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Zašto kažemo: "Oh!" kad smo iznenađeni?

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Primijetio sam da ja i mnogi moji vršnjaci govorimo "Oh!" kad god smo iznenađeni ili smislimo odgovor na pitanje. Ovaj "Oh!" ne prevladava samo na engleskom, već i na korejskom i njemačkom jeziku.

Edit: Žao mi je što nisam pojasnio. Pitao sam se zašto kažemo: "Oh!" umjesto možda, "Pft!" ili "Tsch!" ili bilo koju drugu vrstu zvuka.


Ovo je teško pitanje jer vjerojatno postoji mnogo različitih (ali ne jednako valjanih) odgovora.

Iz moje perspektive (Barrett & Russell, 2015.), postoji nekoliko stvari o kojima treba razmisliti.

  • Koliko često zapravo govorite "Oh!" kad se iznenadiš? Vaše je sjećanje na te slučajeve vjerojatno nepouzdano jer ovisite o semantičkom sjećanju o kulturnim uvjerenjima, a ne o epizodnom sjećanju na svoje stvarno ponašanje (Robinson & Clore, 2002). Doista, mogli bismo očekivati ​​mnogo varijabilnosti u različitim kontekstima (vidi sljedeću točku).
  • Kolika je varijabilnost unutar/između pojedinaca i kultura? Ako smo nešto naučili iz povezivanja emocija s varijablama poput fiziologije, ponašanja i izraza lica, znamo da ne postoji međusobna korespondencija (na primjer, strah i bježanje, ljutnja i povećani broj otkucaja srca itd.). Umjesto toga, odnosi između diskretnih emocija i ovih sustava odgovora mijenjaju se u pojedincima, kontekstima i kulturama.
  • Proizvodi li iznenađenje "Oh!" ili napravi "Oh!" ukazuju na iznenađenje? S jedne strane, emociju možete zamisliti kao reakciju na neki podražaj koji proizvodi slabo koordinirane odgovore (npr. "Oh!"). S druge strane, emocije možete smatrati kao tumačenja ili kategorizacije onoga što se događa iznutra i izvana. U tom smislu zaključujete iz svog "Oh!" da ste iznenađeni. To znači da je "iznenađenje" kategorija koju primjenjujete za sve slučajeve u kojima kažete "Oh!" Ovo je nešto poput toga kako je "ptica" kategorija za sve slučajeve u kojima je objekt koji se opisuje živ i ima krila.

Dakle, na tautološki način kažete "Oh!" kad ste iznenađeni jer kategorizirate sve instance "Oh!" kao iznenađenje. U svakom slučaju, vaše pitanje nije empirijski proučeno (koliko ja znam), pa je teško dati odgovor na temelju stvarnih podataka, a različite teorije donijet će različite hipoteze.


Mislim da je ovo vjerojatno izraz šoka. Razmislite o danima kada je u svijetu postojala značajna opasnost. Izreka "Oh!", "Ah!"ili drugim uskličnim izrazima daje drugima do znanja da se događa nešto značajno. Bilo da uočite grabežljivca u grmlju, ili saznate neke zanimljive vijesti, ovo iskopavanje upozorava druge.

Što se tiče razmišljanja o odgovoru na pitanje, razmislite o svom procesu razmišljanja. Razmišljate, razmišljate, razmišljate ... odjednom, smislite odgovor. U ovom slučaju, "Oh!" služi da drugima da do znanja da ste na nešto mislili. Rasprostranjena je u mnogim jezicima jednostavno zato što je to prilično univerzalna stvar.


ponašanje na koje skrećete pozornost rašireno je i čini se da se temelji na odgovoru koji je u određenoj mjeri nenamjeran. pa nije nerazumno pitati se postoji li neki genetski posredovani neuronski supstrat. postavljaju se očita pitanja o razvojnom aspektu, osobito u prvim godinama, te o prisutnosti ili odsutnosti ovog odgovora kod drugih vrsta sisavaca, osobito primata. (moglo bi biti vrijedno pogledati i kako je ovaj odgovor ugrađen u jezike za potpisivanje.)

artikulacija "Oh!" brzi je izdah bez suglasnika što upućuje na klasifikaciju s drugim paralingvističkim vokalizacijama. izraz "Vau!" je slično, ali mišićna prilagodba potrebna za izgovaranje početnog "W" sugerira da je element kognitivnog posredovanja izmijenio instinktivnije "Oh" kako bi dodao semantičku komponentu. stoga opažamo da "Wow!" mogu se mijenjati na prilično fleksibilne načine, promjenom naprezanja i trajanja.

moglo bi pomoći u povezivanju "Oh!" na neka druga ponašanja. na primjer "Uf!" boli ("s" Ouch! "kao formaliziranijom izmjenom analognom prijelazu s" Oh! "na" Wow! ")

postoji i srodni oblik izražavanja koji izaziva brzo unos daha, možda kroz blago stisnutu čeljust i stisnute usne, što je izazvano određenim preintenzivnim podražajima - npr. prevruće piće.

kao ovisnik o kavi potvrdio sam sa drugima na sličan način pogođen, da prvi hit kofeina dana može izazvati dobrovoljno, duboko zadovoljno "Ah!". ovaj odgovor (iako se može pretjerati zbog dramatičnog ili komičnog učinka) smatra mi se da se temelji na instinktu. čini se da nije iniciran nikakvim imperativom komuniciranja. doista, prisutnost druge osobe mogla bi uzrokovati pokušaj ugušenja ili minimiziranja "Ah!" (politesse)

na kraju treba spomenuti u ovom kontekstu sada rašireni meme "Aha!" iskustvo, iako je napomenulo da je barem za jednog velikog kreativnog znanstvenika Muse povijesti snimila njegov "Aha!" odgovor kao fonetski složeno i semantički učitano "Efrika!" -popraćeno aktivacijom neverbalnog refleksa iskakanja iz kupke.


Zašto pokrivamo usta kad smo zapanjeni ili šokirani?

Neki kažu da je to radi sprječavanja da nam duše napuste tijelo, ali pravi razlog je malo suptilniji od toga.

Upitala: Emma Cook, Slough

Ne kako bismo spriječili da nam duše napuste tijelo, kako to neke tradicije kažu. Dah koji uzrokuje otvaranje usta kada smo šokirani brz je i dubok udah koji je evoluirao tako da osigura brzi nalet dodatnog kisika kako bi se lakše nosili s zapanjujućim događajima. Zbog toga su usta ranjiva pa prekrivanje može biti zaštitna gesta.

To je također način prikrivanja svojih emocija od drugih, kako bismo izbjegli pokazivanje da smo uplašeni, šokirani ili zgroženi. Mnogi stručnjaci kažu da se odgovor uči kao oblik pristojnosti, ali, poput mnogih drugih gesta, takvo se ponašanje vidi u različitim kulturama. Dakle, reakcija može imati naslijeđenu osnovu, ali u modernim vremenima to često može biti samo način skrivanja činjenice da vas nije zaprepastilo ništa ozbiljnije od muhe ili da ste šokirani onim što je vaš prijatelj rekao.

Pretplatite se do časopisa BBC Focus za fascinantne nove Q & ampA -e svakog mjeseca i pratite @sciencefocusQA na Twitteru za svoju dnevnu dozu zabavnih znanstvenih činjenica.


Psovanje je znanstveno dokazano da vam pomogne *%$! Ing dogovor

Bila je to duga prokleta godina. Ali znate li kako studije pokazuju da vam mogu olakšati bol? Psovanje.

