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Daily Archives: June 9, 2010

Lacking Empathy says University of Michigan Study

Yesterday I read a two articles posted via @socratoad “All about Dr. Robert Hare – Expert on the Psychopath” and “Psychopaths Among Us”, both were fascinating reads.

Today I noticed this article which reports quite a dramatic decline in empathy amongst college students; lack of empathy is one of the characteristics displayed in (clinical) Psychopathic behaviour…

I also found this link via Diane Bjorling which, although long, is very interesting – http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/psychopath.htm

One of the biggest notices from this article came at the end…

“If we just open our hearts to all the misfortune around us, it would be just overwhelming,” she says.

Time for a walk in the forest…

Clipped from www.usatoday.com
College students have less empathy than past generations
College students today show less empathy toward others compared with college students in decades before, a study from the University of Michigan says.
Sara Konrath, a researcher at the university’s Institute for Social Research, looked at 72 studies that gauged empathy among 14,000 college students in the past 30 years. She found that empathy has been declining — especially since 2000.
The research finds that college students today show 40% less empathy vs. students in the 1980s and 1990s.
The study did not evaluate why students are less empathetic, but Konrath says one reason may be that people are having fewer face-to-face interactions, communicating instead through social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
“Empathy is best activated when you can see another person’s signal for help,” Konrath says.
Michigan graduate student Edward O’Brian, who helped collect data for the study, says the “explosion” in social networking has caused college students to spend less time with each other.
“You might spend your night posting on Facebook walls and sending out tweets to hundreds of your online friends, but by doing so, you’re also not spending time with real people and gaining valuable interpersonal experiences,” O’Brian says.
Another cause may be changing expectations about success. Since the 1980s, there has been a steady trend in people feeling more stressed about trying to “get ahead,” Konrath says.
“Empathy is a very important moral trait in terms of everyday caring for people in our environment,” she says.
Raines says that empathy is declining in all generations and that people may be closing themselves off from others in response to the increase in the flow of information and bad news.
“If we just open our hearts to all the misfortune around us, it would be just overwhelming,” she says.

Read more at www.usatoday.com

Up to 24 million Chinese youths are addicted to the internet

A classic case of cure not prevention… “We have to use military-style methods such as total immersion and physical training on these young people.” < I don’t really want to imagine the lack of empathy or sympathy these kids get :-(

Clipped from www.gamepron.com

Chinese Boot Camp Prison Break

Up to 24 million Chinese youths are addicted to the internet – and half of those are “obsessed” by online games. Treatment centres have popped up around the country, aiming to ‘cure’ these young people from their terrible affliction.
An official at these camps has gone on record to explain what goes on:
“We have to use military-style methods such as total immersion and physical training on these young people. We need to teach them some discipline and help them to establish a regular lifestyle.”
Understandably, it’s not what you’d call fun – and last week, a group of inmates at the Huai’an Internet Addiction Treatment Centre decided they’d had enough of the “monotonous work and intensive training”. Working together, they tied their duty supervisor to his bed and made a run for it.
six months at the Centre for a cost of 18,000 yuan (US$2,635).
“I don’t think there is any problem with the training methods at the centre. They are for my child’s own good.”
The Chinese government supports these centres, releasing a white paper on the topic, which details their commitment to the “online safety” of minors, and promising to take measures to prevent young people “overindulging in the internet” – but it’s not an opinion shared by everyone.

See more at www.gamepron.com

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