When it comes to empathy, don't always trust your gut

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Plazma Inferno!, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    Is empathy the result of gut intuition or careful reasoning? Research published by the American Psychological Association suggests that, contrary to popular belief, the latter may be more the case.
    According to one of the authors, cultivating successful personal and professional relationships requires the ability to accurately infer the feelings of others - that is, to be empathically accurate. Some are better at this than others, a difference that may be explained in part by mode of thought. Until now, however, little was known about which mode of thought, intuitive versus systematic, offers better accuracy in perceiving another's feelings.
    Individuals process information and make decisions in different ways. Some choose to follow their instincts and go with what feels right to them (i.e., intuitive) while others plan carefully and analyze the information available to them before deciding (i.e., systematic).
    Researchers from Harvard and La Verne conducted four studies, involving over 900 participants, to examine the relationship between the two modes of thought and empathetic accuracy. The first determined that most people believe that intuition is a better guide than systematic thinking to accurately infer another's thoughts and feelings. The other three studies found that the opposite is true.
    These findings are important because they show that commonly held assumptions about what makes someone a good emotional mind reader may be wrong.

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-07/apa-wic072116.php?
     
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    There are also people who avoid acting on - or even recognizing - their empathetic evaluations, out of courtesy or a sense of untoward invasion of privacy.

    The interactions of "reason" and "intuition" go pretty deep. I would be careful about conclusions drawn from an assumption that they had been separated.
     
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  5. mtf Banned Banned

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    Two things:

    One, it's not clear whether intution and careful reasoning can be so neatly separated. Ideally, when assessing someone, one first has an intuition, and then one tests, with systematic thinking (including further observation, questioning, and evaluation) whether the intuitive hypothesis was correct or not, and how to amend it. And then the process is progressively refined. Of course, since people tend to be cognitive misers, it seems to be more cost-effective to just go with the gut feeling (and risk that it may be wrong).

    Two, empathizing does not automatically translate into empathetic behavior. Psychopaths are very good at accurately reading the inner state of a person, but they act on this knowledge very differently than other people.


    Many people aren't trained in systematic thinking, so it's no wonder that they are neither good at it nor do they trust it.
     
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  7. birch Valued Senior Member

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    This is soo true!! Being able to read and understand cause/effect does not equate to sympathy or helpful behavior. That all has to do with ethics. But i will say with those who dont or take pleasure in harming innocence in particular are evil or they are really undeveloped emotionally positively. They lower the standard to their level by feeding off anothers pain.

    A monster can know just how to torture another using empathy mentally, emotionally or physically. Back in the days of stake burnings. The improved the technique to keep the fire going to burn slowly instead of going out or burning too hot right away to kill the victim instead of a slower more painful torture and filled with more fear and conscious pain recognition as the fire slowly cooks etc.

    Now if you consider all the interest, bent and genius put into like say basic hygeine instead of shit like that, then it would have been better spent but it goes to show people can figure out anything they really care to or put their energy shamelessly or not.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
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  8. river Valued Senior Member

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    Of course a sociopath does just that . Empathy is a weakness to exploit.
     
  9. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Racism, sexism, etc. are a result of gut intuition. It takes reason to decide which differences are important and which are not - e.g. skin colour doesn't effect a person's capacity to feel pain.
     
  10. river Valued Senior Member

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    When I see or hear suffering; I Naturally juxtaposition myself onto them .
     
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Psychopaths lack *sympathy* themselves because their *mirror neural system* is defective and they are unable to relate to the emotions of others.
     
  12. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    I do trust my gut, stop being ignorant. Faith is a probability, it can be followed by method and you get information. They're compatible, a theory is no more certain.
     
  13. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    No.

    Not really.

    No.

    Perhaps not (for variable values of "certain"), but theories follow the evidence: faith, generally, not only doesn't follow evidence but ignores it when it's contradictory to that faith.
     
  14. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    Its stronger than a maybe

    A faith doesn't follow evidence, because it doesn't need to, its followed by evidence.
     
  15. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Beside the point.
    Probability doesn't come into it per se.

    Not really.
    It's followed by what is taken to be evidence because of the prior belief - a more accurate term would be "grasping at straws".
     
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