U ovoj eri beskrajnih prepirki oko toga što je ili nije uvredljivo, dio akademske zajednice težio je jeziku za koji se gotovo svi slažemo da nije pristojan & mdash koji proučava sintaksu rečenica poput “F-ck you ” na istoj sveučilišne kampuse u kojima se studenti štite upozorenjima na okidače.

Neka to kažu neki društveni znanstvenici, a način na koji vulgarnost utječe na nas otkriva elemente naše prirode kao evolucijskih bića, ne razumijem vas. “Ako ne proučavate ovu vrstu jezika, ” kaže psiholog Timothy Jay, “ vi & rsquore nedostajete važan dio ljudskog bića. ”

Ako ste uvrijeđeni nekim od riječi koje ste dosad pročitali, to je grubo. Vaš senzibilitet ovim nizovima slova daje snagu. “Vi & rsquore smo rekli da su to riječi, koje možete rano reći. Kažnjavamo ljude jer su ih izgovorili, ”, kaže kognitivni znanstvenik Benjamin Bergen, koji u svojoj novoj knjizi istražuje istraživanja povezana s vulgarnostima Koji k. “Dakle, mi i rsquore podučavamo djecu, društveno, da su ove riječi moćne. ”

Tijekom svoje karijere na Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Jay je snimio i analizirao tisuće ljudi koji su psovali, a on i#8217 su došli do dva ključna razloga zašto to radimo. S jedne strane, omogućuje nam da izrazimo svoje emocije, da se odušimo, oslobodimo. & ldquoTakođer vrlo učinkovito, gotovo odmah, komunicira s našim osjećajima, ” Jay kaže. “I drugim riječima nemojte to činiti. ”

Izgovaranje jedne f riječi može prenijeti stanje osobe & mdash bilo da je ljuta, uzrujana, uzbuđena, iznenađena ili uzbuđena & mdashand intenzitet tog stanja. Budući da smo rano naučili da je vulgarnost prema snažnim osjećajima ono što bučni rogovi predstavljaju tornadu, tijelo postaje uvjetovano da na njega fizički reagira. “Pore vam se otvore i počnete se znojiti. Povećava vam se broj otkucaja srca. Vaši učenici se šire ", kaže Bergen, koji predaje o psovkama na Kalifornijskom sveučilištu u San Diegu. “ Doživljavate ovu reakciju borbe ili bježanja. ” Istraživanje je otkrilo da čitanje i pisanje profanih riječi ima emocionalni učinak na ljude, kaže, ali ni približno onoliko koliko ih govori i čuje.

Kao i svaki moćan alat, ove se riječi mogu koristiti u konstruktivne ili destruktivne svrhe, kaže Bergen. Općenito su inspirirani domenama kojima upravlja tabu: spol (“f-ck ”), tjelesne funkcije (“sh-t ”), religija (“pakao ”) i riječi koje opisuju druge skupine ljudi (n -riječ). Riječi u konačnoj kategoriji teže destruktivnom jer su zaista stvorene da vrijeđaju, nanose štetu, dijele i ocrnjuju, kaže Bergen. U studijama, Amerikanci te grupne psovke ocjenjuju kao najuvredljivije.

Naravno, ono što se smatra nedoličnim jezikom razvija se kao i naše kulture, reflektirajući nas natrag prema sebi kroz tabue tog vremena. Iako većina jezika ima vulgarnost, uvredljive se riječi razlikuju od zemlje do zemlje. Uzmimo povijesno katolički Quebec, gdje se izgovara vjerska riječ poput calisse (“halice ”) uzalud bi mogli namrštiti obrve.

Ali i oni mogu biti korisni. Kad su istraživači promatrali kako se ljudi nose s bolom potapanja ruku u ledenu vodu, otkrili su da bi ljudi mogli podnijeti veću nelagodu ako bi ponovili psovku, a ne riječ koja nije psovka. Znanstvenici su također otkrili da se za razliku od većine zvukova koje izgovaramo, psovanje se može dogoditi na dobrovoljne i nenamjerne načine. Ovo posljednje izgleda slično kad ispustimo ključeve u snijeg i vičemo “F-ck ” bez svjesne odluke & mdashoffer dokaza da jezik nije samo jedan način u mozgu. To ima kliničke i istraživačke implikacije, kaže Bergen, i moglo bi nam reći nešto o tome zašto smo došli komunicirati na takav način.

Također sugerira da ove emocionalno nabijene riječi mogu postati toliko duboko ukorijenjene u nama da ih izgovaranje prstiju čini fizičkim činom, a ne simboličkim, više poput kihanja nego rečenice. “Kad ih izgovorite, ” Jay kaže, “osjećate nešto. ”

Ti snažni osjećaji tjeraju neke ljude da pokušaju iskorijeniti vulgarnost. Nakon što su kabelske informativne mreže pustile zloglasni video zapis Donalda Trumpa koji kaže da hvata žene i mačku, ” oko dvadesetak ljudi podnijelo je tužbu Federalnoj komisiji za komunikaciju zbog nepristojnosti koje reguliraju upotrebu vulgarnosti na javnom eteru & mdasha prema zapisima do kojih je došao Morning Consult . & ldquoNeki se potrošači lako vrijeđaju, ” rekao je odvjetnik s kojim je razgovarao Morning Consult, “ dok drugi imaju visoku toleranciju prema onome što se prikazuje na televiziji. & rdquo

Stručnjaci poput Jaya reći će vam da se mnogi razlozi zbog kojih se ljudi često protive vulgarnostima temelje na “mitovima, ” a akademici su radili na tome da ih razotkriju. Bergen posvećuje čitavo poglavlje u svojoj knjizi skidanju (pogrešne) studije koja je sugerirala da vulgarnost šteti djeci. Jay je u međuvremenu nedavno preuzeo mišljenje da ljudi samo psuju jer nisu dovoljno inteligentni da se izraze na drugi način. Otkrio je da ljudi s većim rječnikom zapravo mogu generirati više psovke od ljudi s manjim.

Jay je također otkrio da sapun u ustima ne djeluje. Zapravo, postoji razlog vjerovati da što su djeca zaštićena od ovih riječi, to postaju impresivnija. U nastavku studije o ledenoj vodi, na primjer, isti su istraživači otkrili da je učinak ublažavanja boli izgovaranja psovki izraženiji među ljudima koji su manje psovali. Koristite ga stalno i navikavate da riječi izgube svoj um.

Nakon što je posljednjih nekoliko godina podučavao svoj razred o psovkama, Bergen kaže da mu je ugodno pisati i izgovarati većinu onih riječi zbog kojih pocrvenimo. Opširno će raspravljati o činjenici da izgleda kao da opovrgavate jedno od temeljnih pravila koja učimo u školi: da gramatička rečenica mora imati subjekt (vas predmet je f-ck ali ostaje nejasno tko izvodi radnju koju netko želi vas primiti). I to može učiniti sa svom emocijom da bi profesor kemije mogao upotrijebiti tu riječ neurona je njegova vlastita klasa.

Iako Bergen kaže da učenicima daje nekoliko upozorenja na uzbunu, dajući im do znanja kakav materijal dolazi prije prvog dana nastave, također kaže da se nikada nije žalio. “Cilj je da nauče onoliko koliko bi naučili na bilo kojem satu kognitivne znanosti ili tečaju lingvistike, "kaže on,"#ali usput će možda biti malo više zainteresirani. & Rdquo


Psiholog objašnjava zašto vas ljudi ogovaraju i razlog može vas iznenaditi

Evo zašto svaki dan provodimo više vremena nego što biste vjerojatno zamislili.

