NEWS ABOUT: empathy

Study: Psychopaths Can Choose to Have Empathy

They just have to flip the empathy 'switch'

(Newser) - Psychopaths aren't devoid of human empathy, they just have the ability to switch it on and off, a new study suggests—though they do tend to default to "off". The study hooked criminals diagnosed with psycopathy up to a brain scanner, and showed them video clips of two... More »

Botox Can Make It Harder to Empathize

Without the ability to mimic expressions, it's difficult to perceive emotions

(Newser) - Research has already shown that Botox can have an effect on your own emotions, but a new study shows it may also affect how you perceive the emotions of others, USA Today reports. Part of the way we read emotions involves mimicking the facial expressions of others, the lead researcher... More »

Hens Can Feel Their Chicks' Pain

Study shows they share signs of distress

(Newser) - If you’ve been looking for a reason to take up vegetarianism, here you go: A new study finds that chickens can feel empathy. Researchers in the UK ruffled the feathers of chicks by exposing them to puffs of air. The result: signs of distress in the chicks … that... More »

Om My! Meditation Changes Brain Structure

Brain scans indicate permanent, positive development

(Newser) - This might already be obvious to enlightened souls, but researchers are discovering that meditation may permanently change the physical structure of the brain. Neural circuits linked to focus, happiness and empathy may be strengthened through long-term meditation, effectively rewiring the brain and "lighting up" certain sections with a life-long... More »

'Cuddle Spray' Makes Men Girly

Hormone induces emotion, empathy

(Newser) - Watch out macho men: German researchers have found a way to make males more sensitive. A hormone-laced potion called "cuddle spray" shot into men's noses can make males more emotional, empathetic and snugly. The active ingredient is oxytocin, a so-called "trust hormone" that is released during orgasm and... More »

Alcoholics Are Less Able to Read Your Face

Sensitivity is lower even when drinkers are sober for years: study

(Newser) - Long-term alcoholics have a diminished ability to sense others’ emotions, even if they have been sober for years, the Chicago Tribune reports. A new study used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to look at the brain activity of abstinent alcoholics and non-alcoholics while they looked at pictures of faces that... More »

Sotomayor Oath to Be Televised

Republicans feel they have dealt a blow to judicial empathy

(Newser) - Sonia Sotomayor will be sworn in to the Supreme Court on national television tomorrow morning, marking the first time the judicial oath administration has been broadcast, the Washington Post reports. The ceremony will take place at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, following the practice of Samuel Alito, who broke... More »

GOP Attacks on 'Empathy' During Hearings' First Day

Republicans stake out a position against judicial 'empathy'

(Newser) - With Republicans unlikely to be able to block Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation, it seems they’ve settled for drawing a stark contrast between President Obama’s philosophy of law and their own, writes Andrew Cohen for CBS News. During statements today, GOP senators repeatedly attacked Obama’s comments that “... More »

Senators Duke It Out at Sotomayor Hearing

(Newser) - Sonia Sotomayor has wrapped up the first session of what promises to be a successful but contentious confirmation process. Patrick Leahy opened today's hearing by expressing hope Sotomayor would be spared racial attacks. “She has been a judge for all Americans,” the Senate Judiciary Committee chair said. “... More »

Obama Loses 'Empathy' Line After GOP Sullies Phrase

(Newser) - “Empathy” was a key part of President Obama’s vocabulary when he first started talking about his Supreme Court nominee, Sheryl Gay Stolberg writes in the New York Times, but the word has disappeared. “Conservatives have hijacked empathy and turned it into an epithet,” Stolberg writes. When... More »

They Don't Call Him Fido for Nothing

Dogs are ethical, full of natural goodness, scientist says

(Newser) - Science is finally catching up to what dog owners have known all along: Canines are ethical. After thousands of hours studying dogs—once dismissed as "furry automatons," an author said—animal behaviorist Marc Bekoff concluded that they possess the capacity for empathy and compassion, the hallmarks of morality.... More »

Cuckolded Hulk: 'I Totally Understand OJ'

Divorcing wrestler sees red over wife's cavorting with 19-year-old

(Newser) - Hulk Hogan's pro wrestling days were good practice for faking rage, but the anger he feels over his divorce from his wife Linda is all too real, the New York Daily News quotes Hogan telling Rolling Stone. "I could have turned everything into a crime scene, like OJ, cutting... More »

Cancer Docs Shy Away from Empathy: Study

But helping cope with existential questions is key, say experts

(Newser) - When it comes to cancer, a doctor’s ability to empathize with a patient is paramount, experts say —but a new study finds that physicians aren't feeling patients' pain, HealthDay reports. “Physicians only responded to 10% of empathic opportunities, and when patients raised existential concerns, physicians tended to... More »

Caught My Yawn? Aren't You Sweet

Study discovers contagious yawning is sign of empathy

(Newser) - If you yawn when someone nearby does, it may mean you're an empathetic person, a new study has found. Research shows that infectious yawning is a psychological phenomenon, limited to humans and some of their ape relatives, and that those more likely to "catch" yawns appear to be more... More »

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