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The Surprising Reason That Empathising With Strangers Can Be Hard
Stress from the presence of strangers reduces people’s ability to empathise, a new study finds.

"Professor Jeffrey Mogil, who led the study, said:

“President Barack Obama has described an ’empathy deficit’ that fuels misunderstanding, divisions, and conflict. This research identifies a reason for the empathy gap and answers the vital question of how do we create empathy between strangers. In this case, creating empathy was as simple as spending 15 minutes together playing the video game Rock Band.

The study, published in the journal Current Biology, had people submerging their arm in ice-cold water either alone or with a stranger (Martin et al., 2015)."