Better essay make place world would - reflective paper topics









better essay make place world would

better essay make place world wouldBetter essay make place world would -It is used to make legal decisions about criminal offenders, including whether they should be incarcerated for life, and used as well by experimental psychologists who give the test to undergraduates to explore how their scores relate to, for instance, attitudes toward sexual violence and their style of moral reasoning.The sight and sound of another’s suffering is unpleasant for babies and, as soon as they are mobile enough, they try to help, patting and soothing others in distress.But the emotional part is thought to be absent—they cannot feel other people’s pain—and this is why psychopaths are such terrible people.Some researchers also use the term to encompass the more coldblooded process of assessing what other people are thinking, their motivations, their plans, what they believe.Consider also certain special relationships, such as that between doctor and patient or therapist and client.Hannah’s friends feel cared for by her, and her friendships are built around sharing confidences and offering mutual support. It is easy to see what Baron-Cohen finds so impressive here.If you like this sort of thing, you can take the test online, rating yourself on traits such as “glibness/superficial charm,” “lack of remorse or guilt,” and “promiscuous sexual behavior.” The most important item for many people is “callous/lack of empathy.” Many popular treatments of psychopathy, such as Jon Ronson’s 2011 bestseller , see a lack of empathy as the core deficit in psychopathy.The reason why the psychopath test has any predictive power at all is that it assesses bad behavior—juvenile delinquency, criminal versatility, parasitic lifestyle, and so on—as well as factors such as lack of inhibition and poor impulse control. Even I, a skeptic, would imagine there is substantive relationship between empathy and aggression, since presumably someone with a great deal of empathy would find it unpleasant to cause pain in others.When asked what I am working on, I often say I am writing a book about empathy.Individuals scoring high in unmitigated communion report asymmetrical relationships, where they support others but don’t get support themselves.It is worth expanding on the difference between empathy and compassion, because some of empathy’s biggest fans are confused on this point and think that the only force that can motivate kindness is empathetic arousal. Imagine that the child of a close friend has drowned.But this is not because I want them to mirror my feelings; rather, it is because if they love me, they should worry about my misfortunes and be pleased when I do well.But she is grateful to another who kept a reassuring distance and objectivity: “I didn’t need him to be my mother—even for a day—I only needed him to know what he was doing,” she writes. Hannah’s “soothing words,” her “sounds of comfort and concern” and mirroring of others’ feelings describe how a certain type of therapist treats a client or how a certain type of parent treats an anxious toddler. Friendship is rooted in symmetry and equality, shared projects, teasing and jokes and gossip, all of which are absent from a therapeutic relationship. ” exemplifies what Jamison means when she says, “Empathy is always perched precariously between gift and invasion.” Putting aside the extremes, do more empathetic people make better friends and partners? Certainly we want our friends to understand us and to care about us.Most people see the benefits of empathy as akin to the evils of racism: too obvious to require justification. I have argued elsewhere that certain features of empathy make it a poor guide to social policy.And he particularly appreciates certain virtues that have little directly to do with empathy, virtues such as competence, honesty, professionalism, and respect.One can explore this by looking at how well scores on the callous/lack of empathy item and certain related items are correlated with future bad behavior.This is sometimes called “cognitive,” as opposed to “emotional,” empathy.Empathy is biased; we are more prone to feel empathy for attractive people and for those who look like us or share our ethnic or national background.In a series of studies using f MRI brain scanning, Ricard was asked to engage in various types of compassion meditation directed toward people who are suffering.“His calmness didn’t make me feel abandoned, it made me feel secure. While I might benefit from a friend’s therapy if I were feeling deeply anxious or depressed, I don’t, on the whole, want my friends to treat me like a suffering patient, softly murmuring reassurances when they detect that I’m out of sorts. It would be unnerving if someone I love never flinched in the face of my suffering or lit up at my joy.better essay make place world wouldIn light of these features, our public decisions will be fairer and more moral once we put empathy aside.Rather, Hannah is compelled by hyperarousal—her drive is .Strong inclination toward empathy comes with costs.And so I’ve learned to clarify, to explain that I am not against morality, compassion, kindness, love, being a good neighbor, doing the right thing, and making the world a better place.To the surprise of the investigators, these meditative states did not activate parts of the brain that are normally activated by non-meditators when they think about others’ pain.According to Singer’s results, among test subjects who underwent empathy training, “negative affect was increased in response to both people in distress and even to people in everyday life situations. He values doctors who take the time to listen to him and develop an understanding of his situation; he benefits from this sort of cognitive empathy. He gets the most from doctors who feel as he does, who are calm when he is anxious, confident when he is uncertain.This leads to what psychologists call empathetic distress.From a purely selfish standpoint, I might not want their empathetic resonance, particularly when I am feeling down.There is a standard test for psychopathy developed by the psychologist Robert Hare.