anti-anxiety medication, they are less likely to free a trapped peer because they are less likely to feel its anxiety. In another study, researchers found that rats were hesitant to save strangers, and only freed trapped rats they were familiar with. Rat empathy is remarkably similar to human empathy, maybe in more ways than we’d like to admit.
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Horses, Healing, and Empathy - A Spotlight on Losira Okelo

Horses, Healing, and Empathy - A Spotlight on Losira Okelo | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

by Anita Nowak, PhD

That’s why equine-assisted therapy and coaching can have a transformative impact on individuals. Outcomes include: overcoming trauma and PTSD, enhancing self-esteem, strengthening interpersonal relationships, improving communication and leadership skills, and empowering people to make healthier decisions for balance and well-being in their lives. 

Equine coaching has also been shown to invoke the same psycho-physiological state as when we're on the receiving end of compassion, kindness or empathy from others. Equine-assisted services are also revolutionizing physical therapy, psychotherapy, and trauma treatment. Ultimately, the presence of horses can contribute significantly to an individual’s mental health and quality of life. 

 

#EmpathyCircles: A highly effective #Empathy building practice. http://EmpathyCircle.com    
#EmpathyTraining: http://BestEmpathyTraining.com

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Study finds empathy has ancient origins

Study finds empathy has ancient origins | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
“The most basic form of empathy is contagious fear – that’s a very valuable thing to have to stay alive, if any member of your group spots a predator or some other danger.”

 

#EmpathyCircles: A highly effective #Empathy building practice. http://EmpathyCircle.com    
#EmpathyTraining: http://BestEmpathyTraining.com

 

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Empathetic People Seem to Have A Special Ability When It Comes to Animals

Empathetic People Seem to Have A Special Ability When It Comes to Animals | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

A study led by ethologist Elodie Briefer from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark found that people who had higher empathy scores were better at identifying animal emotions from sound alone.

The study follows a similar investigation published by Briefer earlier this year, which supported speculations that animals hear and respond to the emotion in our own voices.

Briefer and her team collected recordings of vocalizations from domestic animals (including pigs, horses, goats and cattle) and wild animals (including wild boars and wild Przewalski's horses).

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Do People Pick Empathy for Animals or Other Humans?

Do People Pick Empathy for Animals or Other Humans? | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

The researchers found that when people had to choose between empathizing with a human stranger or an animal—in this case, a koala bear—participants were more likely to choose empathizing with a fellow human.

In a second pair of studies, however, the researchers had participants take part in two separate tasks: one in which they could choose whether or not they wanted to empathize with a person, and one in which they could choose whether or not they wanted to empathize with an animal.

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How Empathy Can Conquer Bias

How Empathy Can Conquer Bias | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
What can we do? One solution, my research team has found, is empathy. After teachers completed a 30-minute empathy exercise, their students (especially those from stigmatized groups) were less likely to get suspended for years.

Here’s how you, too, can develop an empathic mindset.

First, think about why you care about young people. If you’re an educator, remember why you chose to work with children in the first place—to help them learn and grow and become their best possible selves, especially kids who may not receive as much care and support as others do.
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Do humans really have more empathy for animals than they do for other people?

Do humans really have more empathy for animals than they do for other people? | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
 Who are people more likely to empathize with, an innocent animal or another human being? Although you might think people tend to gravitate towards lovable animals, researchers from Penn State say context matters when multiple things are pulling at our heartstrings.

One experiment found that when people have to choose between empathizing with a stranger or an animal (a koala bear), they’re actually more likely to empathize with the human. However, a second experiment asked people to participate in two separate tasks. During the first task, participants could choose whether or not to empathize with a person, while the second task asked them if they wanted to empathize with an animal. This time around, people were much more likely to show empathy towards animals over other humans.
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Why Is Empathy Critical for Success?

