Saturday, January 21, 2012

Oxytocin and morality

A reader recommended this TED talk about the role of oxytocin and morality. The talk description:

What drives our desire to behave morally? Neuroeconomist Paul Zak shows why he believes oxytocin (he calls it “the moral molecule”) is responsible for trust, empathy, and other feelings that help build a stable society. 




 Here's what the reader said about it:


It seems relavant that he says about 5% of people do not release oxytocin upon the usual stimuli, and I usually see a predicted psychopathy incidence at around 4% of the population. Also, the background for individuals with this lack of release is similar to that often found of p/s types.


Could the distinction between empaths and sociopaths really as simple as that? Even if it is not, it's interesting to see how much of people's humanity is based on something as simple as a hormone.  

173 comments:

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  2. Figured Demon could benefit from this one..

    yummy

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  3. What drives our desire to behave morally?


    Maybe.. just maybe, it's due to being in ones best interest a lot of the time. No chemical required.

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  5. I always disagreed that sociopaths would flourish in an anarchistic society.

    In a way. I suppose all of a sudden everyone would be facing who they really are (once again chemical or no chemical). Given the number of people lacking the mental faculties to deal with that it's easy to envisage issues arising.

    Then again, might those with a PD not be able to flourish purely because it's something different to the norm?

    Just throwing it out there.

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  7. True..

    I went to my regular doctor this week, it cost me 1,19€, that's 1,54usd. Imagine ...

    Good not living in the US hey! saw mine for free and got 3 more repeats for 2mg Xanax. Approx $5 for each box (50 tablets in each).

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  8. Is there oxytocin in pharmeceuticals ?

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  10. I saw mine for free and got mine for free.

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  11. Alprazolam Mylan (=xanax)

    yeah, but the generics don't dissolve under the tongue the same way xanax does.. must be due to the fillers/binders. Guess that's just splitting hairs though. I'm in Oz but from what I've heard you Euro blokes get a good deal too.

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  13. who would pay me to use it? cause I wana know

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  15. boxers wtf, chew it like a man.

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  16. Sure you didn't get any extra cash for using them?


    heh - Uni psych trials looking for subjects are meant to be good for that. Though ya never know what your getting and I'd probably always be lumped with the bloody placebo but still... Tempting.

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  17. I always keep oxynasal for the clubs.
    Chicks dig me quicker.

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  18. boxers wtf, chew it like a man.

    I can chew BBQ steak. Doesn't meant I don't prefer fillet.

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  20. You fillet your meds?

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  21. Cheap meat? Who are you addressing?

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  23. Just let the poor chew on cheap meat ...

    Dunno about that mate they seem to do ok with meth instead of coke. I reckon their onto a good thing there. Then again it must be said I'm poor, so it could be construed as bias.

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  24. I don't pay to suck your weewee, Dave. You must be confusing me with another old fart.

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  27. Being paid to have it sucked? Damn the pressure would really be on then, it's difficult enough when a chick you like does it to you. If I was being paid my fillet would remain well and truly underdone and never cook. Ever.

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  29. Then make some money, drink wine and smoke cigars ...

    OH but I do. It's just that the wine comes in 4 litre casks and my tobacco comes in 50 gram pouches.

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  31. Oh dear ...

    Not really - although I can see how some may look at it that way - after 'being there and done that' I came to the realisation that what ever 'happiness' could be gained from living such a lifestyle was quite frankly a pretense.

    I'm getting by better now on 1/10th the income I once earned because I don't have to put up with the bullshit. Each to their own, though.

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  33. wtf my cat is farting in my face grandiosely.

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  34. Cats score high on the PCLR, and already in jail at birth in most cases.

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  35. Do you live in a place with socialized medicine, David?

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  36. Note, that sucks. I hope you get better.

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  37. Themes for SW RegularsJanuary 21, 2012 at 8:01 AM

    To TNP from the people who care at SW



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58D4elqQqbg

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  38. Lol TCO

    This guy is a total narcissist. Mom was a morally superior nun? No wonder. He's fucking hilarious. Quoting Jerry McGuire lol. He's gonna end poverty with his little homegrown oxytocin experiments. Thats some grandiose thinking. I liked the part where he talked about high testosterone males (narc types) who like to punish others for being morally inferior. He was clearly speaking first hand, there. Bet he cheats on his wife.

    Haven and I were talking about oxytocin several posts ago. Interestingly, he didnt test it under negative circumstances like the research she had on her blog.

