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

How Witnessing Your Wounds Can Curtail Your Anger

How you can reduce being prone to anger at home, in your relationship or in your daily life? Being a witness to your past pain is essential for meeting this challenge.

The Turning Test For Humans

By Yair Amichai-Hamburger Ph.D. on September 23, 2017 in The Social Net
Are robots gaining the emotional advantage on us?

Beat Your Anxiety by Correcting These Mental Miscalculations

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on September 22, 2017 in Think Well
Here are a few common, cognitive errors that cause anxiety and what you can do to correct them.
Andrew E Weber/stocksnap

Understanding Myths About Mistakes

Have you ever beaten yourself up for a mistake? There's a better strategy.

Do We Humans "Need" Tragedies to Bring Us Together?

By Saul Levine M.D. on September 22, 2017 in Our Emotional Footprint
During major cataclysms, differences and conflicts between us seem to dissipate, and we tend to reach out to each other with increased caring, empathy, and sense of community.

Trusting What Disabled People Say

By Katherine Hawley Ph.D. on September 22, 2017 in Trust
Why is it sometimes hard to accept what disabled people tell us about their lives, their values, and their experiences?

Why Is There Evil?

By Paul Thagard Ph.D. on September 21, 2017 in Hot Thought
People’s brains are equipped for caring and empathy, so why do people often hurt each other? Evil is like disease, resulting from malfunctions in mechanisms.

Collective Intelligence in the Holocene - 6

By Michael Hogan Ph.D. on September 21, 2017 in In One Lifespan
Time perspective helps to open our awareness to the fullness of the world we live in, and the wonderful complexity of our living system.

Compassion Fatigue

News of disasters can be overwhelming. But practical ways of helping others can be energizing.

Adoptees and Lying: Why Your Child Might Be Telling Lies

By Carrie Goldman on September 20, 2017 in Modern Day Parenting
Are you struggling to understand why your adoptee frequently lies? Learn how to empathize and respond.
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Hate Shame: The Emotional Roller Coaster

By Sue Scheff on September 19, 2017 in Shame Nation
With technology, hate speech and online cruelty are magnified. No one escapes the target of the narcissist troll. How can we rebuild empathy online?

Seven Words to Help Your Dependent, Stuck Adult Child

At an impasse with a dependent, stalled out adult child? Try saying these seven words before you say anything else.

Early Adolescence and the Fear of Change

Although parents sometimes feel critical of adolescent changes, they should also be admiring: Separating from childhood and starting to grow takes a lot of courage.

Do Wolves Understand Cause and Effect Better Than Dogs?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on September 17, 2017 in Animal Emotions
The headline of an essay claims wolves understand cause and effect better than dogs, but some questions remain about this unequivocal pronouncement. Dogs aren't dumb-downed wolves.

Seek Your Whys and Find Happiness.

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on September 17, 2017 in Trouble in Mind
Simon Sinek’s mission to encourage us to find the work that makes us happy can be extended to everything we do.

Cultivating Empathy

By Jennifer Verdolin Ph.D. on September 15, 2017 in Wild Connections
It seems timely to ask the question: What is empathy and how can we get more of it?
George F. Sargent/wikimediacommons

"Only Connect!"

By Elizabeth Young on September 15, 2017 in Adaptations
The magnetism of spinal cord injury survivors.

Relationship as Spiritual Practice: Part 3

The taking of vows: In a transformative relationship, there is a lot of change. Each individual changes over time, and the needs of the relationship change.
Igor Sinkov/Shutterstock

The "One-Two" Method

A positive perspective is important and useful—but acknowledging feelings before shifting to rationality can be valuable.

Being Biased Impairs Brain Processing and Disrupts Learning

By Nick Hobson Ph.D. on September 12, 2017 in Ritual and the Brain
Group bias can impair your brain's learning function. Here's why your workplace should know this.

A Kinder, Gentler Approach to Kim Jong Un

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on September 12, 2017 in How To Do Life
Psychological and communication tactics for reducing conflict, even when dealing with a "monster."

Managing Sexual Harassment and Violence On Campus

Understanding Title IX and Clery is a professional imperative. Learn the procedures to correctly handle sexual assault and violent behavior on campus.

Understanding School Refusal

With the school year officially upon us, many families may be facing heightened anxiety of their children related to school. There are ways that parents can help.
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Rich People’s Problems

By Glenn C. Altschuler Ph.D. on September 11, 2017 in This Is America
As they address their lifestyles, affluent urban folks emphasize traditional values. They deal with discomfort about privilege by managing influential affect and not inequality.

Becoming a Patient

Ever wonder why physicians delay going for help for themselves? Here are some answers.

What's the Difference Between Bullying and Teasing?

Is your child the victim of bullying? Parents and kids can develop plans together to outwit the bullies.

Empathic Limits in Action: Script for Leaving the Playground

Limits give children essential practice in shifting gears between what they want, and something they want more--which is to cooperate and contribute.

Polarization Of Groups Never Ends Well

We live in difficult times with extreme polarization of groups resulting in divisiveness everywhere. Research in psychology informs us that this never ends well. So, push back!

What the World Needs More: Social Interest

By Arthur J. Clark Ed.D. on September 04, 2017 in Dawn of Memories
The Most Human Way of Being and Early Recollections

Do I Dare to Read a Poem?

The poets considered most brilliant are the ones who most directly confront our deepest fears.