Why Is Empathy Critical for Success? | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Why is empathy important?
Empathy is being aware of how others feel and being able to understand their needs. It is being able to connect with others and feel compassion. This skill is important in personal life, but it should also be part of your professional life as well. Being able to show empathy will improve your interactions with your employees because it leads to better communication. With better communication comes better outcomes. Empathy is an important part of emotional intelligence, which is key for effective leaders. Emotionally intelligent leaders are better able to fairly manage relationships with others and are more self-aware.
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A conceptual framework for empathy and its application to investigate nonhuman animals

#EmpathyCircles: The best #Empathy building practice.  http://www.empathycircle.com

 

Do nonhuman animals (hereafter “animals”) possess empathy and if so to which degree? Can we develop a conceptual framework that allows us to characterize similarities and differences between implementations of empathy in humans and animals? We aim to answer these questions in two steps. First, we develop a new conceptual framework by distinguishing different levels of empathy starting with paradigmatic cases of human empathy developing in human ontogeny.

 

Second, we describe in detail which of these levels of empathy can be found in other species based on animal studies. This approach allows a detailed characterization of the relation of empathy in humans and other animals.

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The Important Difference Between Sympathy and Empathy

The Important Difference Between Sympathy and Empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

A few months back, as part of a training on core values, a member of our team shared with the group that while they wanted to be seen as someone with a high degree of empathy, they very much disliked sympathy.

Their comment made me reflect introspectively on the difference between sympathy and empathy. While I had always thought of them as closely related, I’ve come to realize that is not the case.

Sympathy is most often experienced when we feel bad for someone else, viewing the situation from our own distant perspective. Sympathy isn’t always received positively; this is especially true if the person you are sympathizing with feels you are looking down on them, or taking pity on them. While sympathy is often used in good faith, it can have a negative impact when the person needs you to relate to them, rather than be detached.

Robert Glazer 

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For the love of pets: Animals can teach children empathy

For the love of pets: Animals can teach children empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Did you know that teaching children empathy skills early in life can increase their confidence and help them better handle stressful situations?

Empathy is critical to success throughout life and is a necessary component to developing positive relationships and building rewarding careers. Empathy leads to stronger relationships with people and animals, and helps prevent animal cruelty and neglect, as well as bullying in schools.

 

Through guidance, children can develop the steps necessary for empathy: recognize human and animal emotions, share emotions, and regulate emotions.

 

Animals are a wonderful medium for helping to teach children how to be empathetic. Not only are companion animals non-judgmental, they offer unconditional love and affection, and are a great support system.


By NICOLE FORSYTH 

 

#EmpathyCircles: The best #Empathy building practice.  http://www.empathycircle.com

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Rats prefer to help their own kind; Humans may be similarly wired

Rats prefer to help their own kind; Humans may be similarly wired | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

#EmpathyCircles: The best #Empathy building practice.  http://www.empathycircle.com

 

"Priming a common group membership may be a more powerful driver for inducing pro-social motivation than increasing empathy," said study lead author Inbal Ben-Ami Bartal, an assistant professor of psychobiology at Tel-Aviv University in Israel.

Bartal launched the study in 2014 as a postdoctoral Miller fellow in Kaufer's laboratory at UC Berkeley. Bartal, Kaufer and UC Berkeley psychology professor Dacher Keltner led a research team that sought to identify the brain networks activated in rats in response to empathy, and whether they are mirrored in humans. The results suggest they are.

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Prairie Voles Show Empathy Just Like Humans

Prairie Voles Show Empathy Just Like Humans | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Until now, consolation has only been observed in relatively large brained animals—apes, elephants, dogs, and some large birds. This study shows for the first time, however, that animals as small as rodents are capable of empathetic behaviors that extend beyond just ensuring their offspring survive, to actually helping others around them that are in need.

 

“Consolation might be present in many more animal species than was previously thought,” says James Burkett, a neuroscientist at Emory University and lead author of the study.

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Rats have empathy and avoid actions that can cause pain to fellow rodents | Daily

Rats have empathy and avoid actions that can cause pain to fellow rodents | Daily | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
  • Experts from the Netherlands presented rats with two treat-dispensing levers
  • They let them pick a favourite lever then made that one give another rat a shock
  • The rats would then change their preference to not harm their fellow rodent
  • Yet if the shocking lever gave out three treats, the rats became more selfish 
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