Svi ogovaraju. Naravno, volimo misliti da su naši svakodnevni razgovori strogo produktivna razmjena ideja i rasprave o životnim pitanjima bez odgovora. Ali u stvarnosti, mi svi pričati o drugim ljudima.

Zapravo, nova studija objavljena u časopisu Socijalna psihologija i znanost o ličnosti otkrili su da tipična osoba dnevno provede oko 52 minute u ogovaranju. Iznenađenje je, međutim, što većina ljudi ne hoda uokolo šapućući � li ste čuli što je tako bilo prošlog vikenda? ” u ušima svojih kolega i#x2019. Umjesto toga, oni samo razmjenjuju informacije o ljudima u svom životu s onima oko sebe.

Prema autorima studije, to je jednostavna definicija ogovaranja: govoriti o osobi koja nije prisutna. Ne radi se nužno o širenju zlonamjernih glasina ili neugodnih priča, samo o razmjeni informacija. Ogovarate kad nekome kažete da će se idući vikend vaš rođak vjenčati, vaša najbolja prijateljica počinje novi posao ili vaša kći ima veliki plesni recital.

Novo istraživanje pokazalo je da većina od tih 52 minute koje svakodnevno provodimo u tračanju uključuje dijeljenje bezopasnih (i, budimo iskreni, ponekad dosadni) pojedinosti iz svakodnevnog života — ne razbijanje vašeg kolege koji se previše napio u sretnim satima.

Zašto onda trošimo skoro sat vremena na dragocjeno vrijeme razgovarajući o takvim ho-hum detaljima o životima drugih ljudi? Dr. Mark Leary, profesor psihologije i neuroznanosti na Sveučilištu Duke, specijaliziran za društvenu i osobnu psihologiju, objašnjava to Zdravlje na ovaj način: Ogovaranje je temeljni ljudski instinkt jer su naši životi duboko ukorijenjeni u skupine. Ne samo da živimo u skupinama, već i ovisimo o ljudima u svojim skupinama da bismo preživjeli.

“U svjetlu toga, oni moraju imati što je moguće više informacija o ljudima oko sebe kako bi znali kakvi su različiti drugi ljudi, kome se može vjerovati i može li mu se vjerovati, tko krši pravila grupe, tko je s kim prijatelj, koje su druge osobe i apopos osobnosti i gledišta itd., kaže ” Leary.

Razmislite o svojim grupama. Ovisite o svojoj obitelji zbog ljubavi i suosjećanja, a u mnogim slučajevima i hrane i stanovanja. Ovisite o svojim prijateljima o društvenoj interakciji i druženju. Za novac, a možda i za zdravstveno osiguranje ovisite o svom poslodavcu. Dakle, ako vam majka kaže da vam je otac ostao bez posla, znate da ćete možda morati pronaći drugačiji način upravljanja računima za hranu i stanarinom. Ako vam suradnik kaže da će vaš šef otpuštati ljude, pripremite se potražiti drugi izvor prihoda i osiguranja. Tračevi su kako preživljavamo.

Ogovaranje za opstanak staro je koliko i samo čovječanstvo. Svaki pretpovijesni čovjek oslanjao se na druge članove svog plemena u pogledu hrane, skloništa i zaštite. Ako se član koji obično traži vašu hranu odjednom razboli i ne može loviti, mogli biste gladovati ako vam nitko ne kaže da je ta osoba bolesna. Ako se tračevi o njihovoj bolesti šire, znate da morate potražiti drugi izvor hrane.

Tračevi nas ne uče samo o osobi koja je predmet razgovora, već io osobi koja govori, kaže Leary. “I može naučiti stvari o vašim stavovima, uvjerenjima i načinima ophođenja s ljudima gledajući o kome i o čemu govorite. Čak i ako se ne pridružim, samo slušanje ljudi kako ogovaraju govori mi stvari o onome što misle da je važno, može li im se vjerovati da čuvaju tajne itd. ”

Kad se ipak pridružite, tračevi mogu učvrstiti i vaše društvene veze. Studija iz 2014. objavljena u časopisu Psihološka znanost pronađeni trač poboljšava suradnju grupe i apossa i čini članove manje sebičnima.

Također je otkriveno da tračevi mogu poslužiti kao način identificiranja i odbacivanja nepouzdanih članova grupe. Ali svaka nada nije izgubljena za one koji su izopćeni. Često se izbjegavala osoba koja zapravo uči iz iskustva i poboljšava svoje ponašanje, pokazalo je istraživanje. Samo prijetnja isključivanjem poticaj je za suradnju.

Naravno, ne možemo zaboraviti da tračevi ponekad postanu ružni. “Neko ogovaranje ima negativne posljedice na metu, ” Leary kaže, 𠇚 neki mogu imati negativne posljedice na tračare, na primjer ako meta sazna, ili ako slušatelji zaključe da je trač nepouzdan zaposlenik koji može & apostolirati neka gleda svoja posla. ”

Ako vam majka kaže da vam je otac ostao bez posla, vaš bi se otac mogao naljutiti na vašu majku što mu nije dala vremena da vam to kaže. Ako vaš šef sazna da vam je suradnik rekao za otpuštanja, vaš bi šef mogao izgubiti povjerenje u vašeg suradnika. Tračevi nas mogu razdvojiti jednako lako kao što nas mogu spojiti. 𠇊li u srcu je važno dijeliti informacije o drugim ljudima, kaže Leary.


Mentalne bolesti su daleko češće nego što smo znali

Većina nas poznaje barem jednu osobu koja se borila s napadom iscrpljujuće mentalne bolesti. Unatoč njihovoj bliskosti, ove se epizode obično smatraju neobičnim, pa čak i sramotnim.

Nova istraživanja, iz našeg laboratorija i drugih u cijelom svijetu, međutim, pokazuju da su mentalne bolesti toliko česte da će gotovo svi u jednom trenutku svog života razviti barem jedan dijagnosticirani mentalni poremećaj. Većina tih ljudi nikada se neće liječiti, a njihovi odnosi, uspješnost na poslu i zadovoljstvo životom vjerojatno će patiti. U međuvremenu, rijetki pojedinci za koje se čini da nikada ne razviju poremećaj mogu psihologiji ponuditi novi put proučavanja, dopuštajući istraživačima da se zapitaju što je potrebno da bi bili abnormalno, trajno mentalno dobro.

Epidemiolozi odavno znaju da u bilo kojem trenutku otprilike 20 do 25 posto populacije pati od mentalne bolesti, što znači da doživljavaju psihološke tegobe dovoljno ozbiljne da naruše funkcioniranje na poslu, u školi ili u svojim odnosima. Opsežna nacionalna istraživanja, provedena od sredine 1990-ih do početka 2000-ih, pokazala su da bi mnogo veći postotak, blizu polovice stanovništva, doživio mentalnu bolest u neka točka.

