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(Boston Globe)   Study claims that young people are losing empathy. Pfffft. Whatever... like I give a crap about some study on empathy   (boston.com) divider line 183
    More: Obvious, Institute for Social Research, University of Kansas, Penn State University, thought experiments, social norm, Sara Konrath, quizes, sample sizes  
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6287 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Oct 2010 at 4:22 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-10-17 01:47:53 PM  
danceswithcrows: (In Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer, the fictional other-dimensional humans had a rule where if you were convicted of a felony, you and all your siblings were forcibly sterilized. This resulted in a world with very little crime. Wonder how that'd work in reality? Probably not the way the author envisioned it....)

If my brother got me sterilized I think I'd knife him.
 
2010-10-17 01:48:35 PM  
Young person here, I think that I have an unusual amount of empathy sometimes. My friend's car got stolen a couple weeks ago and it was found within half an hour or so. I clearly felt bad for her that her property was stolen, but I also felt bad for the guy who took it. He was a young adult, probably my age, and a gang member. He ran and got tased by the cops. I couldn't help but feel for someone whose life led them to join a gang, got tased, and is going to prison for years because he stole a car. Of course he shouldn't have stolen it, or have ran, and he had choices in the matter the whole time. It still troubles me. When I told my friend my feelings, she got deeply and personally offended that I could feel empathy for a criminal who wronged her. I was incredulous that she couldn't.
 
2010-10-17 01:50:20 PM  
Dictatorial_Flair I was working in the Chicago Loop back then, they closed down most of the loop by 9:30. I remember riding the El back to my apartment, stunned. weeping. Some young 20-somethings in business suits near me laughing and arguing about something stupid, nail polish colors. I remember screaming at them. I got off at the next stop. I pitched a 2-month drunk.
 
2010-10-17 01:57:03 PM  
SuperTramp: Dictatorial_Flair I was working in the Chicago Loop back then, they closed down most of the loop by 9:30. I remember riding the El back to my apartment, stunned. weeping. Some young 20-somethings in business suits near me laughing and arguing about something stupid, nail polish colors. I remember screaming at them. I got off at the next stop. I pitched a 2-month drunk.

I was affected, and I was a little bummed about so many people getting killed, but I can't say I ever felt like you described. They could no longer be helped, and our vengeance ended up being clumsy and mismanaged. It was difficult for me to feel much more than frustration.

I guess it affected everyone a little differently. My dad wanted to join the military because of it, whereas I spent the next few months rolling my eyes at the terrified retards at my school who thought somebody would waste more than a box of handgun ammo and a few gallons of gasoline on a farking useless place like Commerce, TX.
 
2010-10-17 02:06:37 PM  
Skullduggery: Young person here, I think that I have an unusual amount of empathy sometimes. My friend's car got stolen a couple weeks ago and it was found within half an hour or so. I clearly felt bad for her that her property was stolen, but I also felt bad for the guy who took it. He was a young adult, probably my age, and a gang member. He ran and got tased by the cops. I couldn't help but feel for someone whose life led them to join a gang, got tased, and is going to prison for years because he stole a car. Of course he shouldn't have stolen it, or have ran, and he had choices in the matter the whole time. It still troubles me. When I told my friend my feelings, she got deeply and personally offended that I could feel empathy for a criminal who wronged her. I was incredulous that she couldn't.

I would have put two in his head, and any other "gangsters" present for good measure. fark those people. Live like an animal, die like an animal.
 
2010-10-17 02:09:58 PM  
That's because empathy is misused and abused and a lot of people manipulate it in others for their own gain. Empathy at the end of the day is an illusion. You can't ever really put yourself in someone else's shoes because you're not them. So any attempt to do so is a forced illusion on your part. Maybe you can roughly gauge how someone would feel based on what your "take" is of what they're going through, but you can never know firsthand.

People without a conscience know this and can act out very real ploys to engage your empathy but end up screwing you later as it becomes obvious their ploy for empathy was a sham for their agenda. This is applicable to both micro and macro social dynamics.