    Its pretty simple. Oxytocin is the chemical responsible for attachment and everything that comes with it. If you dont produce it naturally or if your receptors dont reuptake it properly, you are not going to feel that human connection.

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  39. i was so rude yesterday to monica, sorry, i was drunk. :/ I'm going out tonight and i ain't drinking. I mean it. LOL.

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  41. "it's interesting to see how much of people's humanity is based on something as simple as a hormone."

    This really isn't so phenomenal if you think about it. After all, it comes down to two hormones that dictates much of the gender traits.

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  42. @notme

    I was pretty drunk too. I'm surprised I was able to write anything coherent down. Who cares if Monica got hurt when you were rude though? She doesn't fight beepers. She pities them too much. :D

    @UKan

    I'm pretty sure I left off some details that were crucial to the end of my stories last night. Like the fact that the lady I took the shop from, did everything in her power to keep me from getting it, once she found out they were thinking of offering it to me. She was starting to think that I was conspiring against her, with the ladies in the business office. She called some of her friends, who also ran a few shops, and told them to interview. She thought one of them would get it since they were far more qualified than me.

    But I had such a spell over that place. Not just with the Board of Directors, but also the clients and their families. I was like an angel to them. Some of them even cried when they found out the shop was going to be mine. Tears of joy. ;) My former boss however, was not happy for me in the least. Even though she had claimed she wouldn't care because: "It's not personal... It's just business."

    They had her stay on for 30 days so I could have time to make the transition, and we went to battle. She threatened me, tried to withhold my checks from me, wouldn't replace products etc. Basically she turned into this paranoid lunatic. I even told her that. That she was just paranoid... which of course made her fly into fits of rage! lol

    But the battle between her and I, just made the victory that much sweeter for me. Because when she first hired me... she started bragging to everyone there, and at the other salons, about me. She had been so impressed with me... and even wanted me to teach the other stylists, how to be more efficient, and organized. She had been charmed by me, just like all the others. But when it was all over, she saw me as the devil, and that must have been the moment she realized what she had been up against all along... yet there was nothing she could do to stop it.

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  43. That's what she get for being so negligent. I thought there was more to that. I was pretty fucked up too.

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  44. Damn the pressure would really be on then, it's difficult enough when a chick you like does it to you.

    That explains the misogyny. You are gay then I suppose?

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  45. "That's what she get for being so negligent"

    I agree.

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  46. Sometimes it seems like people just want you to fuck them over.

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  47. I don't get it, what do you guys get off sex? I just get an orgasm and I'm done. I don't have these weird connections, emotions you're all talking about.

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  48. I don't get it, what do you guys get off sex? I just get an orgasm and I'm done. I don't have these weird connections, emotions you're all talking about.

    ^Beeper Bait^

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  49. Hey TNP. When I found out you had cancer I looked up some of your previous posts and discovered that I may have been wrong about your nurturing a cold, cruel facade. You have said many ugly things (who hasn't?) but you have also made several comments that reveal depth and insight. I know you dislike me because you think that I'm something I'm not ( I am no charlatan) so you can go ahead and insult me all you want -I assure you that I won't get broken up over it- but I do want to apologize to you for the nasty comments I made. Not because I feel guilty (although intellectually, I acknowledge that perhaps I should, considering your present circumstances)- but because I suspect I was wrong.

    Wishing you "good luck" last night was really shallow and trite on my behalf. So I will try again: you can beat this TNP. Raven said it well- life *is* an adventure, and there is no one better equipped to deal with uncertainty than a sociopath. You will have an advantage that many would not, in your situation. I wish you well and since it does not repulse you, I will pray for your swift and complete recovery. It may not help- I won't be so arrogant as to presume I know what life has in store for you- but it cannot hurt. I wish yoi well.

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  50. "Sometimes it seems like people just want you to fuck them over."

    That's always been my rationale without even thinking much on it. Everyone is fair game. It's not for me to give sight to the blind.

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  51. That's what she get for being so negligent.

    To Ukan and Raven:

    If someone has "it" there is little to do. I can usually tell when another person is charming circles around me. I immediately befriend them. Then at some point there is competition and one of us bails. It isn't even jealousy. It's more like "oh brother this is too much work even for me."

    I should probably bank on my charm more.

    People give you things when you brighten their day. I just never fully realized that it's a useful gift. I'm glad you pointed it out. One day in the real world I'll be able to take more advantage of that power where it's NOT related to dating.