Ova su istraživanja bila velika, uključivala su tisuće sudionika predstavnika SAD -a po dobi, spolu, društvenoj klasi i etničkoj pripadnosti. Oni su, također, bili retrospektivno, što znači da su se oslanjali na anketirane ispitanike & rsquo točno se sjećajući osjećaja i ponašanja u mjesecima, godinama, pa čak i desetljećima u prošlosti. Ljudsko pamćenje je pogrešno, a suvremena znanost pokazala je da su ljudi notorno dosljedni izvjestitelji o vlastitoj povijesti mentalnog zdravlja, ostavljajući konačnu točnost ovih studija za raspravu. Dodatno zabrinjava to što se do trećine pojedinaca koje su kontaktirala nacionalna istraživanja nije uspjelo upisati na studije. Drugi testovi sugerirali su da su ti "ldquononresponders" rdquo imali lošije mentalno zdravlje.

Nova studija jednog od nas (Schaefer), objavljena ranije ove godine u časopisu Journal of Abnormal Psychology (čije ime sugerira zastarjelo razumijevanje prevalencije mentalnih bolesti), imalo je drugačiji pristup u procjeni opterećenja bolestima. Umjesto da traže ljude da razmisle mnogo godina unatrag, Schaefer i njegovi kolege su pomno pratili jednu generaciju Novozelanđana, svi rođeni u istom gradu, od rođenja do srednjih godina. Svakih nekoliko godina provodili su dubinske provjere kako bi procijenili sve dokaze o postojanju mentalnih bolesti tijekom prethodne godine.

Otkrili su da ako s vremenom pratite ljude i redovito ih pregledavate pomoću jednostavnih alata utemeljenih na dokazima, postotak onih kod kojih se razvije dijagnosticirana mentalna bolest skoči na više od 80 posto. U skupini samo 17 posto ispitanika nije razvilo poremećaj, barem nakratko, do srednje dobi. Budući da Schaefer & rsquos tim nije mogao biti siguran da su te osobe ostale bez poremećaja u godinama između procjena, pravi udio koji nikada nije doživio mentalnu bolest mogao bi biti još manji.

Drugim riječima, studija pokazuje da je veća vjerojatnost da ćete doživjeti napad mentalne bolesti nego što ćete dobiti dijabetes, srčane bolesti ili bilo koju vrstu raka. Ovi su nalazi potkrijepljeni podacima iz sličnih skupina iz Novog Zelanda, Švicarske i SAD -a

Ako ikada razvijete psihološki poremećaj, mnogi pretpostavljaju da ćete ga imati cijeli život. Najnovije istraživanje sugerira da za najčešće psihološke tegobe to jednostavno nije točno. & ldquoSadržajna komponenta onoga što opisujemo kao poremećaj često je kratkotrajna, manje težine ili samoograničavajući ", kaže John Horwood, psihijatrijski epidemiolog i direktor longitudinalne Studije zdravlja i razvoja u Christchurchu na Novom Zelandu. (Horwood je otkrio da gotovo 85 posto članova istraživanja u Christchurchu ima dijagnosticiranu mentalnu bolest do sredine života.)

Ovo bi mogla biti korisna poruka za širenje. Prema Jasonu Siegelu, profesoru socijalne psihologije na Sveučilištu Claremont Graduate University, ljudi su skloniji biti naklonjeni i pomoći kada vjeruju da su zdravstveni problemi prijatelja ili suradnika & rsquos privremeni.

I pojedincima s mentalnim bolestima potrebna je podrška. Čak i kratkotrajni ili samoograničavajući poremećaji mogu nanijeti pustoš u životu osobe. Da bi se klasificiralo kao da ima poremećaj, & ldquoan pojedinac obično mora zadovoljavati prilično stroge kriterije simptoma, "kaže Horwood. & ldquoTreba značajno oštećenje funkcioniranja. & rdquo

Nekima, međutim, nova statistika o stopama mentalnih bolesti može zvučati jako poput prevelike medikalizacije & ldquonormalnog & rdquo ljudskog iskustva. Zagovornici osoba s problemima mentalnog zdravlja obično se ne slažu s ovom perspektivom. & ldquoI & rsquom nimalo nisu iznenađeni ovim nalazima, & rdquo kaže Paul Gionfriddo, predsjednik Mental Health Health America, nacionalne grupe za zagovaranje. Njegova organizacija smatra da su mentalne bolesti uobičajene, ldquo iako nisu uvijek trajne. & Rdquo Prije tri godine Mental Health America lansirala je alat zasnovan na webu kako bi pojedincima omogućila diskretno otkrivanje mogućih psiholoških poremećaja. Od tada se alat koristio za više od 1,5 milijuna pregleda, a sada se koristi više od 3000 ekrana dnevno kako bi se utvrdilo mogu li ljudi imati stanje koje bi moglo imati koristi od liječenja.

Rasprostranjena priroda mentalnih bolesti, otkrivena pomnim longitudinalnim istraživanjem, ima neke implikacije na način na koji proučavamo i liječimo bolest u ovoj zemlji. Gionfriddu, bivšem zakonodavcu koji je gledao kako mu sin završava bez krova nad glavom, nakon nedijagnosticirane shizofrenije u djetinjstvu, & ldquoone implikacija ovih novih studija je da ćemo mi kao društvo imati ogromnu korist od sveprisutnog pregleda mentalnog zdravlja. & Rdquo

Iako Radna skupina za preventivne usluge SAD -a trenutno preporučuje redovite preglede mentalnog zdravlja za sve starije od 11 godina, takvi su pregledi još uvijek daleko od rutine. & ldquoU vrijeme kada smo prepoznali važnost rane intervencije za rak ili za dijabetes ili srčane bolesti, zašto bismo rekli, & lsquoOkej, za mentalne bolesti, nećemo & rsquot ići na skrining ili ranu intervenciju & rsquo? & rdquo kaže Gionfriddo. & ldquoOvo bi trebalo biti uobičajeno za odrasle kao i testiranje krvnog tlaka. Gurnuti glavu u pijesak i čekati katastrofu nije zdravstveni plan. & Rdquo

Još jedna implikacija proizlazi iz činjenice da su pojedinci koji nikada ne razviju mentalnu bolest & mdashthose koji doživljavaju ono što mi nazivamo & ldquoenduring mentalnim zdravljem & rdquo & mdashare zapravo prilično izuzetni. Ti su ljudi možda ekvivalenti mentalnog zdravlja zdravih stogodišnjaka: pojedinci koji nekako uspijevaju pobijediti izglede i uživati ​​u dobrom zdravlju mnogo dulje nego što bismo očekivali. Moguće je da bi pomnije proučavanje mentalno robusnih moglo dati uvid u to kako možemo pomoći više ljudi da uživaju u životima poput njihovog.

Tko su ti izuzetni ljudi? U kohorti Schaefer & rsquos na Novom Zelandu, njegov je tim otkrio da su oni s trajnim mentalnim zdravljem skloni imati dvije stvari: prvo, imali su malo ili nimalo obiteljske povijesti mentalnih bolesti. Drugo, oni su imali tendenciju imati ono što istraživači nazivaju "ldquoadvantageous & rdquo" osobnostima. Već u petoj godini pojedinci koji bi dospjeli do srednjih godina bez epizode mentalnog poremećaja pokazivali su manje negativnih emocija, bolje se slagali sa svojim vršnjacima i imali veću samokontrolu. Možda jednako upečatljivo, tim je otkrio da su ti pojedinci ne bilo bogatiji, pametniji ili tjelesno zdraviji od svojih vršnjaka, barem u djetinjstvu.

