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

A Spiritual Life with a Psychology to Match

Spiritual people, spiritual psychology: hope for the future.

Neuroscientists Confirm That Strangers Can Become Ourselves

Your brain has the ability to transfer your sense of self into the physical body of a stranger.

Don't Just Ask Bruce Jenner for Answers, Ask Yourself

The more we understand our own relationships to gender, the more room we have to live with freedom, with authenticity, with a sense of integration, and the less we scapegoat our marginalized sisters and brothers who are targeted, discriminated against, and attacked.

Mother's Day for Those Raised by Narcissistic Parents

Mother’s Day is approaching. Is it time to run and hide or stumble into a Hallmark store to desperately search for that empty card that says nothing upon which you simply sign your name? How sad, awful, taboo, and misunderstood this is for adult children raised by narcissistic parents. Who woulda thunk it?

Video vs Text: The Brain Perspective

They say video killed the radio star. The question is: Did it also kill the print star? And what does the answer mean for online content marketing?

The Future, Prayers, and Lies

Understanding human existence in a hopeful way.

Smart Leaders Know They Need to Put Their Phones Away

By Craig Dowden Ph.D. on April 29, 2015 in The Leader's Code
How smartphones can undermine the most important relationships of our lives.

Two Things Children Should Know about Grief

By Nancy Berns Ph.D. on April 29, 2015 in Freedom to Grieve
Do not think you have to have all the pain go away before you can have fun or even just go about your ordinary routine. You are not being disloyal to the person you miss if you are experiencing joy.

The Deepest War Wound May Be the Anguish of Moral Injury

By Nancy Sherman Ph.D. on April 28, 2015 in Afterwar
That the military code—never abandon a buddy, bring all your troops home, don't put innocents at risk—is impossible to meet doesn't always register deep down. The result may be shame, and all too often suicidal shame.

Kids and Animals Helping One Another at Green Chimneys

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 26, 2015 in Animal Emotions
I just returned home from a most inspiring conference called "Growing Together: Kids, Animals and Sowing the Seeds of Resiliency" held at Green Chimneys in Brewster, New York. This interdisciplinary gathering on human-animal interaction shows how much can be done for the kids and the animals who in many ways rescue, help, and heal one another. Green Chimneys rocks!

What is a Psychological Doctor?

By Gregg Henriques on April 23, 2015 in Theory of Knowledge
A psychological doctor is different than a psychological researcher, psychiatrist, or a counselor. This blog explains why and offers a case example.

I Feel Your Pain: The Neuroscience of Empathy

Mirror neurons help us detect pain and emotion in others and evidence that empathy has biological roots.

Hinckley Release from Mental Hospital

Should John Hinckley be released from the hospital and given freedom?

Do the “Eyes” Have It?

When We Have Our Face in Our Phone How Do We Listen to Someone Next to Us?

Technology May Be Ruining Your Ability to Read Emotions

Research shows how our digital world may be taking a toll on our emotional intelligence.

Does Size Matter for Women?

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on April 20, 2015 in How We Do It
Penis size has figured prominently in discussions of the evolution of human reproductive biology and mate choice. But, despite the lock-and-key relationship, relatively little attention has been given to female counterparts of the penis — the clitoris and vagina. So reliable information is scarce. Investigation of what is available yields some intriguing conclusions.

Are Athletes Good Role Models?

Being a sport superstar doesn’t automatically qualify a person to be a role model. What are the credentials for the job?

Being a Book Lover

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on April 20, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Being a heavy reader is far less common than it used to be. European surveys suggest that leisure reading has dropped significantly in favour of watching television, for example. Still, books can have a powerful influence on readers. A new research study shows there are far more benefits to reading than you might think.

Don't Overthink!

By Temma Ehrenfeld on April 20, 2015 in Open Gently
Be compassionate to yourself during writing exercises.

All Psychology Is Evolutionary Psychology

‘Evolutionary psychology’ is a redundancy, in that all psychology is evolutionary psychology. I mean this in the same sense that all anatomy is ‘evolutionary anatomy'.

We’ve Been Warned!

By Renee Garfinkel Ph.D. on April 19, 2015 in Time Out
The precursors of group violence, terrorism and even genocide have been identified. Despite extreme cultural and religious differences between the terrorist of Oklahoma City and 9/11 - they emerged from ideologically similar muck that continues to produce horrific mass murderers internationally. We hate to face it, but we must.

3 Tips for Seeking Compassion When Emotionally Distressed

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on April 19, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
When you want to reach out after an emotionally distressing event, which person is more likely to be compassionate and supportive, someone who has been through a similar experience or someone who has not? Read on to find out...

10 Tips to Change From Reactive to Proactive in Situations

All of us encounter experiences in life when we may be temporally overwhelmed by a negative emotion, be it anger, pressure, nervousness, despair, or confusion. In these situations, how we choose to “master the moment” can make the difference between proactive versus reactive, and confidence versus insecurity. Here are ten ways to be less reactive in difficult situations...

Fear of Intimacy and Closeness in Relationships

By Hal Shorey Ph.D. on April 18, 2015 in The Freedom to Change
Being in a relationship with someone who shuts down emotionally when times get tough is no fun. It’s also no fun to try your best only to have others accuse you of not being emotionally available. Learning where these avoidant personality styles come from can help you cope more effectively with stress in your relationships and have a more rewarding experience.

Why do we like our bully boss?

By Eyal Winter on April 18, 2015 in Feeling Smart
Check if you have a Stockholm Bias toward your Bully Boss.

The Art and Science of Haggling

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on April 18, 2015 in A Sideways View
Often the most popular skills based courses are those on negotiation. They teach among other things the gentle but very important arts of haggling and persuasion: in short how to get a good deal. Why is it so important and what is the fundamental psychology of haggling?

Alpha Brain Waves Boost Creativity and Reduce Depression

Neuroscientists have discovered that increasing alpha brain waves through electrical stimulation or mindfulness can boost creativity and minimize depression.

The Upside of Jealousy

Simply put, jealousy is motivated by fear. When fear is driving your behaviors, it is essential to tune into the cognitive components that accompany the fear to help you break it down and make it containable.

Getting Existential with Josh Rouse

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on April 17, 2015 in Brick by Brick
Josh Rouse shares how he has been able to conquer anxiety through mindfulness.

Cyberbullying? There’s an App for That

In the 2004 teen comedy “Mean Girls,” a central plot point is a notebook filled with vicious rumors and gossip — the “Burn Book,” it is called. Now the concept has been taken into the social media age with the “Burnbook” app.