    When that happens I'm going to come and tell you that these stories inspired me.

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  52. hey TNP sorry to read you're ill. don't give up without a fight.

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  53. Re oxytocin.

    8 hugs a day. I'd like to buy that.

    Can that help cure even a sociopath from sickness of the body or mind?

    I remember once when I was really depressed as a child, my mom and I and one of her cousins sitting around a table talking of ways to make me better. When we got up from the table the cousin took me into her arms and hugged me for a long time. I burst into tears and my mom just stood there. She was so clueless.

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  54. Hugs don't do much for me if I am genuinely upset. I want to be left alone on those occasions.



    vw: disco (lol!)

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  55. Tnp I would hug you if it helped. We all would.

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  58. Wait, David is actually a prostitute? I've always thought that it was some bullshit made up by UKan. But you're actually weak and don't have any self respect. Your mouth is filled with diseases you dirty whore.

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  60. Don't call anybody a slut when you suck dicks and gets them up your ass for a living, David. Anyway, what's with you and Mr Ripley?

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  61. Shut Up Extremity, go take a long walk off a short pier he he

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  62. Stop kidding yourself, David. You don't have any fans and you never will. Your so called sociopathic lifestyle led you to suck old men's penis for a living. The only time you have control over people is when your old men actually want to be sexually controlled. You spend your whole time getting treated like the dirty whore you are. I'm starting to believe you're a masochist.

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  63. Raven, your story is fucked up.......















    And awesome. Good job!

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  64. I am having a hard time finding a place to live that isn't shady. Because my main source of income is always from a scam, I have no records of legit payments. I can't go to regular flats because they need to see statements I don't have. Fuckin' sucks...

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  65. I enjoyed it as well, Raven. Thanks for sharing.

    David, you come here whining about being kept waiting by a client. Do you hear any of us bitching about our jobs? If you dont like it, change it. You do have other skills, right?

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  66. Its like that muppet on the movie Monster. She goes out everywhere trying to apply for a job and nobody will hire her. She finally gives up and says, who am I kidding I'm nothing but a hooker. That's it david. You are nothing but a public bathroom for old geezers to stick their cock in after getting sloshed at a dinner party. A regret. A shameful regret.

    I love seeing the reaction people get when they find out you're a pristitute david. The loathing. The revulsion. One thing the world can agree upon is that whores are worthless rubbish and the bottom of the shite pile.

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  67. Horses Asses are Lower than WhoresJanuary 21, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    he he

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  68. I think it's so funny that Ami's such a huge fan of David. I remember her reaction when he first got here, and it was the exact opposite. In fact, as I recall it, she felt quite superior. Lol... even Ami felt like she was above you, David. How fucking embarrassing is that?!

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  69. Why do you have to put people down, Raven? Serious question.

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  70. By telling the truth? If telling the truth about your character is somehow offensive; who's fault is that? Not mine. :D

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  71. @Anonymous said...
    Why do you have to put people down, Raven? Serious question.

    Raven doen't put people down, she/he helps them open their eyes and see how pathetic they really are. If anything, Raven is doing them a favor.

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  72. Well, HOW great is your character, Raven? Ever hear about people in glass houses he he

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  73. Better than yours. I'm actually honest about mine. Which puts my character above yours by leaps and bounds.

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  74. frankfurt has give up sikh. he is going bahai

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  75. Theme Songs for SW Regulars " Famous Couples" SeriesJanuary 21, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Theme Song for David and Ami




    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRmKzxhMzwo

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  76. Goooooooood evening good evening good evening! How's everybody doing?

    Nice story, Raven. How long ago did all of this happen? And what's become of the one you call "she" and "her"?

    wv: intatica (sounds like the inca word for "intact". Or something like that)

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  78. "Piles the Beaver said...

    I am having a hard time finding a place to live that isn't shady. Because my main source of income is always from a scam, I have no records of legit payments. I can't go to regular flats because they need to see statements I don't have. Fuckin' sucks..."

    lmfao~!

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  79. One issue I have other than that is how I look like a child. They never take me seriously when I do find a place that isn't picky with how I get the money. As long as I can pay they don't care, but my look, they think I'm a baby. I'm not even close.

    I got a pad now, it's okay, but I want something better. I hate carpet....well, carpet on the floor. I prefer wood.

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  81. It is kinda funny Dave. My whole life is a tragicomedy. I stay laughing at myself and the shit I get myself into.

