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Everything you think you know about animals is wrong: How science is forcing us to reconsider the twin myths of human superiority and dumb creatures

Everything you think you know about animals is wrong: How science is forcing us to reconsider the twin myths of human superiority and dumb creatures | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
Human beings are the most intelligent, and therefore important, of all the world´s species, right?


We deserve our superior status over other animals because of the following scientific truths: that only humans are self-aware and feel empathy, that we are unique in our abilities to use language and tools, that only we can recognize ourselves in a mirror and understand the passing of time.

But advances in cognitive ethology (the scientific study of animal intelligence, emotions, behaviors, and social life) have now disproved these ´truths´, showing that many other creatures also display a complex range of emotions, highly evolved communication skills, compassion for others, and even intelligence that rivals- or surpasses- our own. These ground-breaking studies force us to ask some uncomfortable questions about our place in the world, and have caused leading experts to call for a radical rethink of the way we treat other animals...


Some of the most heart-warming tales of expressive love and empathy come from the great apes, our closest relatives. Moral philosopher Mark Rowlands recounts the following:

By: Sophie McAdam,

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Empathy Circle Magazine
The latest news about empathy from around the world - CultureOfEmpathy.com
Curated by Edwin Rutsch
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Empathy Movement Magazine

Empathy Movement Magazine | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

Sponsored by Edwin Rutsch Empathy Guide Services
Visit  http://cultureofempathy.com/Services/

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.


Subscribe to our Emailed Empathy Newsletter


Sections

*   Front Page (this page)
*   Animals
*   Art
*   Compassion

*   Compassionate Communications (NVC)

*   Curriculums
*   Education
*   Empaths

*   Empathic Family & Parenting

*   Empathic Design - Empathy in Human-Centered Design
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*   Self-Empathy & Self-Compassion
*   Teaching - Learning
*   Work 

*   etc.


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Thanks so much.

Edwin Rutsch, Editor

Our Website CultureOfEmpathy.com

Join us on Facebook Center for Building a Culture of Empathy

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Brenda Robinson's curator insight, May 13, 2015 9:52 PM

Hon. Liz Sandals: Introduce a new course called "COMPASSION" for Grade 1 and Grade 12. https://www.change.org/p/hon-liz-sandals-introduce-a-new-course-called-compassion-for-grade-1-and-grade-12

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Immersion— A winning tactic for empathy and journey mapping

I had never heard of “immersion” before this project. It came from a very specific need on our project that I predict is common in government regulation/service delivery. Now that we’ve completed it…
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People Often Don't Want to Feel Empathy: Here's Why

People Often Don't Want to Feel Empathy: Here's Why | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

People often think being empathetic may require too much mental effort. Hence, a new study reveals that people don't want to feel empathy unless they think they are good at it. The findings of the study are published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Even when feeling empathy for others isn't financially costly or emotionally draining, people will still avoid it because they think empathy requires too much mental effort, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association. 

 

by Adeline Dorcas 

April 22, 2019 

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Against Empathy: 4 questions for Paul Bloom

Against Empathy: 4 questions for Paul Bloom | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

In the introduction to "Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion," Yale psychologist Paul Bloom, PhD, writes that when he told people he was writing a book against empathy, it was like telling them he was writing a book "against kittens." Indeed, empathy may be even more beloved. But Bloom argues that it's overrated, and that using empathy as a moral guide leads to bad decisions. Below, he discusses why.

 

  1. People use the word "empathy" to mean different things. How do you define it?
  2. Why do you believe this kind of empathy is overrated?
  3. If empathy is not a good guide to solving moral problems, what is?
  4. You propose another problem with empathy, which may be of particular interest to clinical psychologists: burnout. You suggest that being especially empathic could be problematic for therapists and those in similar professions. Why?
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Empathy often avoided because of mental effort

Empathy often avoided because of mental effort | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

"There is a common assumption that people stifle feelings of empathy because they could be depressing or costly, such as making donations to charity," said lead researcher C. Daryl Cameron, Ph.D. "But we found that people primarily just don't want to make the mental effort to feel empathy toward others, even when it involves feeling positive emotions."