“The empathic sharing,” Ricard said, “very quickly became intolerable to me and I felt emotionally exhausted, very similar to being burned out.” One sees a similar contrast in ongoing experiments led by Singer and her colleagues in which people are either given empathy training, which focuses on the capacity to experience the suffering of others, or compassion training, in which subjects are trained to respond to suffering with feelings of warmth and care. I’ve watched him interact with doctors and learned what he thinks of them.Working from a different literature on “pathological altruism,” Barbara Oakley notes in The problems that arise here have to do with emotional empathy—feeling another’s pain.But mature, wholehearted anger, true or consistent indignation, honest, solid grief, sustaining pride, deep joy, and genuine despair are reactions not likely to be found within this scale.As Mother Teresa put it, “If I look at the mass I will never act.She is like this with her clients, her friends, and even people she has only just met.The word “empathy” is used in many ways, but here I am adopting its most common meaning, which corresponds to what eighteenth-century philosophers such as Adam Smith called “sympathy.” It refers to the process of experiencing the world as others do, or at least as you think they do.A selfish person might go through life indifferent to the pleasure and pain of others—ninety-nine for him and one for everyone else—while in Hannah’s case, the feelings of others are always in her head—ninety-nine for everyone else and one for her.But empathetic distress is destructive of the individual in the long run.But this empathetic distress surely isn’t necessary for charitable giving.It is no accident that Baron-Cohen chose a woman as his example.Some degree of emotional empathy is bred in the bone. better essay make place world would It is easy to see, then, how empathy can be a moral good, and it has many champions.Sentimental compassion is to be avoided, as it “exhausts the bodhisattva.” Goodman defends great compassion, which is more distanced and reserved and can be sustained indefinitely.We can rethink humanitarian aid and the criminal justice system, choosing to draw on a reasoned, even counter-empathetic, analysis of moral obligation and likely consequences.These acts impose costs on real people in the here and now for the sake of abstract future benefits, so tackling them may require overriding empathetic responses that favor the comfort and well being of individuals today.Obama talks frequently about empathy; witness his recent claim, after his first meeting with Pope Francis, that “it’s the lack of empathy that makes it very easy for us to plunge into wars.She also does not endorse a guiding principle based on compassion and kindness.This means that if you want to predict how aggressive a person is, and you have access to an enormous amount of information about that person, including psychiatric interviews, pen-and-paper tests, criminal records, and brain scans, the last thing you would bother to look at would be measures of the person’s empathy.This is not uniquely human: the primatologist Frans de Waal notes that chimps will often put their arms around the victim of an attack and pat her or groom her. When you think like this—when you choose to broaden your ambit of concern and empathize with the plight of others, whether they are close friends or distant strangers—it becomes harder not to act, harder not to help.I would prefer that they greet my panic with calm and my sadness with good cheer.We can contrast this with non-empathetic compassion—a more distanced love and kindness and concern for others. Putting aside the obvious point that some degree of caring for others is morally right, kindness and altruism are associated with all sorts of positive physical and psychological outcomes, including a boost in both short-term mood and long-term happiness.This is what enables them to be such masterful manipulators, con men, and seducers.In contrast, compassion involves concern and love for your friend, and the desire and motivation to help, but it need not involve mirroring your friend’s anguish. It is conceivable, I suppose, that someone who hears about the plight of starving children might actually go through the empathetic exercise of imagining what it is like to starve to death.If you want to get happy, helping others is an excellent way to do so.This issue is explored in the Buddhist literature on morality.A highly empathetic response would be to feel what your friend feels, to experience, as much as you can, the terrible sorrow and pain.Their results suggest that this divergence is explained in part by a sex difference in the propensity for “unmitigated communion,” defined as “an excessive concern with others and placing others’ needs before one’s own.” Helgeson and Fritz developed a simple nine-item questionnaire, which asks respondents to indicate whether they agree with statements such as, “For me to be happy, I need others to be happy,” “I can’t say no when someone asks me for help,” and “I often worry about others’ problems.” Women typically score higher than men on this scale; Hannah would, I bet, score high indeed.Leslie Jamison makes a similar point in her new essay collection .Jamison was at one time a medical actor—she would fake symptoms for medical students, who would diagnose her as part of their training. The most important entry on her