    I found a place that is in mexico town, ghetto as hell, robberies and car break ins, but the building is nice, and it looks modern. I go next week. YAY!

    Btw, I have no idea wtf you were ranting on about but I'm sure it's a really cool story~

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  83. Piles
    I thought you were a 40 year old man lol

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  84. I'm twenty4. I look about 16 to 17, unless I'm dressed like a whore, then I look my age. Not the you kinda whore, the new yorker dominican hooped fake gold earrings kinda whore.

    I can be a 40 year old man anon, years from now. Who knows, I might get bored with this gender and switch things up.

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  86. Lila Tov David :)

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  87. So Piles is an ethnic Lolita.

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  88. Thank you for the kind words and encouragements.

    I make no excuses for who I am or what I do. I may not take responsibility for my actions, but I acknowledge them, and their consequences, and this cancer in my life, literal and figurative, is symbolic of a lifetime of struggle.

    Just as there is a feral, angry, power hungry side to me, there is also a nurturing and loving side. I've felt love, I've given love, and shared it with others. I've also done the complete opposite. There's no remorse or shame or regrets, but that doesn't mean all those actions left me unaffected.

    Here at SW, I typically try to play the role I'm expected to, and sometimes it's good for the site and community, other times it's not even good for me.

    If I can stress anything, it's this. Be true to yourself, but don't trap yourself. Especially you fellow sociopaths. We have such great potential to do things many don't, and to pigeon-hole ourselves into stereotypes and cliche doesn't serve us well.

    Try to fly with the birds. Sometimes you'll end up being a buzzard, sometimes you'll be an Icarus, but at the very least you didn't settle for 'good enough' or 'what's expected'.

    We're not all bound for greatness, or love, significance, but if you settle for monotony, that's what you're going to get at best. This last year for me has been very trying. I started up a new business, my father died, and I ended up getting cancer. I almost murdered someone on complete impulse at random, it's just been crazy, literally. But even faced with this fatal disease and chaos surrounding me, I feel at peace, because I know that at the end of the day I'm doing this all for what I know is right and true for me.

    Whether you're a sociopath, a victim, a passerby, or an inquisitive mind, just keep an open mind when dealing with people like us. We come in all varieties and flavors, and yes, there are certainly traits and themes that are universal at the core, but we're more than patients and empirical data.

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  89. "We have such great potential to do things many don't, and to pigeon-hole ourselves into stereotypes and cliche doesn't serve us well."

    double cheers

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  90. True speak TNP, true speak.

    Good luck to you. When you survive this flip "God" off with one hand, grab your dick with the other, and ask him if this is all he's got ;)

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  91. @Wheatley

    I took over that shop in May of last year.

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  92. @ TNP
    You have, always, been an original, one of a kind person with a rare elegance. I knew that from the first day I flew in here.
    Good luck to you, TNP.

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  93. I'll be praying for you Note.

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  94. Aha. Monica/Caroline Mystery solved.

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  95. Monica/Caroline mystery solved?

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  96. My husband as you know was on an acid trip last night. And I came to several interesting conclusions I thought may interest you all. He asked me questions about empathy most of the night, and I hadn't realized until that point how ignorant he was to the idea and meaning of empathy, or how it effects the normality of our relationship. It made me better understand all the annoying presumptions and questions people have about how I could love him without his having empathy. I hadn't seen the reasoning behind us not being able to be happy because he has no empathy. But the questions he asked pointed out some things that I do naturally with my own sense of empathy, and aspects of empathy I hadn't considered. For example, he asked how people don't go through a supermarket just crying at other people's sadnesses. Or questions that otherwise related to levels of control when it comes to empathy, and how people respond to each other. It made me really realize the levels of "empathetic intelligence", if you will, that people can acquire or develop.

    It also made me wonder what the sociopaths on here perceive empathy to be. Sociopaths always ask what it is, but can the sociopaths describe empathy and its purposes from an external standpoint?

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  97. Yes Ami... you haven't been fooling anyone. Did you really think you were? Only the new comers don't get it.

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  98. Lol. Well, of course I suspected. I like the proof being in the pudding.

    Bourbon Friday still treating you well?

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  99. TNP, you have inspired me to live every day as if it's my last.

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  100. I'm sober tonight. I was still drunk when I woke up this morning! I had a good time last night. I like to see proof too. Proof of what drunken fun does to my thought process when communicating with others.

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  101. I'm surprised you type so well. The more drunk my husband gets the more gsrblrd hus trxt bwcpmes.

