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

Media 'Piling On' and Internet 'Trolling"

By Saul Levine M.D. on August 30, 2016 in Our Emotional Footprint
Whenever someone is exposed as having acted destructively, there are outcries of anger in the media and the internet, inevitably followed by ugly, malicious trolling and piling on.

Bird Brain: An Exploration of Avian Intelligence

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 29, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Dr. Nathan Emery's new book "Bird Brain: An Exploration of Avian Intelligence" is a gold mine of information and surprises about the latest research on bird smarts.

Why We Need More Empathetic and Compassionate Leaders

By Ray Williams on August 28, 2016 in Wired for Success
Recent studies have shown that contrary to some conventional wisdom, empathetic and compassionate leaders promote trust, collaboration and well-being, and get positive results.

4 Ways to Think and Act Like a Superhero

What are the factors that cause and enable people to help others? How can we ourselves think and act like superheroes?

Back to School Is a Trusting Time

Trust needed for mountain climbing: 100%. Trust needed for most other tasks: a lot less than that.

Haven’t Things Changed in Gender Relationships?

Often people assume that with close to four decades of women having entered the workforce, we’ve arrived. Haven’t we given enough attention to this gender problem at work?
Pixabay

What "Make America Great Again" Means

By Karen L Smith MSS, LCSW on August 27, 2016 in Full Living
In this political climate, and with this upcoming election, judging/mocking/shaming/hating/spewing isn’t going to get us an America that embraces and supports all its citizenry.

100 Books You Should Read Now: An English Professor's List

Of all the novels on this list, how many have you read and enjoyed? Which books aren't here that you regard as essential? (Why aren't Hemingway or Melville here? I'm not a fan...)

Road Rage: A Second "Free-Range" Intervention

What is real power? It is acting like the biggest dog on the road.

Survival, Aggression—and Compassion

What do you expect from those around you—competition or compassion? Here's a surprising example.

New Study Explains Why Twins Live Longer

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on August 24, 2016 in The Squeaky Wheel
A new study examined why twins live longer. But non-twins can benefit from their findings as well.

‘7 Strengths’ Supports Emotional and Social Learning

By Pam Allyn on August 23, 2016 in LitLife
We all have a critical role to play in helping our children grow into engaged, empathic, and caring citizens. Reading and self-expression are key tools.

Why We Should Stop Avoiding the Word "Patient" in Psychiatry

Calling psychiatric patients "consumer" and "client" is misguided.

Talking About the Past With Your Child Builds Resilience

By inviting, validating, helping and supporting your child to construct coherent narratives, you teach skills for regulating emotions and building resilience.

Why the World Needs New Leaders

By Megan Dalla-Camina on August 22, 2016 in Real Women
Are you ready for a new shift in leadership? Here's the latest research on what people really want from their leaders today.

Firebird Redux

The human spirit is imbued with an individual and social resilience worth celebrating.

The Lessons of Homelessness

Are you tired of the same old rhetoric about homelessness? Here is a different way to view the problem of homelessness.

Valuing Dogs More Than War Victims: Bridging the Empathy Gap

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 21, 2016 in Animal Emotions
In a recent essay Nicholas Kristof writes, "If only, I thought, we valued kids in Aleppo as much as we did our terriers." Why do we offer more empathy to dogs than to some humans?

Exercising Our Freedom and Intelligence: Part 8

By Michael Hogan Ph.D. on August 19, 2016 in In One Lifespan
The future is uncertain. There is little doubt about that. Scenario-based collective intelligence design may help us to shape the future, specifically, through our innovations.

The Neuroscience of Going from Machiavellian to Magnanimous

By Christopher Bergland on August 18, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Why would four U.S. Olympic swimmers fabricate a story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro? A new Oxford study explains the brain mechanics of self-serving behavior.

10 Tips for Peaceful Teaching

Children see themselves reflected in our eyes, and they assume we're right about who they are. Most adults have a story about a teacher who made a big difference in our lives.

CIA Torture Techniques Harm Interrogators As Well

Torture used as an interrogation device can have severe, long-lasting effects.

Letter to Young Activists

This post is adapted from a talk recently given to young community organizers about self-care and well-being on the journey to a more compassionate and just society.

Learning the New Language of Racism

Language influences how we feel and how we react to things. Language is the foundation of change. Rather than avoid and deny, we need to start learning.

My Mother's Best Relationship Advice in Seven Words

When I was a little girl growing up in Brooklyn, my mother taught me a lesson of great value. It took only seven words.

Understanding Student Needs

Understanding and creating innovative ways to connect with students.

Accepting Difficult Emotions Surrounding Race

We all need to get better at accepting, rather than avoiding, difficult feelings. Anti-racism action requires embracing the discomfort.

How Your Partner Is Also Your Mirror

When we learn effective conflict management skills, we learn to look at ourselves more of the time rather than at the other person.

Implementing Attachment Theory in Treating Eating Disorders

Understanding the tenants of Attachment Theory and finding ways to operationalize theory in providing solid & appropriate treatment is useful regardless of how the issues got there

How to Understand Honor Killings

By Ryan Brown Ph.D. on August 11, 2016 in Honor Bound
To combat a horrific practice, it helps to understand the motivations behind it.