checklist was number thirty-one: “Voiced empathy for my situation/problem.” But when she discusses her real experiences with doctors, her assessment of empathy is mixed.Empathy might not scale up to the policy level, but it seems an unalloyed good when it comes to these intimate relationships—the more the better. • • • One of empathy’s most thoughtful defenders is the psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen. in a constant state of hyperarousal, such that other people are never off their radar.” He sketches one such Level 6 individual: Hannah is a psychotherapist who has a natural gift for tuning into how others are feeling. Her intonation—even before you have taken off your coat—suggests an invitation to confide, to disclose, to share.This reaction surprised me at first, but I’ve come to realize that taking a position against empathy is like announcing that you hate kittens—a statement so outlandish it can only be a joke. better essay make place world would Ricard described his meditative experience as “a warm positive state associated with a strong prosocial motivation.” He was then asked to put himself in an empathetic state and was scanned while doing so.In general, empathy serves to dissolve the boundaries between one person and another; it is a force against selfishness and indifference.They also are more prone to suffer depression and anxiety.In an extensive review of the literature, psychologist Jennifer Skeem and her colleagues note that these items are weak predictors of violence and criminality.This overall blunting of feeling—or “shallow affect”—is one of the criteria on the checklist.In his 2011 book The , he draws upon psychology and neuroscience to argue that the notion of evil should be replaced with “empathy erosion” and that a high degree of empathy is what makes for good people and good societies. As soon as you walk into her living room, she is already reading your face, your gait, your posture. Even if you just answer with a short phrase, your tone of voice reveals to her your inner emotional state, and she quickly follows up your answer with ‘You sound a bit sad. ’ Before you know it, you are opening up to this wonderful listener, who interjects only to offer sounds of comfort and concern, to mirror how you feel, occasionally offering soothing words to boost you and make you feel valued.Psychopaths are identified in poplar culture as the embodiment of evil.Individuals differ in their disposition to feel empathy, and Baron-Cohen posits an empathy curve that runs from Level 0, where there is no empathy at all, to Level 6, where one is “continually focused on other people’s feelings . Hannah is not doing this because it is her job to do so.It’s the lack of empathy that allows us to ignore the homeless on the streets.” In (2009) Jeremy Rifkin argues that the only way our species will survive war, environmental degradation, and economic collapse is through the enhancement of “global empathy.” This past June, Bill and Melinda Gates concluded their Stanford commencement address by asking students to nurture and expand their empathetic powers, essential for a better world.The term describes everyone from predatory CEOs to callous politicians to cannibal-killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer and the fictional Hannibal Lecter.In a series of empirical and theoretical articles, psychologists Vicki Helgeson and Heidi Fritz have explored why women are twice as likely as men to experience depression.Summing up, compassionate helping is good for you and for others.She met with one doctor who was cold and unsympathetic to her concerns, which caused her pain. I needed to look at him and see the opposite of my fear, not its echo.” Or consider friendship and love.It is unclear, then, whether an empathy deficit is at the core of psychopathy, or whether it is just one facet of a more general problem.It might also be of little help to other people because experiencing others’ pain is exhausting and leads to burnout.I will follow this convention here, but we should keep in mind that the two are distinct—they emerge from different brain processes; you can have a lot of one and a little of the other—and that most of the discussion of the moral implications of empathy focuses on its emotional side.A compassionate person might value others’ lives in the abstract, and, recognizing the misery caused by starvation, be motivated to act accordingly.Now the appropriate circuits associated with empathetic distress were activated. these findings underline the belief that engaging in empathic resonance is a highly aversive experience and, as such, can be a risk factor for burnout.” Compassion training—which doesn’t involve empathetic arousal to the perceived distress of others—was more effective, leading to both increased positive emotions and increased altruism. As I write this, an older relative of mine who has cancer is going back and forth to hospitals and rehabilitation centers.Consider the life of a bodhisattva, an enlightened person who vows not to pass into Nirvana, choosing instead to stay in the normal cycle of life and death to help the masses. In (2009) Charles Goodman notes the distinction in Buddhists texts between “sentimental compassion,” which corresponds to empathy, and “great compassion,” which involves love for others without empathetic attachment or distress.The authors of “The (non)relation between empathy and aggression: Surprising results from a meta-analysis” report that only 1 percent of the variation in aggression is accounted for by empathy. better essay make place world would But the emotional part is thought to be absent—they cannot feel other people’s pain—and this is why psychopaths are such terrible people. better essay make place world would

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