    He has a textual slur.

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  102. Who's Ami, MK? Do tell, please. Ive seen reference to her.

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  103. Themes for SW RegularsJanuary 21, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Theme Song for Ami



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53ith7bNN8w

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  104. Ok there's always a lot of talk about empathy, but the thing is that it is an internal moral compass. You just know if something you do is going to be harmful and cause suffering and you dont do it. Thats it as its simplest. Being able to say "I shouldnt punch her in the face because it will hurt her" not because it is wrong by some legal standard. Its pretty basic. When you hear someone scream in pain (and its not consensual pain play) you stop. You recognize their suffering.

    I do not walk around with my empathy turned on all the time, and it is hard for me to imagine anyone does, but it kicks in when needed. Generally. Mine is somewhat blunted so certain times it doesnt. But I really make a conscious effort to remember that my actions effect others and how can be in my control if I focus.

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  105. Sarah, the sociopath is unlikely to care about the suffering part. Socios know the victim is experiencing terror, but he has the mindset of "It's not me, so f*** it" It's rational in a way.

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  106. Um... No. And you aren't a sociopath, Sarah, but thanks anyway for the touching description I won't read. I got as far as moral compass and discarded the rest.

    I asked sociopaths not because I need to know what empathy is and felt they'd be the best to go to. Nor was it because I wanted to start the empathy debate among the borderlines again. I want to know what empathy is perceived to be by people who don't have any.

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  107. Raven, what is empathy to you? If you were to describe it, what would you describe it as?

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  108. I'd really like to know what Mis and PMS think empathy is, too.

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  109. "I'm surprised you type so well."

    You'd be surprised also, by how well I speak in person too. Most of my friends say they can never tell I'm drunk... until I've already blacked out. That's a hell of a lot of liquor by that point too.

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  110. People here are not sociopaths, but rather just annoyingly self-absorbed.

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  111. "rather just annoyingly self-absorbed"

    aka sociopath?

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  112. "Raven, what is empathy to you? If you were to describe it, what would you describe it as?"

    When I first started college, I took Psychology for a semester. I ran across the description of empathy, and my first reaction was: A rare phenomenon that occurs in people who are more sensitive to external stimuli than the average person. True story. It sounded like they were describing psychics, or people with a sixth sense.

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  114. empathic people feel the pain of every death.

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  115. I was trying to describe it to my husband, and he said something similar. Like when people describe empathy, they describe it as some magical sort of phenomenon.

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  116. Now... if you change the question to: How do you see other people's feelings? I can say that it's like watching someone scream on the outside of a soundproof room. I can see that they are clearly screaming. I recognize the body language and the facial expressions, but because the sound is muted; it's doesn't seem real to me... and I'd probably just be thinking: I'm glad my ears don't have to suffer the consequence of being in the same room as the screamer.

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  117. there are cons of being overly empathic, but none of being too callous.

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  118. The strange thing about empathy, is that that's kind of what it is, and I never had any idea of all of what empathy entailed.
    The best description I've heard was the definition. Being able to feel what others feel. But the ability never struck me as being phenomenal until my husband was baffled by it. Then I realized that the ability to literally feel what someone else does is pretty impressive. He said it's like bees that communicate telepathically... and I realized it kind of is.

    That's a good analogy.

    Empathy is like a universal feeling. Like a collective emotion, to parallel collective unconscious. That's why having empathy means being connected. The closer you are to someone, the stronger the empathy between them. So you can feel vicariously, sort of. It's really pretty amazing.

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  119. That's true. Having never felt empathy you don't know the cons. But there are benefits too. So you'll never know the benefits. But that's good for people without empathy. They'll never know what they're missing so the gratification of what they do is satisfying enough for them...
    Once they figure out how to deal with the bottomless pit. :D

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  120. how can people remain empathic? my mind rationalizes my lack of empathy. all children are the same, people can be replaced, there are so many people on earth who would care if we lose a few hundred..etc what stops an empath from having these thoughts?

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  121. Actually, I've always had those thoughts. But with the people I care about, I feel differently about smaller concepts. With people you aren't as close to, your empathy is typically weaker. Some people have a higher empathy, a lower empathy intelligence, (I'm making that up. maybe it's a higher empathy intelligence to feel more from people you don't know in addition to your friends) and so they feel strongly toward strangers in that way.

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  122. What do you think empathy is, Anon?

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  123. a delusion and a pest.

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  124. Haha. I know, but can you be a bit more descriptive? I'm thinking about doing this when I take my masters courses.

