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

Eating Disorders: How Far We Have Come

Causes of eating disorders are complex and multi-determined. A succinct understanding of where research and theory are headed.

Special-Needs Parenting and the Lowerarchy: Part Two

By Barb Cohen on December 04, 2016 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
The lowerarchy is more than a boundary; it is an edifice of alternating comfort and despair, always at the expense of other people and their children.

5 Science-Based Ways to Break the Cycle of Rage Attacks

By Christopher Bergland on December 02, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Rage is contagious. If you, or someone you know, is a "rageaholic" this blog post offers five science-based ways to break the vicious cycle of Intermittent Explosive Disorder.

How Habits Can Affect Our Memory

Can our habits actually allow our memory to atrophy?

Respectful Disagreements

By Paul Ekman Ph.D. on December 01, 2016 in Face It!
With the holidays upon us after one of the most controversial elections, here are some tips on how to engage in respectful disagreements.

Beware of Criticizing Concepts You Don't Fully Understand

It's extremely harmful when respected news sources convey false and misleading information to the public.

Vanishing Grandmothers and the Decline of Empathy

Find out why empathy is declining, why grandmothers matter, and why disappearing cultures can show us a unique recipe to nurture compassionate children and happy people.

Not All Empathy Is the Same

Believing that the power of empathy can be harnessed by perspective-taking alone is itself a false belief.

Pet Therapy for Your Love Life

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on November 28, 2016 in Cravings
Can your relationship with your dog, cat, or betta fish predict the success of your romantic relationships?
Looking downward/Barb Cohen

The Lowerarchy of Special-Needs Parenting

By Barb Cohen on November 27, 2016 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
Instead of using the rhetoric of “better than,” we shift to “not as bad-off as,” as in “my kid is not as bad-off as yours. "We’ve created a lowerarchy.

Understanding Your Child’s Spiritual Life

By Kate Adams Ph.D. on November 27, 2016 in Child's Play
How well do you understand your child's inner life?

Writing the Truth With Empathy and Ethics

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on November 26, 2016 in Trouble in Mind
Rebecca Skloot’s masterpiece on Henrietta Lacks and the HeLa story is also a study in the difficult art of sticking to the facts.

Along With Rights Come Responsibilities

A great many conflicts and issues stem from the irresponsible exercise of our rights.

Fall Back in Love by Doing This!

Falling back in love comes easily when you clear out your toxic thoughts. Here is how to do it.

You’re Not a Bad Person: Facing Privilege Can Be Liberating

By Miki Kashtan Ph.D. on November 25, 2016 in Acquired Spontaneity
Time and time again I notice just how simple and strong it is to own and acknowledge my privilege where I have it, and to do so without guilt and shame.

The Why, How, and What of Electing Donald Trump

By Gregg Henriques Ph.D. on November 25, 2016 in Theory of Knowledge
Why did the US elect Trump, how did we not see it coming, and what can we now do? These deeply legitimate questions are being pondered at home and abroad.

The Man in the Moon: Faces and Autism

By Robert J King Ph.D. on November 23, 2016 in Hive Mind
A new study into autism reveals something of what it is like to experience the world this way, and offers a possible early test of the condition.

When the Fighting Stops

Irrelationship is a jointly created state of insanity made visible in the mutual acting-out ‎of the anxiety of being vulnerable, intimate, empathetic and invested in one another.

What Factors Go Into the Development of Expertise?

Here's where the science of expertise is to date.
flickr.com

When Democracy Fails

By Steve Taylor Ph.D. on November 21, 2016 in Out of the Darkness
It’s time we had psychological checks on power, in addition to constitutional checks.

Angry About the Election?

Headlines call for intolerance toward Trump voters. Families are stressed, and friendships are frayed. Tolerance is a paradigm that has outlived its purpose.

The Attitude of Gratitude

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on November 21, 2016 in Emotional Fitness
I do my best to maintain an attitude of gratitude as much as possible throughout the year, and sometimes it isn't easy.

7 Simple Ways to Become a More Grateful Person

Gratitude is one of the most underutilized superpowers of all time. These activities will help you become more grateful.

"You Voted for Whom?!"

By Alexandra Solomon Ph.D. on November 20, 2016 in Loving Bravely
Unsure how your family will make it through Thanksgiving after the 2016 election? A family therapist explains how to stay connected during this tender and uncertain time.

Prehistoric Languages and Prehistoric Minds, Part 1

New research provides a deeper understanding of the languages of our great great great [...] grandparents.

Don't Fall for Political Propaganda

Don't allow our elected officials and their appointees make a mockery of our Constitution as a result of their personal biases.

Listen, Carefully

By Josephine Ensign DrPH on November 18, 2016 in Catching Homelessness
What does it mean for health care providers to label patients as "difficult"? How do we listen more carefully to illness narratives?

The Machiavellian Boss

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on November 18, 2016 in A Sideways View
How do we define and understand the Machiavellian approach to life? Is it a personality trait or a belief system? What does psychology have to say about this 500-year-old concept?

Why Are We So Divided?

By Katherine Hawley Ph.D. on November 18, 2016 in Trust
Sometimes we prefer not to know about the problems faced by other people.

Big Mistake: Small Kids Left to Their Own Devices

By Richard E. Cytowic M.D. on November 16, 2016 in The Fallible Mind
Screens blot out the lived-in world of people and things, increasingly leading to narcissism, reduced empathy, and low self-esteem.