People are finally waking up, that's all. It's about time.
 
2010-10-17 02:11:50 PM  
*can act out very real-seeming ploys
 
2010-10-17 02:12:03 PM  
KidKorporate: I would have put two in his head, and any other "gangsters" present for good measure. fark those people. Live like an animal, die like an animal.

This is Internet Tough Guy, reporting from the basement. Back to you, Jim.
 
2010-10-17 02:23:52 PM  
I'd like to add something about people who are naturally empathetic. It is a gift, but it has been abused. It is not in anyone's best interest to withdraw from their natural talent for empathy for the sake of not being hurt. I guess what I'm trying to say is that people are becoming wise to what they will empathize over and what can be ignored.

Either that, or people are adopting the sociopathic mode of people in power, and this world is going to get ugly fast.

Either way, I have no f*cking clue.
 
2010-10-17 02:27:20 PM  
Pants full of macaroni!!: The Empathy Bat is thoroughly distressed at the findings of this study.


I want one of those...they're adorable...though I'd feel bad keeping it from being free....

/has tons of empathy
//sadly it's not for humans
///humans can fix their own damn messes, animals can't
 
2010-10-17 02:28:43 PM  
KidKorporate: Skullduggery: Young person here, I think that I have an unusual amount of empathy sometimes. My friend's car got stolen a couple weeks ago and it was found within half an hour or so. I clearly felt bad for her that her property was stolen, but I also felt bad for the guy who took it. He was a young adult, probably my age, and a gang member. He ran and got tased by the cops. I couldn't help but feel for someone whose life led them to join a gang, got tased, and is going to prison for years because he stole a car. Of course he shouldn't have stolen it, or have ran, and he had choices in the matter the whole time. It still troubles me. When I told my friend my feelings, she got deeply and personally offended that I could feel empathy for a criminal who wronged her. I was incredulous that she couldn't.

I would have put two in his head, and any other "gangsters" present for good measure. fark those people. Live like an animal, die like an animal.


And somehow that makes you better than them?
 
2010-10-17 02:39:40 PM  
Skullduggery: Young person here, I think that I have an unusual amount of empathy sometimes. My friend's car got stolen a couple weeks ago and it was found within half an hour or so. I clearly felt bad for her that her property was stolen, but I also felt bad for the guy who took it. He was a young adult, probably my age, and a gang member. He ran and got tased by the cops. I couldn't help but feel for someone whose life led them to join a gang, got tased, and is going to prison for years because he stole a car. Of course he shouldn't have stolen it, or have ran, and he had choices in the matter the whole time. It still troubles me. When I told my friend my feelings, she got deeply and personally offended that I could feel empathy for a criminal who wronged her. I was incredulous that she couldn't.

thx for that, Skull. it's true that it is possible to have empathy for people in different circumstances. and oddly enough, you may find that in the world there are ways that it is terribly useful. having spent a number of years volunteering with troubled youth and also with the mentally ill, you might be pleased to hear that in both those situations, offering empathy to people can go a long way to bring them back to 'sanity'. it's too tough a thing for people to really do with their time and energy, but extending warmth and humanity to people does help bring them up to the level of mutual kindness. it helps keep crazies from veering off to a life of wandering around babbling on street corners. and it also helps thrown-away youth feel like they can belong to society in a productive way instead of finding the thug life. empathy is a powerful tool to use in our mutual society's progress. i hope you find a way to hold onto it and believe that it will do good.

you might even one day notice that the attitude of someone like KidKorporate is exactly the reason the disaffected in society feel like fighting back is their best choice. call someone an animal and threaten to shoot them, and they will usually adopt pretty much the same attitude toward you, for some strange reason.
 
2010-10-17 02:46:15 PM  
w/e
 
2010-10-17 02:46:37 PM  
Just_a_Bear: w/e

inorite! LOL!
 
2010-10-17 03:00:58 PM  
Braindeath: You are most likely born sociopathic. What happens in the nature stage determines what kind of damage you are going to do. If you get abused, you'll be more likely to be a blue collar criminal. If you grow up in a happy little life, congratulations, you're running the next Enron. That's the best theory I've come across.

