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

Do Facebook "Likes" Affect Psychological Well-Being?

By Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D. on October 20, 2016 in Close Encounters
New research shows that the way we're affected by Facebook likes may depend on our self-esteem, and our sense of purpose in life.

Kids Who Cut

American youth are stressed. Non-suicidal self-injury is one response to stress that’s common among adolescents and young adults. To prepare adults, training programs are emerging.

Couples, Go Ahead—Enter Each Other’s “Hurt Museum”

Do you sometimes think you’ve worked through a conflict with your partner, only to have it show up again . . . and again?

Understanding Passive Aggressive Behavior

While anger is generally experienced as an uncomfortable emotion, the passive-aggressive person derives pleasure out of frustrating others.

Childhood Sexual Abuse: How Men Can Help Women Recover

By Michael Castleman M.A. on October 17, 2016 in All About Sex
One woman in six has survived child sex abuse. Even years later, men can help them recover. Here's how.

Our Evolving Sense of Identity

Renew you spirit with these scientific discoveries.
Pixabay image by bykst

An Inauthentic Apology Can Be Maddening

Why is apologizing as difficult as a root canal for some people? This is how we may respond when we're protecting our image rather than sincerely apologizing.

Six Reasons Teens Turn to Drugs

There comes a time in a teen’s life where he or she is faced with the decision to take a drug. The power of that one decision is oftentimes underestimated.

How Empathetic Are Americans? Gender and Generation Matter

By Christopher Bergland on October 15, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
America was ranked no. 7 in a first-of-its-kind global survey on empathy. But, not all Americans are equally empathic. Why are some Americans more empathetic to others' suffering?
Public Domain, Pixabay

It's Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month: How to Help Others

By Monica N. Starkman M.D. on October 14, 2016 in On Call
Mark Zuckerberg gave us clues about the psychological toll of pregnancy loss. Here's more information about how to help others.

Trump's Failed Apology

Why it is so important for Trump (and all of us) to give meaningful apologies

The Hidden Harm Behind Your Dinner

By Christopher Dum Ph.D. on October 14, 2016 in Exiled in America
Paying for cheap and easy food? There's a true cost, and it's human.

Understanding and Treating Selective Mutism

By Barbara Markway Ph.D. on October 13, 2016 in Shyness Is Nice
Does your child speak freely and easily at home, but not at school or other public places? Find out if your child has selective mutism, a childhood anxiety disorder.

As Fathers of Daughters, Male Politicians Disavow Trump

Many male Republicans predicate their opposition to Trump's remarks about assaulting women on their role of fathers to daughters. Should it take a daughter to condemn assault?

Understanding Anger as an Outgrowth of Self-Compassion

Find humanity by looking for the suffering behind anger

Why Would Trump—Or Anyone—Talk That Way About Women?

By Sherry Hamby Ph.D. on October 09, 2016 in The Web of Violence
Understanding why any man would say vulgar things about women.

Why Narcissistic Sociopaths Objectify Women

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on October 09, 2016 in Think Well
The recent media attention on certain politician's and buisness leader's antisocial behavior is not surprising since certain personality types seem drawn to politics and business.

Emotion Perception Across Cultures

By Marianna Pogosyan Ph.D. on October 09, 2016 in Between Cultures
Culture influences how we perceive facial expressions in subtle yet important ways.

Belonging and Loneliness

By Saul Levine M.D. on October 08, 2016 in Our Emotional Footprint
Belonging is when we feel a part of a community where we are liked and appreciated. Loneliness is its opposite when we feel unsupported and saddened. Both affect mood and health.
Image courtesy of vectorolie at

The Role of Shame in the 2016 Elections

Are both major-party candidates in this election driven by shame?

2084: Digital Choice Curation for a Non-Orwellian Economy

By Diogo Gonçalves on October 06, 2016 in There Are Free Lunches
Understanding online decision making can help us overcome society's choice paradoxes, and help us deal with the Age of Big Data.

Smart Trees Teach via New Film & Bestselling Book

By Rachel Clark on October 05, 2016 in Mothering Nature
“The Hidden Life of Trees” hits NYTs Best Sellers list, while companion film “Intelligent Trees” roots out the science of tree chatter. Turns out forests have a few things to say.

Consciousness and Empathy

While much of human intelligence does not require one to be consciously aware of it, empathy may be something that necessitates phenomenal consciousness.

Grief Following Sudden Death of a Loved One

The sudden death of a child creates disbelief, shock, sadness, anger and guilt. The shock can be so great the siblings can become the "Forgotten Mourners."

Poor Sleep May Impair the Ability to Feel Empathy

By Linda Wasmer Andrews on October 03, 2016 in Minding the Body
Emotional empathy may be in short supply after a bad night’s sleep, a new study shows.

How to Avoid Attending Someone Else's Pity Party

Refusing to participate could be the kindest, most compassionate thing you could do.

Is He or She an Addict First? Or a Narcissist First?

By Peg Streep on October 03, 2016 in Tech Support
When someone you love is addicted, your first impulse may be to offer all the support and empathy you can. But is this always wise? Apparently not....

On Money

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on October 03, 2016 in How To Do Life
My history with money. What's yours?

How Universities Can Foster Ethical Awareness Among Students

Given the state of the world and the deteriorating level of public discourse now is an important time to do what we can to instill ethical decision making among college students.