Najvažniji prijedlog najnovijeg istraživanja je da bi zabrinutost za mentalno zdravlje mogla biti gotovo univerzalna. Kao rezultat toga, društvo bi trebalo početi gledati na mentalne bolesti poput lomova kostiju, bubrežnih kamenaca ili obične prehlade, što je dio normalnog života. Priznavanje ove univerzalnosti može nam omogućiti da napokon posvetimo odgovarajuća sredstva za probir, liječenje i sprječavanje mentalnih bolesti. Također bi nam moglo pomoći da lakše idemo prema sebi i svojim voljenima kada neizbježno naletimo na vlastite grube mrlje na cesti.

Izneseni stavovi pripadaju autoru (ima) i nisu nužno stavovi Scientific American.


Majke razgovaraju s kćerima drugačije od sinova: studija

Većina majki bi vam rekla da sa svom djecom razgovaraju na isti način. Nova studija sugerira da bi mogli biti prevareni. U studiji objavljenoj jučer u Britanski časopis za razvojnu psihologiju, autorice Ana Aznar i Harriet Tenenbaum otkrile su da će majke češće koristiti emocionalne riječi i emocionalni sadržaj u razgovoru sa svojim 4-godišnjim kćerima nego sa svojim 4-godišnjim sinovima.

Što je još više, budući da majke više koriste jezik osjećaja nego očevi, često nesvjesno održavaju rodne stereotipe u svojoj djeci. Pozitivna je strana, međutim, to može biti razlog zašto žene imaju veću emocionalnu inteligenciju od muškaraca.

“Znamo …da djeca oponašaju istospolne modele [tj. djevojke oponašaju mame, a dječaci oponašaju tate] više od modela različitog spola ", kaže Tenenbaum, izvanredni profesor psihologije na Sveučilištu Surrey u intervjuu za TIME. “Dakle, uče ih da su emocije prihvatljivije za žene nego za muškarce. ” (Ovdje unesite vic o emocionalno nedostupnom mužu/ocu/dečku.)

Tenenbaum ističe da je učenje emocionalne inteligencije nevjerojatno važno za djecu u smislu školskog uspjeha, slaganja s učiteljima i dobrih odnosa s vršnjacima. “ [Prošla su istraživanja pokazala da su] djeca koja su bila sposobnija pokazati emocije u vrtiću bila uspješnija u 4. razredu od djece koja nisu ’t, ” kaže ona. Štoviše, djeca koja koriste više emocionalnih riječi popularnija su u vrtiću. Ljudi bi radije bili u blizini nekoga tko može razumjeti i interpretirati emocije. ” A djeca koja bolje razumiju emocije imaju tendenciju da imaju bolje uspjehe u školi čak i nakon kontrole inteligencije, napominje ona.

U ovoj novoj studiji, istraživači su snimili 65 španjolskih majki i očeva zajedno s njihovom četverogodišnjom i šestogodišnjom djecom tijekom zadatka pripovijedanja, a zatim tijekom razgovora o prošlom iskustvu. Ispitanici su živjeli u kvartovima srednje do više klase. Prilikom prvog posjeta majka ili otac i dijete snimljeni su u razgovor. U roku od tjedan dana ušli su drugi roditelj i dijete i razgovarali o sličnoj temi. Video razgovori su prepisani i riječi emocija kao što su “sretan, ” “sad, ” “angry, ” “ljubav, ” “zabrinutost, ” i “strah, & Izdvojeno je #8221.

Majke su koristile veći udio emocionalnih riječi od očeva i kod četverogodišnjaka i šestogodišnjaka, što je u skladu s studijama provedenim u SAD-u, no one su bile posebno izražajne kod svojih četverogodišnjih kćeri. “Američke majke i očevi rade slične stvari u nametanju emocija, "#kaže Tenenbaum. Teorija je da bi majkama bilo ugodnije govoriti o svojim emocijama nego očevima. Djeca bi stoga mogla pomisliti da je prikladnije da djevojčice govore o osjećajima. Zapravo, kćeri su češće nego sinovi govorile o svojim emocijama s očevima kada su govorile o prošlim iskustvima. I tijekom ovih razgovora prisjećanja, očevi su koristili više riječi ispunjenih emocijama sa svojim 4-godišnjim kćerima nego sa svojim 4-godišnjim sinovima.

Aznar i Tenenbaum učinili su nekoliko stvari u ovoj studiji koje su je razlikovale od prethodnih. Jednadžbi su dodali očeve, kada se većina studija o emocijama fokusirala samo na majke, te su ispitivali španjolske obitelji na koje se prije nije gledalo jer su htjeli vidjeti kako se obrasci igraju u različitim kulturama.

I što je najvažnije, autori su testirali djecu kako bi utvrdili njihovo osnovno emocionalno razumijevanje. Ispitivali su ih o tome što bi ljudi u različitim situacijama mogli osjećati i otkrili da je emocionalno razumijevanje isto za dječake i djevojčice od 4 godine. Dakle, emocionalna inteligencija nije urođena kvaliteta žena. Budući da predtestiranje nije pokazalo da četverogodišnje djevojčice bolje razumiju emocije od dječaka, činjenica da roditelji u emocionalnijim terminima razgovaraju s kćerima nad sinovima ne može se objasniti riječima da roditelji to rade jer vjeruju da djevojke razumiju emocije bolje. “Nismo otkrili nikakvu razliku u dječjem razumijevanju emocija u predtestu,##kaže Tenenbaum.

Tenenbaum je bio iznenađen što majke i očevi nastavljaju održavati stereotipe. “Većina roditelja kaže da želi da dječaci budu izražajniji, ali ne znaju da [oni] s njima govore drugačije,#kaže ona.

Parents should try to teach boys about emotion as much as possible, says Tenenbaum, and use emotion-laden language with both sons and daughters. “We are beyond the point in society where boys are taught never to express emotions,” she says. “We need to model for them how to appropriately express emotions. These are learned stereotypes and we are reinforcing them as a society.”


The Psychology of Unfriending Someone on Facebook

Have you ever unfriended someone on Facebook? Budi iskren. This is a safe blog post.

You meanie! How could you do such a thing? It was a high school friend, wasn’t it? She was blathering on about the evils of affirmative action, wasn’t she? Two new studies from the University of Colorado Denver investigate the psychology behind unfriending, as well as the emotional response of the unfriended. (Both draw on a Twitter survey of 1,077 adults, so take the results with a blue breadcrumb of skepticism: It could be that Twitter folk use Facebook differently from other people.) The first, which probes the who and why of unfriending, found that acquaintances from high school are most likely to get the chop, followed by friends of friends, work friends, and common interest friends. Study co-author Christopher Sibona speculates in a press release that we often wish to sever online contact with people who disagree with us about religion or politics (long live the filter bubble). Since we’re most likely to diverge radically in perspective from those we knew in childhood, before we began picking our friends based on their bumper stickers, they get purged first.

While the majority of friends get flushed for the toxicity of their posts, IRL shenanigans put our work friends uniquely at risk. “We found that people often unfriend co-workers for their actions in the real world rather than anything they post on Facebook,” Sibona said.

The researchers use the euphemism “context collapse” to convey the loss of friendship. (If you too are reminded of colony collapse disorder, with its overtones of mystery and tragedy, then let’s be friends on Facebook.) Study two examined the emotional fallout from context collapse as enacted over the social network and came up with four feelings: surprised, bothered, amused, and sad. Kao Science Daily explains, a quartet of factors determine how unhappy an Unfriended friend is likely to be at her demotion. If you two once shared a close bond, she’ll probably be upset (and annoyed, because you are setting all kinds of records in passive aggression, Unfriender). If she monitors her Facebook friend list closely, that also enhances the likelihood she’ll suffer. On the other hand, talking about any relationship tensions before cutting the cord has a mitigating effect, and if the Unfriended seeks comfort from her remaining friends afterward—you weren’t the last one, right?—the study suggests she’ll feel better.