Here's some interesting reading. It looks like sociopathy is rather similar to schizophrenia, in that it needs both genetic and environmental factors to occur. If you have a happy childhood, you grow up normal, even if you have the "sociopath" genes.
 
2010-10-17 03:31:25 PM  
Skullduggery: Young person here, I think that I have an unusual amount of empathy sometimes. My friend's car got stolen a couple weeks ago and it was found within half an hour or so. I clearly felt bad for her that her property was stolen, but I also felt bad for the guy who took it. He was a young adult, probably my age, and a gang member. He ran and got tased by the cops. I couldn't help but feel for someone whose life led them to join a gang, got tased, and is going to prison for years because he stole a car. Of course he shouldn't have stolen it, or have ran, and he had choices in the matter the whole time. It still troubles me. When I told my friend my feelings, she got deeply and personally offended that I could feel empathy for a criminal who wronged her. I was incredulous that she couldn't.

The trick, speaking from personal experience, is to conserve your sympathy for them, while still maintaining your empathy. To learn that you can understand someone's motives without condoning them.
 
2010-10-17 03:35:59 PM  
Looks like I left this thread too early. Only thing I can think to add is it's one thing to care or not care if someone is suffering due to some cause. It becomes another matter entirely if *you* are the cause.

Also, FTA: Empathy is derived from a German word ? Now that's ironic.

BTW oldebayer:. Jeez, I toss out a pop culture reference and you respond with something having some meat to it. Great way to make me feel bad!

/Hope the self directed sarcasm is apparent. Jeffers led an interesting life from what I read on wiki. Therefore likely has something worth reading. Thanks.
 
2010-10-17 04:23:48 PM  
www.deviantart.com
 
2010-10-17 04:26:08 PM  
chiaspod: Skullduggery: Young person here, I think that I have an unusual amount of empathy sometimes. My friend's car got stolen a couple weeks ago and it was found within half an hour or so. I clearly felt bad for her that her property was stolen, but I also felt bad for the guy who took it. He was a young adult, probably my age, and a gang member. He ran and got tased by the cops. I couldn't help but feel for someone whose life led them to join a gang, got tased, and is going to prison for years because he stole a car. Of course he shouldn't have stolen it, or have ran, and he had choices in the matter the whole time. It still troubles me. When I told my friend my feelings, she got deeply and personally offended that I could feel empathy for a criminal who wronged her. I was incredulous that she couldn't.

The trick, speaking from personal experience, is to conserve your sympathy for them, while still maintaining your empathy. To learn that you can understand someone's motives without condoning them.


I think that you can have empathy for someone without condoning their actions and that all people deserve empathy. I tend more towards empathy than sympathy. I think that sympathy, sometimes, and for some people, can be condescending. Empathy is more at a person's level. I think that I have a large capacity for empathy, that has yet to be exhausted, though I know it will happen eventually.
 
2010-10-17 04:47:52 PM  
Dictatorial_Flair: perigee: All you need is to have zero empathy

Isn't that the definition of a person who is sociopathic? Or "antisocial personality disorder" if you want to be all DSM-y.



A lack of empathy is just one - and as far as I can see (new window), the least - of the set of symptoms that define a sociopath. Like sniffles - could be the flu, could be a cold, could be allergies. I guess you could argue that many of the remaining symptoms are at least abetted by lack of empathy, but the truly nasty stuff sociopaths are into makes simply not giving a damn about people into a personality quirk.

The one thing we're probably in agreement with is that a lack of empathy opens the door to some serious anti-social behavior, and a lot of that anti-social behavior is not illegal and highly profitable to boot. Simon LaGree and Ebeneezer Scrooge are excellent modern businessmen, but their ethics, carried one step further, make murderers the ultimate pragmatists and daring entrepreneurs.
 
2010-10-17 05:24:16 PM  
WARGARBBAL YOUNG PEOPLE ARE ALL BAD DERP TECHNOLOGY BAD

GET OFF MY LAWN
 
2010-10-17 05:59:56 PM  
Gunther: Pyro Messiah: You are taking offense merely because I disagree with you.

