All About Empathy

Empathy is the experience of understanding another person's condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling. Empathy is known to increase prosocial (helping) behaviors. While American culture might be socializing people into becoming more individualistic rather than empathic, research has uncovered the existence of "mirror neurons," which react to emotions expressed by others and then reproduce them.

Recent posts on Empathy

Want To Hurt Your Relationship? Here's A Quick And Fast Way!

You can hurt your relationship when a bad memory arises in a new situation. But trying to improve your relationship can have contradictory results.

The Secret to Happiness

It is easier for us to create a list of what we want the world to give us than it is to think in terms of what we can give back to the world.

How Much Solidarity Do You Feel With Animals?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on March 23, 2017 in Animals and Us
A new scale helps researchers study why some people identify with animals and others despise them.
M. Streed

Drawing the Devil

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on March 22, 2017 in Shadow Boxing
Forensic artists face a digitized future, but a former detective offers facial composition software that replicates his successful drawing methods.

Dealing With Feelings

"Minimize affect inhibition... Maximize positive affects… Minimize negative affects.” — Silvan Tomkins

What I Learned From Taking Part In A Silent Dinner

By Tim Leberecht on March 21, 2017 in The Romance of Work
In a time when everyone's constantly talking and rudeness seems legitimate, silence is not only golden - it can be disruptive.
skeeze/pixabay.com

4 Startling Reasons Why Humans Are Superior to High Tech

Concerned about being automated out of your job? The future may not be as bad for humans as you think.
Pixabay

Mirror Neurons, Empathy, and the First Memories of Life

By Arthur J. Clark Ed.D. on March 19, 2017 in Dawn of Memories
How neuroscience informs the meaning of early childhood recollections.

Creativity Rules: In Honor of Jimmy Breslin

Like Joseph Heller’s Catch 22, Jimmy Breslin’s work became so influential that it morphed into a colloquialism and changed the world of writing and art.

Rachel Maddow Needs to Better Understand Her Audience

If reporters and journalists are to relate effectively to their target audience, they must be empathic, always attempting to perceive the world through the eyes of their viewers.
Courtesy of Max Pixel

Are We Doomed to Repeat Our Relationship Patterns?

Do the attachment styles we develop in childhood inevitably shape our adult relationships? And if so, can they be changed?

Looking Through the Eyes of Another

By Tara Brach Ph.D. on March 17, 2017 in Finding True Refuge
What would it be like, in this moment, to look through another’s eyes? To widen the circles of compassion and be part of the healing of our world?

Can a Country Lacking Empathy Toward Others Be Great?

Caring for others and a commitment to fairness are essential to a healthy, civil, and just society.

Breaking Down the Elements of Acting

If theatre is awesome for kids, which kids? What kinds of awesome? And how? Let's break it down.

My Favorite Psychology Study

Was the good Samaritan more upstanding than everyone else was? Or did he just have more time? This is the story of my favorite psychology study.

Empathy: There’s an App For That!

By Sara Konrath Ph.D. on March 14, 2017 in The Empathy Gap
The science behind using mobile phones for good
By Tkgd2007 - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Human_evolution.svg?uselang=en-gb, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53150354

Evolutionary Psychology Applies to Everyone

Can understanding our evolutionary history help us better function in the contemporary environment? Absolutely!

The Story of the Dipper and the Bucket

Our fast paced lives leave limited opportunities to touch lives. The story of the dipper and the bucket presents a way to raise other people's sense of worth and raise our own.

Go Back to Your Country

Are your biases literally causing other people to suffer from mental health issues?

The Power of Stories to Heal or Harm

Stories can help us heal from painful life events. They can also divide us from one another and lead to terrible violence.

In Defense of Empathy

By Paul Thagard Ph.D. on March 10, 2017 in Hot Thought
A new book argues that empathy is not only overrated but actually harmful to morality. But it is often helpful in guiding ethical judgment and motivating appropriate actions.

On Criminology and Politics in the Social Sciences

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on March 09, 2017 in More Than Mortal
A biosocial criminologist's thoughts on the state of his field, professional challenges, and ideological bias within the social sciences.

We Need to Talk About Death

Coming to terms with death and dying.

Photography Documenting Mental Illness Draws Criticism

Through her project, feelings of pain and hurt that Melissa held toward her mother were gone, and she found herself feeling greater empathy, acknowledging her mother's illness.

The Big Myth That Losing Weight Will Extend Your Life

Losing weight can be hazardous to your health.

Mothering Nature in the Age of Trump: Dr. Riane Eisler

By Rachel Clark on March 08, 2017 in Mothering Nature
We have to recognize that the rape of nature and the rape of women is of the same dominator cloth: part of an authoritarian and exploitive system of top down-rankings. —Dr. Eisler

What’s the Matter with Empathy?

By Sara Konrath Ph.D. on March 07, 2017 in The Empathy Gap
At a time when “empathy” is more controversial than ever, a researcher explains what it is, what it isn’t, and when it fosters kindness and compassion.

Has Disney Lost Its Direction by "Normalizing" Gay People?

There is more than enough conflict in the world. Maybe it's time that people start boycotting fear and hate mongers, rather than peacemakers.

Can I Trust Him? The Psychology and Philosophy of Trust

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 07, 2017 in Hide and Seek
What is trust, when does it pertain, and can it ever be absolute?