What the researchers do not forthrightly state, but which I will, is that unfriending someone is rarely warranted unless you are trying to preserve your own mental health. As Sibona allows, “the cost of maintaining [Facebook] friendships is pretty low. If you make a conscious effort to push a button to get rid of someone, that can hurt.” Why do you want to hurt people, Facebook user who takes Twitter surveys? (Have you no loyalty? Is that why you can’t just pick a social network?) Why must you banish your old buddies to walk amongst the Unfriended, who must live in icy squalor like Divergent’s Factionless or the White Walkers from Igra prijestolja? Be kind. Be inclusive. Be humane. Download Hate With Friends instead.


Money can't buy happiness

Extremely wealthy people have their own set of concerns: anxiety about their children, uncertainty over their relationships and fears of isolation, finds research by Robert Kenny.

July/August 2012, Vol 43, No. 7

Most of what we think we know about people with a lot of money comes from television, movies and beach novels — and a lot of it is inaccurate, says Robert Kenny, EdD.

In an effort to remedy that, Kenny, a developmental psychologist and senior advisor at the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College, is co-leading a research project on the aspirations, dilemmas and personal philosophies of people worth $25 million or more. Kenny and his colleagues surveyed approximately 165 households via an anonymous online survey and were surprised to find that while money eased many aspects of these people's lives, it made other aspects more difficult.

The Monitor spoke to Kenny about his findings and about the significance of his research for those of us who don't have a net worth of $25 million or more.

What prompted you to study wealthy families?

We wanted to try to understand the deeper motivations of people in high net worth households. They are rarely questioned about this, and instead are asked whether they would like a Mercedes or a Lexus. Do they prefer Tiffany's or Cartier? Most surveys of high net worth households are marketing surveys to sell a product, so the questions that are asked are pretty narrow.

We decided to ask three major questions: First, we asked, "What is the greatest aspiration for your life?" As far as we can tell, no one has ever asked this population that question, yet there are assumptions made about this all the time. The second major question was, "What's your greatest aspiration for your children?" Our third question was, "What's your greatest aspiration for the world?" After each of the major questions we asked, "How does your money help you with your greatest aspiration?" and, "How does your money get in the way?"

What did you find?

People consistently said that their greatest aspiration in life was to be a good parent — not exactly the stereotype some might expect. When asked whether their money helps with that, they answered with all the obvious: good schools, travel, security, varied experiences. But when we asked how their money gets in the way, that was a payload. We received response after response on how money is not always helpful. They mentioned very specific concerns, such as the way their children would be treated by others and stereotyped as rich kids or trust fund babies, they wondered if their children would know if people really loved them or their money, whether they'd know if their achievements were because of their own skills, knowledge and talent or because they have a lot of money.

Some were concerned about motivation. They worried that if their children have enough money and don't have to worry about covering the mortgage, what will motivate them? How will they lead meaningful lives? This is where the money might get in the way and make things confusing, not necessarily better. Very few said they hoped their children made a lot of money, and not many said they were going to give all the money to charity and let their kids fend for themselves. They were, however, really interested in helping their children figure out how they could live a meaningful life. Even though they did not have to "make a living," they did need to make a life.

As for the respondents' aspirations for the world, they focused, once again, on how to help the youth in the world live healthy, meaningful and impactful lives. Their answers were consistently youth-focused: They were concerned about being good parents, they were concerned about their children and they were concerned about the children of the world in general. We found that to be very interesting, and even surprising because it runs contrary to so many of the stereotypes about this population.

What had you expected to hear?

One could expect that you might hear things like, "I wanted to make a lot of money and become financially independent and be able to do whatever I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it." But very few said anything like that, although they appreciated the temporal freedom. It was so non-financially focused. I expected that when we asked them about their greatest aspiration for their children, we'd get a lot more people saying they wanted their children to be world leaders, but that's not what they said at all. People said, "I'd like them to think about how to make their world a better place." Not the world, their world — their community, njihov neighborhood, njihov family.

What might psychologists find most interesting about this work?

A net worth of $25 million or more brings temporal freedom, spatial freedom and sometimes psychological freedom, but it's not always easy. Eventually temporal freedom — the freedom to do anything you want — raises dilemmas about what the best way to use all your time might be. There's also spatial freedom: You get to build anything you want — a house, a business, a new nonprofit — and people often get lost or befuddled with all of their options. And you get choice. You can go to this restaurant or that one, this resort or that one, buy this car or that one. People can get overwhelmed by all the choices and possibilities, and the amount of freedom that they have.

Then the overwhelming question becomes: What is the best use of my time and resources? After a while one can actually become stymied and even dispirited. There are plenty of folks who are more than willing to make suggestions, but it takes a lot of individual work to develop the psychological freedom to make decisions. For most, that's not a problem because time and money are limited, so the choices are limited. Being willing to try to understand the challenges of having an oversupply of time and money can be difficult for therapists.

The takeaway from all of this is that there seemed to be a trend that said you can't buy your way out of the human condition. For example, one survey participant told me that he'd sold his business, made a lot of money off that and lived high for a while. He said, "You know, Bob, you can just buy so much stuff, and when you get to the point where you can just buy so much stuff, now what are you going to do?"

What's the significance of this research for the vast majority of us who aren't wealthy?

This research shows the rest of the world, who often think that if they just made one more bonus or sold one more item or got one more promotion, then their world and their family's world would be so much better, that this isn't necessarily true. There's another whole level of concerns that parents are going to have about their kids. One of those concerns is this feeling of isolation. That's actually a No. 1 concern for families with a high net worth — this sense of isolation — and the higher the wealth, the worse it gets. We know this is a very powerful feeling when it comes to one's overall sense of well-being, and these people feel very isolated because they have what most of the world thinks they want. But just because you have money doesn't mean you're not going to have a bad day every once in a while. But what you often lose when you have all this money is the friendships that support you through the difficult times.

What have you learned through your years of working with people with a high net worth?

I think the toughest part about both working with this population and being in this population is that as soon as you say they have a net worth of $25 million, someone will start playing the violin. Like, "Oh, cry me a river, you have all this money and it's causing problems?"

No one is saying, "Poor me, I have a lot of money." In fact, most of them are saying, "I love having a lot of money. But don't get me wrong, there are some downsides."

These people don't have to worry about whether they'll have enough to make the mortgage payment, and they feel very fortunate. But it isn't nirvana either. If their kids have access to a lot of money, and therefore a lot of drugs, that hurts just as much as if they don't have any money and their kids are doing drugs. It doesn't save you from any of that. It's still a parent who has a child who is hurting.


Big Ideas Articles & More

Whether the display was sincere is not the issue here how we are affected by another’s predicament is. Empathy is second nature to us, so much so that anyone devoid of it strikes us as dangerous or mentally ill.

At the movies, we can’t help but get inside the skin of the characters on the screen. We despair when their gigantic ship sinks we exult when they finally stare into the eyes of a long-lost lover.

We are so used to empathy that we take it for granted, yet it is essential to human society as we know it. Our morality depends on it: How could anyone be expected to follow the golden rule without the capacity to mentally trade places with a fellow human being? It is logical to assume that this capacity came first, giving rise to the golden rule itself. The act of perspective-taking is summed up by one of the most enduring definitions of empathy that we have, formulated by Adam Smith as “changing places in fancy with the sufferer.”