 

The study, which was published online in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, included 11 experiments with more than 1,200 participants. Cameron led a team of researchers at Penn State University, where he is an assistant professor of psychology, and the University of Toronto.

 

by American Psychological Association

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Active Listening & Customer Research: A Practical Introduction

Practically speaking then, how do you start practicing Active Listening in customer interviews now? This is what we aim to discuss here. To do so we’ll share the steps to Active Listening which we follow in our research efforts [1, 2]:

  1. Listen to Comprehend
  2. Retain and Feel
  3. Respond
  4. Repeat

 

In our opinion, the best way to know if you’re doing it right is to know when you’re doing it wrong. And that’s exactly what we’ll be discussing next!

  1. Grohol, John M. Psy.D. Become a Better Listener: Active Listening. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/lib/become-a-better-listener-active-listening/

  2. Common Good (2016, July 14). Practicing Active Listening & Empathy Workshop. Retrieved from https://medium.com/common-good/practicing-active-listening-empathy-workshop-d0895a8f3a00
  3. Wikipedia. Active Listening. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/

 

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 Minter Dial And Heartificial Empathy

 Minter Dial And Heartificial Empathy | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
Here is my conversation with Minter Dial.
Heartificial Empathy – Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence.
 
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Entitled? Lack Empathy? Research Shows There Are Benefits

Entitled? Lack Empathy? Research Shows There Are Benefits | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

Millennials are more entitled and less empathic, but for good reason.

In the second podcast, The End of Empathy from Invisibilia, Hannah Rosen debates with her younger producer Lina Misitzis about whether the purpose of this podcast is to induce empathy and why. While exploring the why, studies are cited that indicate that after forty-years of asking groups the same set of questions focused on empathy, that “starting around 2000, the line starts to dip for all dimensions of empathy”. She goes on to say that by 2009 there was a 40% dip from her generation (elementary school in the 70’s). 

It stands to reason that with the rise of privilege, entitlement, and narcissism, a drop in empathy would ensue. But what does all of this mean? Some have wondered what will come of a world that has become so selfish. Many simply blame millennials.
William Berry
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Columnist, professor E.J. Dionne discusses empathy in journalism | Penn State

Columnist, professor E.J. Dionne discusses empathy in journalism | Penn State | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

Dionne, who spoke at Penn Station March 19, is trying to “Make America Empathetic Again” because he believes the future of American democracy depends on it...

 

When grazing upon the subject of empathy, Dionne introduced the fact that it seems a bit strange to link journalists with empathy, as they are often times not seen as the most empathetic people in the eyes of the public...

“I feel that journalism has a particular obligation to build empathy in our society,” he said. “Many problems, political or not in our society stem from a lack of empathy.”

Dionne credits his philosophy of empathetic thinking to his love of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in high school...

 

“Good journalism is about bringing us inside worlds that are not our own,” he said. “That’s why I think journalism should be about empathy. We need to understand experiences that we have not had, we need to understand communities we have never visited. Journalism has an obligation to make people heard.”

What it all comes back to is empathy, according to Dionne. An obligation to make people’s stories heard is linked to connecting as a community, people need to mend society’s divisions.

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Make America Empathetic Again: The Challenges of the Next Four Years -  E.J. Dionne

We are a country in which a majority of people who voted for one candidate in 2016 don’t know anybody who voted for the other. We have a president who divided the country in a way that lost him the popular vote but gave him an electoral college victory.
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E.J. Dionne on empathy and democracy

E.J. Dionne on empathy and democracy | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
E.J. Dionne has the unique perspective of studying the horse race and the big picture of American politics. He writes a twice-weekly column for the Washington Post and appears regularly on NPR, but he’s also a senior fellow at Brookings and professor in Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University.
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Empathy and cooperation go hand in hand

Empathy and cooperation go hand in hand | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
It’s a big part of what makes us human: we cooperate. But humans aren’t saints. Most of us are more likely to help someone we consider good than someone

 

How we form these moral assessments of others has a lot to do with cultural and social norms, as well as our capacity for empathy, the extent to which we can take on the perspective of another person.