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  125. How can empathy possibly pester you, if you have none, anon?

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  126. speaking for others. however, i'm aware the world needs empathy, otherwise it would be incapable of living in.

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  127. Projecting empathy is more useful than actually feeling empathy.

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  128. It is comic that you chide me for sharing my nonsocio view on empathy than go on to expound on others. I wasnt responding to your call for socios, obviously as I am not one. I know you enjoy being queen bee, MK.

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  129. Themes for SW RegularsJanuary 21, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji2ma2mfyhU


    Theme Song for Missus Kanney----How Can Themes Improve on Perfection he he

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  130. Here's a question for you, MK. How do you feel about feeling connected to someone who can never feel that connection with you?

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  131. That isn't what empathy is...
    And I can chide you for whatever I want.
    Besides, you are wrong about what empathy is. Moral compass is something else entirely. If empathy were a moral compass, the definition would be "Moral Compass"

    Moral compass is an overly emotional and useless definition and contribution to the topic I'm trying to learn more about.

    I know what normal people think empathy is emotionally. I want to know what sociopaths think empathy is externally, so I have no interest in hearing you repeat an extensively covered topic. I tried to elaborate for the answers I'm looking for.

    For example, Gag, that's still really vague. You believe as my husband does, that controlling people's emotional responses is better than connecting to them. The difference is between gratification, and control. But that isn't telling me what you think empathy is. Using people's empathetic projections is another way of using empathetic unintelligence against people. But what do you think that tool you use is? What is it that they're projecting?

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  132. You don't know what I feel toward my husband. You cannot feel empathy from someone who has none. That's why your definition is useless to me. You can only project empathy onto someone with no empathy. You can't actually experience what they feel.

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  133. I think it would take a very confident, self reliant kind of person to accept someone without empathy. One of the things my past partners, friends, and family found most unsatisfactory about me, is my inability to consider their feelings. Heh, and vice versa. One of the things I found most unsatisfying with them is their desperate need to have me consider their feelings, as are most people conditions for true intimacy. That we should connect on a "feeling" level.

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  134. I think it takes a level of emotional stability. A sort of zen-ness. I wasn't terribly confident when I met my husband... Moderately, but not by comparison to a lot of people. Nor am I really self reliant. But I am emotionally stable to almost an extreme. He brings out an emotional side of me, but in general my reasonability has been helpful in our relationship.
    In general, my understanding is incredibly high. I can't and don't ask my husband to consider my feelings. And In many ways, I don't consider his. We discus them. He's accommodating.

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  135. I never said I believed in controlling people's emotional responses. What I'm trying to suggest is that, if that's what you are after, you can get a more intrinsic connection with a person who "believes" that you are someone who is empathetic with them. However that doesn't necessary mean that you actually are. That's the beauty of projecting. That if you are observant and disciplined enough to follow through. Words, tonality, body language, attention to important details and an uncanny sense of timing can have a much better effect than some awkwardly articulated but intensely felt relatedness. In other words feeling something doesn't automatically guarantee it's comprehension. Some level of communication is still necessary.

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  136. No, that's not true. In order to feel empathetically toward someone you have to understand or have felt what they're feeling.

    though communication is always necessary in relationships, it isn't always necessary to feel empathy appropriately. That's suggesting that you can deceive someone to think they're feeling what you're feeling. but that isn't empathy. Empathy IS feeling what someone else is feeling.

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  137. I think I'm confused as to your idea.

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  138. 1. Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
    2. Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
    3. Authoritarian
    4. Secretive
    5. Paranoid
    6. Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired
    7. Conventional appearance
    8. Goal of enslavement of their victim(s)
    9. Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life
    10. Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim's affirmation (respect, gratitude and love)
    11. Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
    12. Incapable of real human attachment to another
    13. Unable to feel remorse or guilt
    14. Extreme narcissism and grandiose
    15. May state readily that their goal is to rule the world

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  139. Let me try again.

    "To show empathy is to identify with another's feelings. It is to emotionally put yourself in the place of another. The ability to empathize is directly dependent on your ability to feel your own feelings and identify them."

    For example; Great actors play many characters "convincingly" supposedly eliciting exacting emotional responses from the audience. That's also debatable as the audience are also projecting real or imagined criterias of what's actually convincing. Anyhow, it's inconceivable to me that 22 year old actors could actually have experienced everything in the exotic and epic lives that they portray.

