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(Against Empathy) Is Empathy Our Most Dangerous and Self-Indulgent Emotion? | Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World

(Against Empathy) Is Empathy Our Most Dangerous and Self-Indulgent Emotion? | Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
People often confuse compassion with empathy. A rather brutal analogy highlights the difference: A torturer will put a gun to your head. An empathic torturer will put the gun to your child’s head. A compassionate one will put the gun down…. Same situation. Same tools. Only the interpretation of the raw emotional data differs.

So empathy alone can be quite dangerous (and arguably a little self-indulgent). To my mind, empathy carries with it a slight tinge of entertainment or even voyeurism. It is stoked by the news media, who ironically, often have the best of intentions.

 

Empathy in the Twenty-First century can also be highly damaging to mental health and well-being. We are all bombarded with disturbing images from war-torn parts of the world. Talented journalists, photographers and broadcasters all compete to get the most harrowing stories and images. Empathy then ensures that they eat their way into our soul and corrode our mental wellbeing.

 

 

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Empathy Circle Magazine
The latest news about empathy from around the world - CultureOfEmpathy.com
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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.


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Edwin Rutsch, Editor

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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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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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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 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.

What the researchers say

In a new analysis, researchers investigated cooperation from an evolutionary perspective. Using game-theory-driven models, they showed that a capacity for empathy fosters cooperation, according to the senior author. The models also show that the extent to which empathy promotes cooperation depends on a given society’s system for moral evaluation.
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Learning Empathy Through the Arts in the Elementary Grades

Learning Empathy Through the Arts in the Elementary Grades | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

In recent years, there have been numerous articles suggesting that empathy needs to be taught in schools. There are many reasons why incorporating empathy into the school curriculum benefits students. These reasons range from strengthening your classroom community to developing your students’ leadership skills so they may use them in their future community.

In addition, children who develop empathy skills at a young age are more likely to develop lifelong skills that will help them understand other cultures and respond positively to them.2 As schools address teaching empathy across the elementary curriculum, how can the arts, specifically music and art classes, play an important role in the learning process?


Defining Empathy
Defining what empathy is in an elementary school curriculum can be challenging, as there is an ongoing debate about whether we should be teaching empathy or compassion. 

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(Feelings) The Human Voice Can Communicate 24 Emotions

(Feelings) The Human Voice Can Communicate 24 Emotions | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
Proving that a sigh is not just a sigh, scientists conducted a statistical analysis of listener responses to more than 2,000 nonverbal exclamations known as “vocal bursts” and found they convey at least 24 kinds of emotion. Previous studies of vocal bursts set the number of recognizable emotions closer to 13.

The results, recently published online in the American Psychologist journal, are demonstrated in vivid sound and color on the first-ever interactive audio map of nonverbal vocal communication.

“This study is the most extensive demonstration of our rich emotional vocal repertoire, involving brief signals of upwards of two dozen emotions as intriguing as awe, adoration, interest, sympathy, and embarrassment,”
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Empathy + Thinking = Wise Action - Zoe Weil  

Empathy + Thinking = Wise Action - Zoe Weil   | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
Most people consider empathy – the ability to share and understand the feelings of others – a good thing.

Teachers often reach out to us at the Institute for Humane Education for help educating their students to be more empathetic. They recognize that academic education isn’t enough to produce healthy classrooms, let alone to prepare youth to be motivated and engaged citizens who contribute to a kinder and more sustainable future.

So, it’s counterintuitive to hear an argument against empathy. But in a video from The Atlantic, Yale psychology professor Paul Bloom argues that empathy is a fundamentally bad thing that makes the world worse.
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Empathy Might Not Be the Antidote To Poisonous Political Polarization : NPR by Hanna Rosin

Empathy Might Not Be the Antidote To Poisonous Political Polarization : NPR by Hanna Rosin | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

Bundy did not say he was breaking with Trump. He just asked his followers to put themselves in the shoes of "the fathers, the mothers, the children" who came to escape violence. It was a call for a truce grounded in empathy, the kind you might hear in a war zone, say, or an Easter Sunday sermon. Still, it was met with a swift and rageful response from his followers, so overwhelming that within days, Bundy decided to quit Facebook.

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Improving Empathy

Improving Empathy | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

Sometimes, people are so caught up in their day-to-day lives that they lose a crucial part of themselves, something many people might call “empathy.” Empathy doesn’t just measure how much you care for others – it encapsulates an ability to navigate a variety of social cues. For example, being able to read someone’s facial expressions is a form of empathy. Being able to relate to or feel for a fictional character in a book or a movie is also a form of empathy.

Empathy is actually very tricky to explain, at least for me. As someone living on the neurodiverse spectrum, I’ve had to teach myself things that come naturally to most people.

 

BY ANDY GREENE 
APRIL 16, 2019

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STUDY:  Empathy at the Heart of Darkness: Empathy Deficits That Bind the Dark Triad and Those That Mediate Indirect Relational Aggression 

STUDY:  Empathy at the Heart of Darkness: Empathy Deficits That Bind the Dark Triad and Those That Mediate Indirect Relational Aggression  | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
The dark triad (DT) traits–psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism–have collectively been linked to reduced empathy and increased aggression; however, their association with distinct empathic subtypes remains unclear; and unique links to indirect relational aggression (IRA) have not been delineated.