In a new analysis, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania investigate cooperation with an evolutionary approach. Using game-theory-driven models, they show that a capacity for empathy fosters cooperation, according to senior author Joshua Plotkin, an evolutionary biologist. The models also show that the extent to which empathy promotes cooperation depends on a given society’s system for moral evaluation.

“Having not just the capacity but the willingness to take into account someone else’s perspective when forming moral judgments tends to promote cooperation,” says Plotkin.

What’s more, the group’s analysis points to a heartening conclusion. All else being equal, empathy tends to spread throughout a population under most scenarios.

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Empathy is the secret ingredient that makes cooperation – and civilization – possible

Empathy is the secret ingredient that makes cooperation – and civilization – possible | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
Human societies are so prosperous mostly because of how altruistic we are. Unlike other animals, people cooperate even with complete strangers. We share knowledge on Wikipedia, we show up to vote, and we work together to responsibly manage natural resources.

But where do these cooperative skills come from and why don’t our selfish instincts overwhelm them? Using a branch of mathematics called evolutionary game theory to explore this feature of human societies, my collaborators and I found that empathy – a uniquely human capacity to take another person’s perspective – might be responsible for sustaining such extraordinarily high levels of cooperation in modern societies.



 Arunas L. Radzvilavicius

Postdoctoral Researcher of Evolutionary Biology, University of Pennsylvania
April 10, 2019

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People avoid feeling empathy 65% of the time because it 'takes more work' 

People avoid feeling empathy 65% of the time because it 'takes more work'  | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
  • Empathy allows us to bond and encourages philanthropy by cognitively feeling what other people are feeling
  • People avoid  empathy 65 percent of the time because it feels mentally difficult and they are insecure about their ability to do it well, a Penn State study found 
  • But people are more likely to choose to try to empathize with others when they're told they're good at it, according to the new study  

 

While some say that too much empathy can override rationality and lead us to act against our own interests, it's also an important component to bonding and to motivating us to help one another. 

But according to a new study from Pennsylvania State University, for most people, most of the time, acting empathetically just demands too much mental energy, even if the feelings we're absorbing are positive ones.  


By NATALIE RAHHAL

DEPUTY HEALTH EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM


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Empathy often avoided because of mental effort

Empathy often avoided because of mental effort | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

Summary: The cognitive cost of empathy may cause people to be less empathetic to others.

Even when feeling empathy for others isn’t financially costly or emotionally draining, people will still avoid it because they think empathy requires too much mental effort, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

Empathy, the ability to understand the feelings of another person, is often viewed as a virtue that encourages helping behaviors. But people often don’t want to feel empathy.

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Hormones Modulate the Effects of Empathy on Aggression in Children

Hormones Modulate the Effects of Empathy on Aggression in Children | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
As the researcher explained, the results of the study revealed that "empathy and hormones could together account for aggressive behaviour. In fact, the interactions were different for boys and for girls".

 

The researcher pointed out that "the reason why a girl is not very aggressive could be explained partly by their high levels of empathy and their low levels of testosterone", in other words, it was established that the girls who combine these two psychobiological elements are less aggressive.