    "That's suggesting that you can deceive someone to think they're feeling what you're feeling. but that isn't empathy. Empathy IS feeling what someone else is feeling"

    It's not so much debating about the existence and function of empathy but rather if you consider it "deception", simply because it can be switched off and on or appears to, for whatever reasons. I'm just suggesting that perhaps there are more complex and contextual factors to be considered in defining empathy.

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  140. You always know how and when to make me smile, notme.

    :)

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  141. The definition of empathy is written. The complexity you suggest can't change the definition.

    and when it comes to actors, there is a degree of creating actual emotions, which is how their emotional cues elicit empathetic responses. In the case of 22 year old epics, have you seen Harry Potter? The initial films elicit terrible empathetic responses because they cannot convey the emotions the characters feel. But with lessons, life and otherwise, the characters grow to be more talented, but even in the last films, they're too young to convey some of the ideas in the script fully. However, they are able to convey fundamental emotions relatively accurately. For example, Anger, frustration, etc. The more talented an actor, the more they are able to actually feel when they portray a character.
    Another example. Johnny Depp in Public Enemy's pupils dialate (SP?) when he looks at his love interest. He's a developed actor.
    Another example is when actors put themselves in character by spending time to embody a role, by becoming that role for the filming of an entire movie. Jack Nicholson is one of these people, where he won't go out of character a whole film to accurately portray and embody his character. That's why dramatic people are that... dramatic. They're excessively frilly and emotional, and highly able to control their emotional states.

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  142. TNP and Raven, if you could keep the cancerous masses from spreading any further that'd be great. The influx of health issues on Sociopath world as a trend can cease any time.

    I'm sorry you're unwell. But you're young, aren't you? Besides, now's a great time to contemplate all of the aspects of life and to "guru" yourself

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  143. I was writing;

    ...a capacity for a deeper level understanding (emotional?)of the habits and requirements of the prey or crop allows the hunter or farmer to better mimic, adapt or enhance certain conditions to secure the results that he seeks. Could this also be form of empathy with the subject? But of course that doesn't change him into an animal or a plant in anyway...

    then I found this from wikipedia;

    Since empathy involves understanding the emotional states of other people, the way it is characterized is derivative of the way emotions themselves are characterized. If, for example, emotions are taken to be centrally characterized by bodily feelings, then grasping the bodily feelings of another will be central to empathy. On the other hand, if emotions are more centrally characterized by a combination of beliefs and desires, then grasping these beliefs and desires will be more essential to empathy. The ability to imagine oneself as another person is a sophisticated imaginative process. However, the basic capacity to recognize emotions is probably innate[23] and may be achieved unconsciously. Yet it can be trained[citation needed] and achieved with various degrees of intensity or accuracy.
    The human capacity to recognize the bodily feelings of another is related to one's imitative capacities and seems to be grounded in the innate capacity to associate the bodily movements and facial expressions one sees in another with the proprioceptive feelings of producing those corresponding movements or expressions oneself.[24] Humans seem to make the same immediate connection between the tone of voice and other vocal expressions and inner feeling.

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  144. Are you suggesting you can empathize with plants?

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  145. How are emotions centrally characterized by a combination of beliefs?

    And otherwise, I would say that description is accurate in that people cannot empathize a feeling they haven't felt before. And that there are cultural effects on our emotional development that will as equally hinder our empathy as our perspectives, but not limit it.

    I think we're still digressing, though. I still haven't gotten a clear image from you as to what you think empathy actually is. It seems like you're debating its effects and purposes more than describing what it actually is. Maybe that's why I'm confused. That and I'm multitasking so my ADD is off the wall. If I seem off in my comprehension I'll blame that.

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  146. Now we're getting somewhere..So the definitions of empathy is well explored. And we are also aware that emotional states can also be an "act". And there's a distinction between those whose apparent emotional states are a reflection of what they are truly feeling and those who know how to display any emotional state at will to achieve their objective. Ever seen an adorable 3 year old turn into a monster and then back into an angel within seconds? Maybe we are conditioned to gauge sincerity versus hypocrisy simply as a function of consistency within a "socially" accepted time frame or context (for eg.entertainment). To be honest, in spite of our so called internal compass or higher awareness, I'm more inclined to believe that few among us can actually resist dynamically shuffling what we claim gives us fulfillment or direction if something else looks extremely more promising or critical. So I'm postulating that what we empathize with can be shifted under certain conditions.

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  147. "Are you suggesting you can empathize with plants?"