 

Moreover, whether dark traits should be conceptualized individually, as a dyad or as a triad with a dark core centered around the absence of empathy is debated.

 

The current study examines

  • (i) whether impaired empathy indeed represents a common “dark core” binding Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy, and
  • (ii) this core explains associations between the dark traits and IRA. Participants (N = 301, 262 F/39 M) completed measures of the DT traits, cognitive and affective empathy components and IRA (Social Exclusion, Malicious Humor and Guilt Induction).

 

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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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An Undervalued Work Management Strategy: Listening  

An Undervalued Work Management Strategy: Listening   | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

1. Listen With Your Whole Body

In his book, Done Right, Workfront CEO Alex Shootman interviewed empathy expert Brian Carroll, who believes most leaders make the mistake of “tuning in for eighteen seconds” to what other people are saying as they look for a shortcut to a decision. His advice? Listen fully with your ears (obviously), but also with your mind (by being genuinely curious), and with your eyes (by watching for nonverbal cues and micro-expressions). You should even be “listening” in this way while you’re communicating with others. “If they don’t understand what you’re saying — or don’t like it — you’ll read it in their faces and in their posture,” Shootman writes.

2. Repeat What You Hear
3. Embrace Inquiry Over Advocacy
4. Take Ownership Over How Others Hear You
5. Try a Poll

We Hear You
“If you’re still in any doubt about the importance of empathy and listening to your team,” Shootman concludes in his book, “flip the thinking around. If you don’t care about how your team is feeling and you don’t care about what worries them — or inspires them — how can you possibly find the words to make their work matter?”

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 If you can't teach empathy, you can't teach anything - Hack Learning 

 If you can't teach empathy, you can't teach anything - Hack Learning  | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

People said they don't have time to teach empathy, compassion, and self-awareness. Mark Barnes responds, and you may be surprised at what he says. At first, you might say, "That's not Hack Learning." But if you listen till the end, you might agree that this attitude is what Hack Learning is founded on.

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Tool Share: Empathy Interviews

Tool Share: Empathy Interviews | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
WHAT ARE EMPATHY INTERVIEWS?
Empathy Interviews are conversations with the people who are impacted by what you are designing—the end-users, the surrounding stakeholders, and even your teammates who will help you produce the final outcome. These interviews allow your team to move beyond simply observing behaviors and making inferences to deeply understanding someone’s hopes, fears and motivations.
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"Dark Side of Empathy?" - Throw Out the Bathwater; Keep the Baby

"Dark Side of Empathy?" - Throw Out the Bathwater; Keep the Baby | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
Empathy sometimes gets a bad rap. A few years ago, Paul Bloom wrote a book Against Empathy. There’s a new one coming out called The Dark Sides of Empathy by Fritz Breithaupt recently featured on NPR.org. In both cases, the authors argue that empathy can be harmful.

How? Empathy naysayers argue that if someone is angry, and you feel what she is feeling, it can be fatiguing for the empathizer and not helpful to the person on the other side. If someone is depressed, and you get down it the dumps, you won’t be much help to him. They also describe “vampiristic empathy” which, according to Breithaupt is a “form of empathy where people want to manipulate the people they empathize with so that they can, through them, experience the world in such a way that they really enjoy it.” Helicopter parenting comes to mind.

 

by Jackie Acho 
Apr 17, 2019 |

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Embracing Diversity: What Leaders Can Do to Combat Loneliness and Increase Empathy

Embracing Diversity: What Leaders Can Do to Combat Loneliness and Increase Empathy | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it

If organizations don’t embrace diversity in the workplace, they miss an opportunity to improve employee engagement and well-being.

In our 2019 State of Workplace Empathy Study, nearly a quarter of respondents (24%) said there wasn’t a true sense of belonging at their workplace, and approximately the same number (22%) reported they cannot bring their authentic selves to work. Feeling like you don’t belong at the place you spend so much of your waking hours is difficult and troubling, and this can lead to disengagement and loneliness.

 

So, how can we as leaders address these issues of disconnection and a lack of engagement? The answer is empathy— and when organizations embrace the diversity of today’s workforce, it creates an empathetic work environment and improves business outcomes.

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Mirror neurons in rats reveal a capacity for empathy

Mirror neurons in rats reveal a capacity for empathy | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
  • A new study demonstrates that a rat will respond to another's pain.
  • Freezing in place as another rat is shocked is one of empathy's visible indicators.
  • The rats' mechanism for feeling the distress of others seems to be similar to our own.
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Study uncovers the unique links between dark triad traits and specific empathic deficits

Study uncovers the unique links between dark triad traits and specific empathic deficits | Empathy Circle Magazine | Scoop.it
The researchers used a dark triad personality survey and a multifaceted measure of empathy to assess 301 participants. Heym and her colleagues also assessed how often the participants engaged in interpersonal acts of indirect aggression, such as trying to embarrass someone, excluding someone from activities, or using emotional blackmail to coerce someone.

The three dark triad traits each had their own pattern of empathic responses. The three traits also had different relationships with aggression.

Those with high in psychopathy tended to score low on all five facets of empathy and psychopathy was also associated with all forms of indirect aggression.
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