 

In boys, however, "with testosterone being as famous as it is in relation to aggressive behaviour, our data do not correlate testosterone with empathy to account for aggressive behaviour", specified Pascual, since boys with higher levels of cortisol and lower levels of empathy than the rest turned out to be more aggressive. By contrast, the levels of estradiol did not reflect any interaction with empathy in either case.

by Colleen Fleiss 

 April 22, 2019

 

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Inclusive Cultural Empathy: Making Relationships Central in Counseling and Psychotherapy

Inclusive Cultural Empathy: Making Relationships Central in Counseling and Psychotherapy | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
Inclusive Cultural Empathy shows readers how to reach beyond the comfort zone of an individualistic perspective and increase competence in a relationship-centered context. The authors weave their own layered multicultural experiences with procedural, theoretical, and practical lessons to bring readers a model for how they might infuse their own clinical work with inclusion and multicultural sensitivity.

The authors present a broad definition of culture—to include nationality, ethnicity, language, age, gender, socioeconomic status, family roles, and other affiliations—and engage the reader with lively examples and exercises that can be adapted for classroom, supervision groups, or individual use. With this book readers will learn how to help clients explore, discover, and leverage those internalized voices of their "culture teachers" that teach us who we are, how to behave, and how to resolve our problems or find life balance.
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Empathy Mapping for Marketing Content: What It Is and How to Do It Well  

Empathy Mapping for Marketing Content: What It Is and How to Do It Well   | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
What Is an Empathy Map?

An empathy map is a tool that brings to light to your most likely customers. It teaches you how to connect with the people who will consume your content, products, or services.

Typically divided into quadrants of say, think, do, and feel, the empathy map is intended to get into the head—and heart—of the customer. It helps you to visualize that what someone says doesn’t always align with what they do. That’s why it’s also important to understand what they think and feel.
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Empathy is fuel for innovation and creativity.

Empathy is fuel for innovation and creativity. | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

The hallmark of a successful organization is its ability to harness creativity and drive business into the territory of innovation. Without growth and innovation, businesses stagnate and eventually disappear. Those with staying power within organizational structures dominate an intangible and often neglected factor that can allow them to focus on the future with clarity: empathy.

It may be a surprise to you, but I am clear that the ability to connect and relate to others, empathy in its purest form, is the force that drives business forward.

While the concept of empathy may contradict the modern concept of a traditional, competitive, and cruel workplace with employees climbing up to the top, the reality is that for business leaders to succeed, they need not just see or listen to the activity around them, but also relate to the people they serve.

by Ariane Reisier

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 Sen. Cory Booker on "Face the Nation," April 21, 2019 - CBS News

 Sen. Cory Booker on "Face the Nation," April 21, 2019 - CBS News | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

SEN. CORY BOOKER:And so in this election- this is why I talk about things like grace. Why I start talking about things about a more courageous empathy for one another. Because there are definitely a politics in this country that believes that they will do better if they can divide us against each other. I'm going to run a race, not getting down into the gutter, not trying to fight darkness with darkness. I'm calling to a more courageous empathy, a more - a revival of civic grace, for us to get us back to what I think patriotism is.

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Why We Must Teach Perspective-Taking When Developing Empathy - Education Week

Why We Must Teach Perspective-Taking When Developing Empathy - Education Week | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

I would sometimes have conflicts with other people as I was growing up. Some of the conflicts were with other kids and some were with adults. When I'd bring one of these issues to my mom, she'd guide me through thinking about the issue from different perspectives.

She'd have me think about my own thoughts and actions. Then, she'd have me think about the other person's thoughts and actions. My mom ultimately wanted me to think about "why" people act the way they do in different situations. She was teaching me perspective-taking from a young age.  

We must teach perspective-taking when developing empathy for the following reasons:

  • To Prevent Selfishness and Narrowmindedness...
  • To Develop Patience and Understanding in Children...
  • To Unite Students by Looking at Different Perspectives...
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Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience:  I feel you: Emotional mirror neurons found in the rat

Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience:  I feel you: Emotional mirror neurons found in the rat | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

Researchers have found that the rat brain activates the same cells when they observe the pain of others as when they experience pain themselves. In addition, without activity of these 'mirror neurons,' the animals no longer share the pain of others. Finding the neural basis for sharing the emotions of others is an exciting step towards understanding empathy.

