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Thu Feb 16, 2012, 11:05 AM

A mile in their shoes: understanding empathy

The human brain evolved to ensure our survival. One example of that survival instinct is our sense of competition – historically, it’s part of what drives us to wage wars over power and resources. But an equally powerful survival tactic is our ability to love and cooperate with others.

“A lot of times, that story never gets told,” says Karen Gerdes, a social worker at ASU. She is interested in empathy, which is the ability to perceive the world from other people’s points of view and to feel what they are feeling. Empathy is a complex emotion because it involves both unconscious, involuntary responses and conscious, cognitive processes. For example, suppose you’ve had a traumatic experience, like losing a loved one.

“You see someone else who is going through that experience, and your brain automatically starts firing as if it’s happening to you. That helps you to understand a little bit better about what that person is going through,” Gerdes says.
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-02-mile-empathy.html

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Reply A mile in their shoes: understanding empathy (Original post)
icymist Feb 2012 OP
Howler Feb 2012 #1
OneGrassRoot Feb 2012 #2
icymist Feb 2012 #4
BlueIris Feb 2012 #3

Response to icymist (Original post)

Thu Feb 16, 2012, 11:35 AM

1. Good Article Icymist!

Thank you

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Response to icymist (Original post)

Thu Feb 16, 2012, 02:36 PM

2. ooooh, articles like this are like precious gems to me!

It doesn't take much to make me happy.

Thanks so much for posting this. I'd LOVE it if you would kindly funnel similar articles my way, if you stumble upon them.



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Response to OneGrassRoot (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 16, 2012, 10:09 PM

4. Sure thing.

Always thinking of you!

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Response to icymist (Original post)

Thu Feb 16, 2012, 05:39 PM

3. Great! Thank you.

This is a fascinating piece. Terrific find.

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