    LOL! I'm sure there are people who would claim so!

    And yes, by default I do map my understanding and definition of things according their effects and purpose. Or maybe this conversation has simply run its course ;)

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  148. ...what we empathize with can be shifted under certain conditions.

    I meant to say; Our ability to empathize is rather elastic.

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  149. 'You always know how and when to make me smile, notme.'

    likewise. :P

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  150. I disagree with you completely that an emotional state is an act. An act is someone putting themselves into an emotional state, but I do not believe the adverse is true at all. You can control your emotions, and this doesn't make them superficial. I think the same can be said for empathy.

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  151. I don't agree with that either. Our ability to empathize is subjective, as our emotions are.

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  152. I don't know about you but I have a very strong bond with my Pointsettia. My peppermint plant, not so much. Guess which one gets watered.

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  153. Your adorable 3 yr old analogy I think is a good example of emotional states being real. 3yr olds have incredibly rapid emotional shifts because of the way the world effects them, and the discoveries they're making about emotions in general. Those feelings are genuine. 3 year olds don't have the capacity to fake or control emotions. And on a side note, they have a lower capacity for empathy because of their emotional inexperience.

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  154. That's so cruel. Maybe your Pointsettia has a cooler attitude and sensitive dilating petals.

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  155. Hmmm... I'm just thinking successful manipulative people aren't actually that much different. Level with me. How often do you think that your husband is a perpetual but adorable child?

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  156. Lol!
    He is a child. Adorable is completely the wrong word.

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  157. WV: comedic... Dead serious, so in lieu of that:
    Wouldn't the peppermint plant have the cooler demeanor?

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  158. Manipulative people can convey emotional states, and often genuinely feeling them is what makes manipulation successful. Even my husband has better luck with being genuine. When he manipulates his own beliefs as well. People who don't know him are easily fooled, but so are acquaintances when you're pretending everything is fine when you're really in a bad mood. I guess faking emotions, and emotional states are different things.

    And I'm kind of wondering what you think manipulative people aren't that much different than.

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  159. Unemphatic people can learn or be taught how to communicate sensitivity. Agree or disagree?

    Am getting ready to celebrate the Year Of the Dragon in a few hours. My Year. How about a dragon fruit plant?

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  160. As I suggested, it's essentially all the same thing. As a biological life form, emotions are part of our make up. But variations of it's expression and "use" within individuals and group sets determines what is acceptable and what's not. This is highly subjective as we've established. I'm venturing a little further by saying that the degree of it being perceived as a negative trait ie. manipulative, is a matter of consistency within a time frame. That's how we have been conditioned to process this. An action which follows through a well communicated emotional expression within the anticipated time is regarded as consistent and honest. Any action that switches direction, not completed or contradicts what was initially expressed within the anticipated time is generally regarded as willful and manipulative behavior(often times deserving). Acceptance of such behavior is subjective according to the power dynamics of the individuals involved.

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  161. "I am having a hard time finding a place to live that isn't shady. Because my main source of income is always from a scam, I have no records of legit payments. I can't go to regular flats because they need to see statements I don't have. Fuckin' sucks..."

    I have the same problem but never had that 'problem'. Appearances can do so much, especially with private landlords. Agency's are something else, there you would have to make fake income statements, that shouldn't be very hard with a simple pc, printer and some basic computer skills.

    Tip: don't let them ask about your job. When first visiting the apartment spontaneously start talking about where you work (not too obvious or too many details, that will make suspicious). Just read some background info about the company 'where you work'. But in the end it mostly comes down to appearances ...

    -because when you have to rent by the month ... with no or short term contracts you'll pay plenty for shabby apartments-

    Srsly???
    wtf is wrong w you people. I mean if you make as much as you say in cash, create your own business and suck up a few bucks in taxes. no one checks out your cash intake and nobody will question your income tax papers. Hell, you can create yourselves with cash. Say you're a private consultant. No one is going to look for personal checks from private clients. Get a fake website together. Put it out there. It isn't difficult to legitimatize. Consult w/ an accountant, for crying out loud. I mean use google 'ask' if you can't figure out how to report a cash business.

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  162. Manipulation is like porn. You know it when you see it. It's that simple.

    Ditto with the oxytocin. Empaths - affected by it. Sociopaths - not affected. Oxytocin is like a great drug - makes you feel fantastic. When I try to understand why my sociopath does what he does, I imagine taking away all those moments I am affected by oxytocin. It is a pretty raw way to be.

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