An example of consolation among chimpanzees: A juvenile puts an arm around a screaming adult male, who has just been defeated in a fight with his rival. Consolation probably reflects empathy, as the objective of the consoler seems to be to alleviate the distress of the other. © Frans de Waal

Even Smith, the father of economics, best known for emphasizing self-interest as the lifeblood of human economy, understood that the concepts of self-interest and empathy don’t conflict. Empathy makes us reach out to others, first just emotionally, but later in life also by understanding their situation.

This capacity likely evolved because it served our ancestors’ survival in two ways. First, like every mammal, we need to be sensitive to the needs of our offspring. Second, our species depends on cooperation, which means that we do better if we are surrounded by healthy, capable group mates. Taking care of them is just a matter of enlightened self-interest.

It is hard to imagine that empathy—a characteristic so basic to the human species that it emerges early in life, and is accompanied by strong physiological reactions—came into existence only when our lineage split off from that of the apes. It must be far older than that. Examples of empathy in other animals would suggest a long evolutionary history to this capacity in humans.

Evolution rarely throws anything out. Instead, structures are transformed, modified, co-opted for other functions, or tweaked in another direction. The frontal fins of fish became the front limbs of land animals, which over time turned into hoofs, paws, wings, and hands. Occasionally, a structure loses all function and becomes superfluous, but this is a gradual process, and traits rarely disappear altogether. Thus, we find tiny vestiges of leg bones under the skin of whales and remnants of a pelvis in snakes.

Over the last several decades, we’ve seen increasing evidence of empathy in other species. One piece of evidence came unintentionally out of a study on human development. Carolyn Zahn-Waxler, a research psychologist at the National Institute of Mental Health, visited people’s homes to find out how young children respond to family members’ emotions. She instructed people to pretend to sob, cry, or choke, and found that some household pets seemed as worried as the children were by the feigned distress of the family members. The pets hovered nearby and put their heads in their owners’ laps.

But perhaps the most compelling evidence for the strength of animal empathy came from a group of psychiatrists led by Jules Masserman at Northwestern University. The researchers reported in 1964 in the American Journal of Psychiatry that rhesus monkeys refused to pull a chain that delivered food to themselves if doing so gave a shock to a companion. One monkey stopped pulling the chain for 12 days after witnessing another monkey receive a shock. Those primates were literally starving themselves to avoid shocking another animal.

Cognitive empathy, where one understands the other's situation, enables helping behavior that is tailed to the other's specific needs. In this case, a mother chimpanzee reaches to help her son out of a tree after he screamed and begged for her attention. © Frans de Waal

The anthropoid apes, our closest relatives, are even more remarkable. In 1925, Robert Yerkes reported how his bonobo, Prince Chim, was so extraordinarily concerned and protective toward his sickly chimpanzee companion, Panzee, that the scientific establishment might not accept his claims: “If I were to tell of his altruistic and obviously sympathetic behavior towards Panzee, I should be suspected of idealizing an ape.”

Nadia Ladygina-Kohts, a primatological pioneer, noticed similar empathic tendencies in her young chimpanzee, Joni, whom she raised at the beginning of the last century, in Moscow. Kohts, who analyzed Joni’s behavior in the minutest detail, discovered that the only way to get him off the roof of her house after an escape—much more effective than any reward or threat of punishment—was by arousing sympathy:

If I pretend to be crying, close my eyes and weep, Joni immediately stops his plays or any other activities, quickly runs over to me, all excited and shagged, from the most remote places in the house, such as the roof or the ceiling of his cage, from where I could not drive him down despite my persistent calls and entreaties. He hastily runs around me, as if looking for the offender looking at my face, he tenderly takes my chin in his palm, lightly touches my face with his finger, as though trying to understand what is happening, and turns around, clenching his toes into firm fists.

These observations suggest that apart from emotional connectedness, apes have an appreciation of the other’s situation and show a degree of perspective-taking. One striking report in this regard concerns a bonobo female named Kuni, who found a wounded bird in her enclosure at Twycross Zoo, in England. Kuni picked up the bird, and when her keeper urged her to let it go, she climbed to the highest point of the highest tree, carefully unfolded the bird’s wings and spread them wide open, one wing in each hand, before throwing it as hard as she could toward the barrier of the enclosure. When the bird fell short, Kuni climbed down and guarded it until the end of the day, when it flew to safety. Obviously, what Kuni did would have been inappropriate toward a member of her own species. Having seen birds in flight many times, she seemed to have a notion of what would be good for a bird, thus giving us an anthropoid illustration of Smith’s “changing places in fancy.”

This is not to say that all we have are anecdotes. Systematic studies have been conducted on so-called “consolation” behavior. Consolation is defined as friendly or reassuring behavior by a bystander toward a victim of aggression. For example, chimpanzee A attacks chimpanzee B, after which bystander C comes over and embraces or grooms B. Based on hundreds of such observations, we know that consolation occurs regularly and exceeds baseline levels of contact. In other words, it is a demonstrable tendency that probably reflects empathy, since the objective of the consoler seems to be to alleviate the distress of the other. In fact, the usual effect of this kind of behavior is that it stops screaming, yelping, and other signs of distress.

A bottom-up view of empathy

The above examples help explain why to the biologist, a Russian doll is such a satisfying plaything, especially if it has a historical dimension. I own a doll of Russian President Vladimir Putin, within whom we discover Yeltsin, Gorbachev, Brezhnev, Kruschev, Stalin, and Lenin, in that order. Finding a little Lenin and Stalin within Putin will hardly surprise most political analysts. The same is true for biological traits: The old always remains present in the new.

This is relevant to the debate about the origins of empathy, especially because of the tendency in some disciplines, such as psychology, to put human capacities on a pedestal. They essentially adopt a top-down approach that emphasizes the uniqueness of human language, consciousness, and cognition. But instead of trying to place empathy in the upper regions of human cognition, it is probably best to start out examining the simplest possible processes, some perhaps even at the cellular level. In fact, recent neuroscience research suggests that very basic processes do underlie empathy. Researchers at the University of Parma, in Italy, were the first to report that monkeys have special brain cells that become active not only if the monkey grasps an object with its hand but also if it merely watches another do the same. Since these cells are activated as much by doing as by seeing someone else do, they are known as mirror neurons, or “monkey see, monkey do” neurons.

It seems that developmentally and evolutionarily, advanced forms of empathy are preceded by and grow out of more elementary ones. Biologists prefer such bottom-up accounts. They always assume continuity between past and present, child and adult, human and animal, even between humans and the most primitive mammals.

So, how and why would this trait have evolved in humans and other species? Empathy probably evolved in the context of the parental care that characterizes all mammals. Signaling their state through smiling and crying, human infants urge their caregiver to take action. This also applies to other primates. The survival value of these interactions is evident from the case of a deaf female chimpanzee I have known named Krom, who gave birth to a succession of infants and had intense positive interest in them. But because she was deaf, she wouldn’t even notice her babies’ calls of distress if she sat down on them. Krom’s case illustrates that without the proper mechanism for understanding and responding to a child’s needs, a species will not survive.

During the 180 million years of mammalian evolution, females who responded to their offspring’s needs out-reproduced those who were cold and distant. Having descended from a long line of mothers who nursed, fed, cleaned, carried, comforted, and defended their young, we should not be surprised by gender differences in human empathy, such as those proposed to explain the disproportionate rate of boys affected by autism, which is marked by a lack of social communication skills.

