Empathy as a Factor for Change
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Presentation by Lidewij Niezink at the 'Empathy and Compassion in Society Conference', London, November 2012. ...

Presentation by Lidewij Niezink at the 'Empathy and Compassion in Society Conference', London, November 2012.

How can we make sure that the research on empathy and compassion contributes to this changing world? By turning it into practice: Empathy Circles combine research from different scientific disciplines into one instrument which helps us to walk the talk.

Want to know more? Contact us at:
www.cultureofempathy.com
www.lidewijniezink.com

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Empathy as a Factor for Change by Lidewij Niezink is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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  • All empathy but: some about brainstructures, other about self reports or observations or tasks or neurons.
  • And we ritualize this intention by lighting a candle. Not for no reason because Paul Zak, who is doing a lot of work on the role of oxytocin in empathy, suggested to us that ritual might be one way to release Oxytocin. And research shows that o xytocin facilitates closeness and generosity (Depue and Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005; Zak, Stanton & Ahmadi, 2007).
  • in order to not end up in experiencing just personal distress but rather to be able to empathize, we need a good capacity to regulate emotions elicited in empathy contexts.
  • As you can see, I fit in nicely too. We get our Mirror Neuron System into gear, we mimic each other as to increase affiliation and positive social judgment. Research shows that we like others better when they mimic us and that mirroring also increases pro-social orientation in general (van Baaren et al., 2004;Ashton–James et al., 2007; Fischer-Lokou et al., 2011.;Guéguen et al., 2011; Stel andHarinck, 2011). If not for all the scientific reasons, I can assure you that mirroring each other is always a very joyful exercise!
  • Interlocutors tend to automatically align at different levels of linguistic representation, e.g., through repeating each other’s words and grammar (Garrod and Pickering, 2004). Communicates interest and commitment in understanding the other’s perspective, thereby implying that their feelings are valid and worth listening to.
  • Rime (2009) suggests that socio- affective responses such as comfort and empathy temporarily alleviate a narrator’s negative emotions and generate a deep feeling of relief.

Empathy as a Factor for Change Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Research in empathy andcompassion as a factor for change: Lidewij Niezink, PhD
  • 2. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change How our world is ChangingGoogle Books (corpus English) 1900-2008
  • 3. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change How our world is ChangingGoogle Trends analyzes a portion of Google web searches to compute how many searches havebeen done for the terms youve entered, relative to the total number of searches done on Googleover time.
  • 4. Empathy Circles: A Factor for ChangeHow our world is Changing
  • 5. Empathy Circles: A Factor for ChangeProblem: what is empathy?
  • 6. Empathy Circles: A Factor for ChangeInput from diverse fields of scientific enquiry:•Psychology•Neuroscience•Biology•Philosophy•Arts / Humanities•Anthropology•etc
  • 7. Empathy Circles: A Factor for ChangeThe Empathy Umbrella: Explosion of output!
  • 8. Empathy Circles: A Factor for ChangeThe Empathy Umbrella: We all contribute
  • 9. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change The Empathy Umbrella: How can we come together?Combining Research and Walking the talk:
  • 10. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles• Open to anyone with a willingness to practice empathy.• Focussed on deepening different empathic skill components.• Offer a platform: from a need to be heard to a space to listen.• International: online, through Google Hangouts: on youtube
  • 11. Empathy Circles: A Factor for ChangeEmpathy Circles:
  • 12. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles: Intention• Stepping out of reactivity into intentionality.• Behavioral intentions predict intentional behavior (Ajzen, 1991) depending on ultimate interest.• I am willing to empathize: from ultimate (society/ culture) to specific (in this circle).
  • 13. Empathy Circles: A Factor for ChangeRitualize Intention
  • 14. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles: Self-Empathy• Mindfulness / Open awareness• Meta-cognition: the ability to know that we know, to observe that we think (Flavell, 1979).• Self-Compassion: extremely important for emotion regulation (Neff, 2003).• Non-Judgemental
  • 15. Empathy Circles: A Factor for ChangeEmpathy Circles: Mirrored Empathy
  • 16. Empathy Circles: A Factor for ChangeEmpathy Circles: Mirrored Empathy
  • 17. Empathy Circles: A Factor for ChangeEmpathy Circles: Mirrored Empathy
  • 18. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles: Reflective Empathy• Rogers: Client Centered Therapy• When reflected: Better Emotion Regulation • Less negative affect after describing conflict • More alignment (language and ideas)
  • 19. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles: Imaginative Empathy• Cognitive empathy / theory of mind (ToM) or mentalizing: the ability to represent and understand the mental states of others.• Empathic accuracy: 25-35% (Ickes, 2003)• Block: projection• Perspective taking: self vs other• Story telling / Role play / Fantasizing
  • 20. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles: Empathic Arising• Mysterious consequence... Action/creativity• Arising in the moment, signalled by arousal.• A feeling of belonging due to the circle process• Tapping into motivational system• Building resillience?
  • 21. Empathy Circles: A Factor for ChangeEmpathy Circles:
  • 22. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles: Building a Culture• Restorative Empathy Circles• Family Empathy Circles• Mediation Empathy Circles• Scholarly Empathy Circles• Charter for Compassion Book Club Empathy Circles
  • 23. Empathy Circles: A Factor for Change Empathy Circles: Invitation• Participate in a circle.• Help us in researching the effects of the circles• Join us in applying your findings!• Want to know more? It is all online ;-)
  • 24. Empathy Circles: A Factor for ChangeBlowing our intention into the world