I'm taking offense because a) you're wrong, and b) you're being a dick about it. Either of those on their own are fine, but together they're irritating.

Pyro Messiah: They simply do not know what causes it.

Firstly, that's moving the goalposts a hell of a lot from your earlier posts, where you said it was genetic and that people who thought otherwise were buying into a myth. Secondly, a lot of research has been done into the root causes of APD over the past decade, and most psychologists are fairly sure now that it's caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors.


"Most" are "fairly sure" huh? Convincing. I was married to a psychologist and have actually read the DSM, you don't even read your own google links Mr. Butthurt. I'm willing to bet I've done a lot more reading into this subject then you have. Does that mean I am absolutely right? Not at all, but it does mean that I can lol at a sensitive crybaby who gets all pissy because someone disagrees with his uninformed opinion.

My belief is that it isn't environmental given that sociopaths (simply the term I prefer) have been found to come from all walks of life, classes, races, what have you. They can come from a good family as well as a bad one. My "moving the goal posts" was a nice way of pointing out that, since the experts don't even know, your smug certainty that you are correct is funny. Even I can admit that there's a possibility I'm wrong, I just don't think so.

Try reading about the issue (you know, those google links you thought were sources) and get back to me. Oh, and here's a good place to start as well:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Without-Conscience/Robert-D-Hare/e/97815723045 1 2
 
2010-10-17 06:10:44 PM  
Skullduggery: Young person here, I think that I have an unusual amount of empathy sometimes. My friend's car got stolen a couple weeks ago and it was found within half an hour or so. I clearly felt bad for her that her property was stolen, but I also felt bad for the guy who took it. He was a young adult, probably my age, and a gang member. He ran and got tased by the cops. I couldn't help but feel for someone whose life led them to join a gang, got tased, and is going to prison for years because he stole a car. Of course he shouldn't have stolen it, or have ran, and he had choices in the matter the whole time. It still troubles me. When I told my friend my feelings, she got deeply and personally offended that I could feel empathy for a criminal who wronged her. I was incredulous that she couldn't.

I guess personal reponsibility never was a topic of conversation around your house huh?


I mean getting tased and going to prision because you did nothing wrong is horrible. Getting that treatment because you are a farking narcissist who has no respect for other people property is what you deserve. You can reform your ways after you get off probabtion (whcih is what will likely happen to this thug) and avoid being tased by not farking stealing other peoples shiat.

Your friend should have cock punched you.
 
2010-10-17 06:13:02 PM  
Pyro Messiah: Gunther: Pyro Messiah: Oops! I suspect you didn't read any of those links.

*sigh*

Outside of Law & Order and CSI, "Sociopath" is not a valid medical condition. The proper DSM-IV term is "Antisocial personality disorder", and its severity is a scale. You'd know this if you'd even just looked at the goddamn wikipedia page, you patronizing douche.

yeah it's fun to play semantics. Sociopath, Psychopath and Antisocial Personality disorder are all common terms for the same thing. The latter is the current official one. So what?

Way to compltely ignore everything but terminology.


Pyro Messiah: Gunther: Pyro Messiah: Oops! I suspect you didn't read any of those links.

*sigh*

Outside of Law & Order and CSI, "Sociopath" is not a valid medical condition. The proper DSM-IV term is "Antisocial personality disorder", and its severity is a scale. You'd know this if you'd even just looked at the goddamn wikipedia page, you patronizing douche.

yeah it's fun to play semantics. Sociopath, Psychopath and Antisocial Personality disorder are all common terms for the same thing. The latter is the current official one. So what?

Way to compltely ignore everything but terminology.



Aren't pedantic people fun!!!!!
 
2010-10-17 08:07:19 PM  
SDRR:

I guess personal reponsibility never was a topic of conversation around your house huh?