 

 

Why is it that we can get sad, when we see someone else crying? Why is it that we wince, when a friend cuts his finger?

Researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience have found that the rat brain activates the same cells when they observe the pain of others as when they experience pain themselves. In addition, without activity of these "mirror neurons," the animals no longer share the pain of others.

As many psychiatric disorders are characterized by a lack of empathy, finding the neural basis for sharing the emotions of others, and being able to modify how much an animal shares the emotions of others, is an exciting step towards understanding empathy and these disorders.  

  1. Maria Carrillo, Yinging Han, Filippo Migliorati, Ming Liu, Valeria Gazzola, Christian Keysers. Emotional Mirror Neurons in the Rat’s Anterior Cingulate CortexCurrent Biology, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.03.024
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E.J. Dionne on empathy and democracy

E.J. Dionne on empathy and democracy | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

We talked with him about the relationship between partisan politics and democracy, the need for empathy across the political spectrum, and a few policy ideas to help make America more democratic. 

[11:00] You’ve also called for making America empathetic again. Have you seen any indication that it’s happening?

Yes, I have seen it in the reactions of the people when the Muslin ban. The number of people who rush to the airports over the Muslim ban and people who may not have met a Muslim in their life and said “wait a minute, this isn’t who we are.” There is also the reaction of the people to the kids being taken away from their parents at the border. I think we’ve taken some steps forward, but we still have a lot of work to do.

[12:51] What can people do to develop a sense of empathy?
Chris Beem gave a TED talk in which he said we need people to do three things. First, people need to tell the truth. Second, they need to engage in democratic humility, and third, people need to join an organization. I think one of the terrible things about the Trump age is that the division is so deep that friends who disagree about politics don’t even talk about politics anymore because they’re afraid of busting the friendship, and that’s a problem.

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Empathy and cooperation go hand in hand

Empathy and cooperation go hand in hand | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

Despite sometimes selfish instincts, cooperation abounds in human societies. Using mathematical models to explore this complex feature of social behavior, a team shows that the act of taking another person's perspective -- a form of empathy -- supports the persistence of cooperation and altruism.

 

It's a big part of what makes us human: we cooperate. But humans aren't saints. Most of us are more likely to help someone we consider good than someone we consider a jerk.

 

How we form these moral assessments of others has a lot to do with cultural and social norms, as well as our capacity for empathy, the extent to which we can take on the perspective of another person.

 

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Empathy is the secret ingredient that makes cooperation – and civilization – possible  

Empathy is the secret ingredient that makes cooperation – and civilization – possible   | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
  •  Empathy might be the reason why we are able sustain cooperation in society
  •  It is a uniquely human capacity to take another person's perspective
  • Humans are kind to individuals they see as 'good,' than those of 'bad' reputation 
  • But if cooperation with them earns you a good reputation, cooperation will persist, writes a postdoctoral researcher of evolutionary biology

 

Society is shaped by humans' unique capacity to take on another person's perspective - which might be the reason why modern societies have such extraordinary levels of cooperation. 

Writing for the Conversation, Arunas L. Radzvilavicius, a Postdoctoral Researcher of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Pennsylvania explains that social norms can shed light on why people display altruistic behaviour.

By ARUNAS L. RADZVILAVICIUS 
15 April 2019

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New Research Shows That Empathy Leads To Cooperation

New Research Shows That Empathy Leads To Cooperation | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

Arunas Radzvilavicius and a couple of his colleagues have discovered the importance of human empathy when it comes to knowing if people will be cooperative and selfless with one another or not. This was not always the case though, as it was thought that social norms guided cooperation and altruism.

 Arunas Radzvilavicius and a couple of his colleagues have discovered the importance of human empathy when it comes to knowing if people will be cooperative and selfless with one another or not. This was not always the case though, as it was thought that social norms guided cooperation and altruism.

 

 CAROLINE CHAN 
Apr 15, 2019

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