Empathy also plays a role in cooperation. One needs to pay close attention to the activities and goals of others to cooperate effectively. A lioness needs to notice quickly when other lionesses go into hunting mode, so that she can join them and contribute to the pride’s success. A male chimpanzee needs to pay attention to his buddy’s rivalries and skirmishes with others so that he can help out whenever needed, thus ensuring the political success of their partnership. Effective cooperation requires being exquisitely in tune with the emotional states and goals of others.

Within a bottom-up framework, the focus is not so much on the highest levels of empathy, but rather on its simplest forms, and how these combine with increased cognition to produce more complex forms of empathy. How did this transformation take place? The evolution of empathy runs from shared emotions and intentions between individuals to a greater self/other distinction—that is, an “unblurring” of the lines between individuals. As a result, one’s own experience is distinguished from that of another person, even though at the same time we are vicariously affected by the other’s. This process culminates in a cognitive appraisal of the other’s behavior and situation: We adopt the other’s perspective.

As in a Russian doll, however, the outer layers always contain an inner core. Instead of evolution having replaced simpler forms of empathy with more advanced ones, the latter are merely elaborations on the former and remain dependent on them. This also means that empathy comes naturally to us. It is not something we only learn later in life, or that is culturally constructed. At heart, it is a hard-wired response that we fine-tune and elaborate upon in the course of our lives, until it reaches a level at which it becomes such a complex response that it is hard to recognize its origin in simpler responses, such as body mimicry and emotional contagion. (See sidebar.)

Biology holds us “on a leash,” in the felicitous words of biologist Edward Wilson, and will let us stray only so far from who we are. We can design our life any way we want, but whether we will thrive depends on how well that life fits human predispositions.

I hesitate to predict what we humans can and can’t do, but we must consider our biological leash when deciding what kind of society we want to build, especially when it comes to goals like achieving universal human rights.

If we could manage to see people on other continents as part of us, drawing them into our circle of reciprocity and empathy, we would be building upon, rather than going against, our nature.

For instance, in 2004, the Israeli Minister of Justice caused political uproar for sympathizing with the enemy. Yosef Lapid questioned the Israeli army’s plans to demolish thousands of Palestinian homes in a zone along the Egyptian border. He had been touched by images on the evening news. “When I saw a picture on the TV of an old woman on all fours in the ruins of her home looking under some floor tiles for her medicines, I did think, ‘What would I say if it were my grandmother?’” he said. Lapid’s grandmother was a Holocaust victim.

This incident shows how a simple emotion can widen the definition of one’s group. Lapid had suddenly realized that Palestinians were part of his circle of concern, too. Empathy is the one weapon in the human repertoire that can rid us of the curse of xenophobia.

Empathy is fragile, though. Among our close animal relatives, it is switched on by events within their community, such as a youngster in distress, but it is just as easily switched off with regards to outsiders or members of other species, such as prey. The way a chimpanzee bashes in the skull of a live monkey by hitting it against a tree trunk is no advertisement for ape empathy. Bonobos are less brutal, but in their case, too, empathy needs to pass through several filters before it will be expressed. Often, the filters prevent expressions of empathy because no ape can afford feeling pity for all living things all the time. This applies equally to humans. Our evolutionary background makes it hard to identify with outsiders. We’ve evolved to hate our enemies, to ignore people we barely know, and to distrust anybody who doesn’t look like us. Even if we are largely cooperative within our communities, we become almost a different animal in our treatment of strangers. (See sidebar.)

This is the challenge of our time: globalization by a tribal species. In trying to structure the world such that it suits human nature, the point to keep in mind is that political ideologues by definition hold narrow views. They are blind to what they don’t wish to see. The possibility that empathy is part of our primate heritage ought to make us happy, but we are not in the habit of embracing our nature. When people kill each other, we call them “animals.” But when they give to the poor, we praise them for being “humane.” We like to claim the latter tendency for ourselves. Yet, it will be hard to come up with anything we like about ourselves that is not part of our evolutionary background. What we need, therefore, is a vision of human nature that encompasses all of our tendencies: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Our best hope for transcending tribal differences is based on the moral emotions, because emotions defy ideology. In principle, empathy can override every rule about how to treat others. When Oskar Schindler kept Jews out of concentration camps during World War II, for example, he was under clear orders by his society on how to treat people, yet his feelings interfered.

Caring emotions may lead to subversive acts, such as the case of a prison guard who during wartime was directed to feed his charges only water and bread, but who occasionally sneaked in a hard-boiled egg. However small his gesture, it etched itself into the prisoners’ memories as a sign that not all of their enemies were monsters. And then there are the many acts of omission, such as when soldiers could have killed captives without negative repercussions but decided not to. In war, restraint can be a form of compassion.

Emotions trump rules. This is why, when speaking of moral role models, we talk of their hearts, not their brains (even if, as any neuroscientist will point out, the heart as the seat of emotions is an outdated notion). We rely more on what we feel than what we think when solving moral dilemmas.

It’s not that religion and culture don’t have a role to play, but the building blocks of morality clearly predate humanity. We recognize them in our primate relatives, with empathy being most conspicuous in the bonobo ape and reciprocity in the chimpanzee. Moral rules tell us when and how to apply our empathic tendencies, but the tendencies themselves have been in existence since time immemorial.


Actor-Observer Bias

Returning to our earlier example, Greg knew that he lost his job, but an observer would not know. So a naïve observer would tend to attribute Greg’s hostile behavior to Greg’s disposition rather than to the true, situational cause. Why do you think we underestimate the influence of the situation on the behaviors of others? One reason is that we often don’t have all the information we need to make a situational explanation for another person’s behavior. The only information we might have is what is observable. Due to this lack of information we have a tendency to assume the behavior is due to a dispositional, or internal, factor. When it comes to explaining our own behaviors, however, we have much more information available to us. If you came home from school or work angry and yelled at your dog or a loved one, what would your explanation be? You might say you were very tired or feeling unwell and needed quiet time—a situational explanation. The pristranost glumca i promatrača is the phenomenon of attributing other people’s behavior to internal factors (fundamental attribution error) while attributing our own behavior to situational forces (Jones & Nisbett, 1971 Nisbett, Caputo, Legant, & Marecek, 1973 Choi & Nisbett, 1998). As actors of behavior, we have more information available to explain our own behavior. However as observers, we have less information available therefore, we tend to default to a dispositionist perspective.

One study on the actor-observer bias investigated reasons male participants gave for why they liked their girlfriend (Nisbett et al., 1973). When asked why participants liked their own girlfriend, participants focused on internal, dispositional qualities of their girlfriends (for example, her pleasant personality). The participants’ explanations rarely included causes internal to themselves, such as dispositional traits (for example, “I need companionship.”). In contrast, when speculating why a male friend likes his girlfriend, participants were equally likely to give dispositional and external explanations. This supports the idea that actors tend to provide few internal explanations but many situational explanations for their own behavior. In contrast, observers tend to provide more dispositional explanations for a friend’s behavior (Figure 4).

Slika 4. Actor-observer bias is evident when subjects explain their own reasons for liking a girlfriend versus their impressions of others’ reasons for liking a girlfriend.


Gledaj video: गणत टचर. Math Teacher. Teachers Day Special. Hindi Stories. Hindi Cartoon. हद करटन (Kolovoz 2022).