I mean getting tased and going to prision because you did nothing wrong is horrible. Getting that treatment because you are a farking narcissist who has no respect for other people property is what you deserve. You can reform your ways after you get off probabtion (whcih is what will likely happen to this thug) and avoid being tased by not farking stealing other peoples shiat.

Your friend should have cock punched you.


I think this is a glowing example of what the article and ensuing conversation is about - a glowing lack of empathy.

Nowhere did the poster say that he thought the criminal should have gotten off, or lacked personal responsibility. He just stated that he could feel for the guy and the circumstances that contributed to him choosing a lifestyle that eventually got him tased.

Again, it's quite possible to understand someone's actions - to even feel regret for the circumstances ending up in the sorry circumstances that led to their immediate troubles - without actually condoning their actions.

But go ahead and keep demonizing people ("thug","farking narcissist") and wishing ill on others ("your friend should have cock punched you") just because they disagree with you. That's a fine demonstration of empathy.
 
2010-10-17 08:31:29 PM  
LouDobbsAwaaaay: ptelg: Shifting social norms are not the same as gaining or losing empathy.

It is if the social norm is "blacks/hispanics/gays aren't really people and don't deserve the same civil rights as the rest of us". The old social norm was predicated on a severe dearth of empathy, and it's eroding bit by bit.


I would make the argument that multiculturalism has actually had a detrimental affect on empathy in our culture, because norms of "these are my people, those are your people" breaks down a pretty fundamental tenet of human social organization, the whole "us vs. them" and "in-group out-group" psychology that often underpins a sense of caring for others of a similar type-grouping. When we're told to value every single person the same as any other, I would postulate that we value every single person less than if we have a group to be "against" in general. Hence kind, sweet old ladies who help out everyone but are also deeply racist, or young activist/social justice-types who profess multiculturalism but once behind closed doors can't stand a particular ethnic group or sexual orientation, etc.

I'm not arguing for a return to accepting blatant racism or homophobia, but I am making the argument that the promotion of multiculturalism at the expense of valuing patriotism, nationalism, civic pride, localism, even regionalism, religious practice if not belief, etc, has had a fairly major toll on the levels that people are willing to go out of their way for everyone else; once you are no longer a part of a group, and your family has begun to break down on top of the loss of a coherent community, your capacity for empathy regardless of your generation decreases severely as you realize that everyone's equal, and since a lot of people from all former communities are pretty shiatty without the checks and balances of mores, social norms, and/or a religiously enforced moral oversight system enforced by said community, now that's what young people see, are sitty people that they're supposed to be equal in response to and being told it's wrong to value people who would formerly be of their community/social grouping any differently, and so they value those people less.

YMMV.
 
2010-10-17 09:05:06 PM  
Hobodeluxe: the republicans told me empathy was a bad character trait to have.

Are you 12?
 
2010-10-17 09:48:50 PM  
Dictatorial_Flair: My only thought at the time, besides "that looked almost like a demolition, how did they get it wired so fast" was something along the lines of "they're going to milk this for everything it's worth and then some, aren't they." If you're nowhere near NY, you probably didn't know anyone involved, and distance has a way of lessening the impact of things.

Don't live within a couple hundred miles of NYC. A former professor (and friend of my father's) was on one of the planes. The pilot of one of them was a friend of a friend. Also know people who were working at the Pentagon that day.
 
2010-10-17 11:12:03 PM  
SDRR: Skullduggery: Young person here, I think that I have an unusual amount of empathy sometimes. My friend's car got stolen a couple weeks ago and it was found within half an hour or so. I clearly felt bad for her that her property was stolen, but I also felt bad for the guy who took it. He was a young adult, probably my age, and a gang member. He ran and got tased by the cops. I couldn't help but feel for someone whose life led them to join a gang, got tased, and is going to prison for years because he stole a car. Of course he shouldn't have stolen it, or have ran, and he had choices in the matter the whole time. It still troubles me. When I told my friend my feelings, she got deeply and personally offended that I could feel empathy for a criminal who wronged her. I was incredulous that she couldn't.

I guess personal reponsibility never was a topic of conversation around your house huh?


