Lessons‎ > ‎

Learnable

Can empathy be learned and deepened or is it a fixed trait and static?


Brain Plasticity and the Brain can grow and rewire itself.
  • Stories
  • Studies.



If you believe that empathy is static then you will not even try. If you believe empathy is learn-able or you can grow your empathy, then you will try. It can be a self fulfilling belief.
  • Stories
  • Studies.

"We often think of empathy as an automatic process. However, empathy is often context-dependent. Our willingness to empathize with others changes with different situations and with different people .A new paper by Jamil Zaki resolves this tension by underscoring the role of motivation in empathy. Motives drive our willingness to empathize. In his paper, Zaki highlights specific motives that drive people to avoid and approach empathy, illustrates a motivated model of empathy, and suggests potential interventions to maximize empathy."




If you think empathy is negative and bad you will not try.
  • Stories
  • Studies

If you think empathy is weak, you will not try.
  • Stories
  • Studies.

Empathy can be learned by having contact with someone in a out group or from a different group.
  • Stories
  • Studies.



  • (General Public) Empathy with strangers can be learned 
    December 21, 2015"We can learn to empathize with strangers. Surprisingly positive experiences with people from another group trigger a learning effect in the brain, which increases empathy. As researchers from the University of Zurich reveal, only a handful of positive learning experiences already suffice for a person to be-come more empathic.... Psychologist and neuroscientist Grit Hein teamed up with Philippe Tobler, Jan Engelmann and Marius Vollberg to measure brain activation in participants who had had positive experiences with a member of their own group (in-group member) or another group (out-group member). "


    (General Public) Study Shows Empathy For Strangers Can Be Learned
    By Janice Wood psychcentral.com
    "New research shows that we can learn to empathize with strangers. Researchers from the University of Zurich found that surprisingly positive experiences with people from another group trigger a learning effect in the brain, which increases empathy."



    (Study) How learning shapes the empathic brain
    November 17, 2015
    Grit HeinCV (grit.hein@econ.uzh.ch) Jan B. Engelmanna, Marius C. Vollbergc, and Philippe N. Toblera"Deficits in empathy for out-group members are pervasive, with negative societal impact. It is therefore important to ascertain whether empathy toward out-groups can be learned and how learning experiences change empathy-related brain responses. We used a learning intervention during which participants experienced help from a member of their own social group or of a generally depreciated out-group.

    Our results show that the intervention successfully increased empathy-related brain responses toward the out-group. These changes in out-group empathy were triggered by the learning signal (prediction error) elicited during the first two positive out-group experiences. Together, our results show that classical learning signals update empathic brain responses and that surprisingly few positive experiences with an out-group member are sufficient to increase out-group empathy."

    Comments