I mean getting tased and going to prision because you did nothing wrong is horrible. Getting that treatment because you are a farking narcissist who has no respect for other people property is what you deserve. You can reform your ways after you get off probabtion (whcih is what will likely happen to this thug) and avoid being tased by not farking stealing other peoples shiat.

Your friend should have cock punched you.


Personal responsibility was stressed so much in my house that if something bad happened to me it was my fault because I shouldn't have put myself in that situation. I never once said that he didn't have a choice in the matter. He could have chosen not the steal the car, and not to run from the police. He did both of those things and he will suffer the consequences, but condoning an action and empathy are two very different things. I will agree that sometimes there's a fine line between feeling empathy and making excuses for someone. But at the core of it all, he's a human being who screwed up and his life is going to suck as a result of it. If you can't recognize that, regardless of him "deserving" it or not, I feel bad for you too.

I'm lucky that I grew up in a nice home with supportive parents and enough money to pursue a college education. Other people aren't afforded those opportunities, and while it isn't an excuse for breaking the law, they were given a set of choices that I won't ever need to choose from.

Also, I'm a rarity on fark and not a dude, so when you come up with a more gender appropriate alternative for a cock punch let me know and I'll tell my friend that she should do that to me. Thanks.

chiaspod Thanks for your defense of me. I couldn't have put my position better myself. =)
 
2010-10-17 11:40:45 PM  
Pyro Messiah: "Most" are "fairly sure" huh? Convincing. I was married to a psychologist and have actually read the DSM, you don't even read your own google links Mr. Butthurt. I'm willing to bet I've done a lot more reading into this subject then you have. Does that mean I am absolutely right? Not at all, but it does mean that I can lol at a sensitive crybaby who gets all pissy because someone disagrees with his uninformed opinion.

Yeah dude, I'm clearly the butthurt one.

Also, I linked it earlier, but you might have missed it.
 
2010-10-17 11:59:21 PM  
Gunther: Pyro Messiah: "Most" are "fairly sure" huh? Convincing. I was married to a psychologist and have actually read the DSM, you don't even read your own google links Mr. Butthurt. I'm willing to bet I've done a lot more reading into this subject then you have. Does that mean I am absolutely right? Not at all, but it does mean that I can lol at a sensitive crybaby who gets all pissy because someone disagrees with his uninformed opinion.

Yeah dude, I'm clearly the butthurt one.

Also, I linked it earlier, but you might have missed it.


fta: But in some people, there's an imbalance - the orbital cortex isn't doing its job - perhaps because the person had a brain injury or was born that way.

Like I said, they don't know.

Also fta: Still, he says the evidence is accumulating that some people's brains predispose them toward violence and that psychopathic tendencies may be passed down from one generation to another.

This supports my theory, not yours.

Also fta: according to scientists who study this area. They believe that brain patterns and genetic makeup are not enough to make anyone a psychopath. You need a third ingredient: abuse or violence in one's childhood.

This suggets that it is a little bit of both. Though he seems to be focusing only on violence as a trait of the sociopath when they screw up the lives of others in a vast array of ways.

Check out the book I suggested, I think you'd find it interesting as it doesn't just focus on the most sensational aspect of this disorder (violence).

Now let's both admit we were pissy and play nice.
 
2010-10-18 12:35:14 AM  
Study claims that young people are losing empathy. Pfffft. Whatever... like I give a crap about some study on empathy I can't imagine how that would feel.


FTFS
 
2010-10-18 02:19:04 AM  
RatMaster999: Dictatorial_Flair: My only thought at the time, besides "that looked almost like a demolition, how did they get it wired so fast" was something along the lines of "they're going to milk this for everything it's worth and then some, aren't they." If you're nowhere near NY, you probably didn't know anyone involved, and distance has a way of lessening the impact of things.

Don't live within a couple hundred miles of NYC. A former professor (and friend of my father's) was on one of the planes. The pilot of one of them was a friend of a friend. Also know people who were working at the Pentagon that day.


That sucks. I had essentially never left Texas at that point, I don't think I'd even met anyone from NY.
 
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