Tag Archives: Emotion

Recognizing, Coping with Long-Lasting Emotions

Philippe Verduyn

Philippe Verduyn

Most people feel sad longer than they feel ashamed, surprised, irritated or bored because sadness is most often triggered by important events that require time for emotional and cognitive processing, according to University of Leuven’s Philippe Verduyn and Saskia Lavrijsen.

Saskia Lavrijssen

Saskia Lavrijssen

This finding that emotions triggered by personally-important events are longer-lasting may seen intuitively obvious, but Verduyn and Lavrjsen empirically validated earlier hypotheses suggested by University of Amsterdam’s Joep Sonnemans and Nico Frijda as well as University of Leuven’s Verduyn, Iven Van Mechelen, and Francis Tuerlinckx.

Joep Sonnemans

Joep Sonnemans

They asked more than 230 volunteers to remember recent emotional episodes and report their duration.

Klaus R. Scherer

Klaus R. Scherer

Participants also described their strategies to evaluate and deal with emotions categorized by Swiss Center for Affective Sciences’ s Klaus R. Scherer, including admiration, anger, anxiety, being touched, boredom, compassion, contentment, desperation, disappointment, disgust, enthusiasm, fear, gratitude, guilt, hatred, hope, humiliation, irritation, jealousy, joy, pride, relaxation, relief, sadness, shame, stress, and surprise.

James Gross

James Gross

Volunteers rated coping strategies according to a model of emotional regulation developed by Stanford’s James Gross and Ross A. Thompson of University of California Davis:

  • Situation selection – Entering the situation that elicited emotion
  • Situation modification – Trying to change the event that elicited the emotion
  • Distraction – Attempting to distract attention from the emotional situation
  • Rumination – Continued thinking about feelings and consequences of the event
  • Reflecting – Considering the emotion-eliciting event, but not repetitively ruminating
  • Reappraisal – Trying to differently view the emotion-eliciting event
  • Emotional suppression – Attempting to stop experiencing the emotion
  • Expressive suppression – Trying not expressing the emotion.
Iven Van Mechelen

Iven Van Mechelen

Participants also rated their appraisal of the situation that triggered emotion based on Scherer’s Geneva Appraisal Questionnaire:

  • Event importance – Extent the event that elicited the emotion was important to them
  • Event impact – Advantages and disadvantages of the event that elicited the emotion
  • Other responsibility – Degree that someone else was responsible for the emotion-eliciting event
  • Self responsibility – Degree that they were responsible for the emotion-eliciting event
  • Problem-focused coping – Extent that they could change something about the emotion- eliciting event
  • Emotion-focused coping – Extent that they could change something about the emotion elicited by the event
  • Expectedness – Degree to which they anticipated the emotion-eliciting event
  • Negative impact on self-image – Extent to which they judged the emotion-evoking event as reducing self-esteem
  • Injustice – Degree to which they judged the emotion-eliciting event as unjust
  • Immorality – Extent to which they judged the emotion-eliciting event as immoral.

Verduyn and Lavrijsen differentiated emotions from moods by telling volunteers that an emotion is always elicited by an external or internal event with a specific onset point.

Karen Brans

Karen Brans

The team also provided two differing definitions of an emotion’s end point:
Half the participants were told than an emotion ends as soon as the emotion is no longer felt for the first time (except for sleep) whereas the remaining volunteers were told than an emotion ends as soon as one has fully recovered from the event.

Emotion duration differed for similar emotions, such as persistent guilt compared with transient shame, and longer-lasting anxiety contrasted with intense but fleeting fear.

Susan Nolen-Hoeksema

Susan Nolen-Hoeksema

Two regulation strategiesrumination and reflection – and one appraisal dimensionevent importance – were associated with increased emotion duration, supporting theories by KU Leuven’s Iven Van Mechelen, Verduyn, and Karen Brans, and empirical research by Yale’s Susan Nolen-Hoeksema.

Of these 27 emotions, sadness lasted the longest.
Other positive and negative emotions, including shame, surprise, fear, disgust, boredom, being touched, irritated or feeling relief, rapidly dissipated, supporting other findings by Verduyn and Brans.

Though boredom, shame, and fear seem to endure endlessly, this research indicates that they are more transient than most people expect.
These unpleasant experiences pass, as do significant incidents that require time to “process.”

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  • What coping and appraisal strategies are most helpful in shortening the duration of unpleasant emotions?

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Universal Body Map Pinpoints Where Emotions are Experienced

Lauri Nummenmaa

Lauri Nummenmaa

Emotions are associated with physiological changes in specific body regions, such as increased heart rate, sweaty palms, or startle response, according to Aalto University’s Lauri Nummenmaa, Enrico Glerean, and Riitta Hari, with Jari Hietanen of University of Tampere.

Enrico Glerean

Enrico Glerean

Nummenmaa and team showed emotion-laden words, videos, facial expressions and stories to more than 700 participants in Finland, Sweden and Taiwan, who then reported body regions that “felt different” after they viewed the emotion-evoking media.

Riitta Hari

Riitta Hari

Many people described the physical experience of emotions with metaphors including:

  • “Cold feet” to signal hesitation
  • “Heartbroken” to describe disappointment
  •  “Shivers down the spine” to indicate fear,
Jari Hietanen

Jari Hietanen

according to Durham University’s Zoltán Kövecses, Gary B. Palmer then of University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Rene Dirven then of University of Duisburg-Essen.

Zoltán Kövecses

Zoltán Kövecses

Nummenmaa’s team controlled for these linguistic representations by evoking emotional experiences with guided mental imagery from:

Then, volunteers reported bodily sensations they experienced during the emotion induction and rated physical sensations they expected people displaying different emotions would experience in their bodies.

Nummenmaa and colleagues found distinctly different body areas associated with emotional experiences of happiness, contempt, love, and other feelings, with consistent results across nationalities.
They represented regions of greatest sensation associated with specific emotions with a computer-generated topographical body map.

The team proposed that emotions are represented as “culturally universal categorical somatotopic maps,” and sensing emotion-triggered bodily changes is required to perceive basic and complex emotions.Somatopic Emotion Map

Top row displays “basic” emotions:

  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Disgust
  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • SurpriseBottom row displays “complex” emotions:
    • Anxiety
    • Love
    • Depression
    • Contempt
    • Pride
    • Shame
    • Envy

Happiness was a “full-body experience,” with increased sensation throughout the body, but some emotions were experienced in specific regions.

Christian Keysers

Christian Keysers

Likewise, most basic emotions, like anger and fear were associated with sensations of elevated activity in the upper chest area, corresponding to changes in breathing and heart rate, reported University of Groningen’s Christian Keysers and Valeria Gazzola with Jon H. Kaas of Vanderbilt.

Valeria Gazzola

Valeria Gazzola

In addition, all evoked emotions increased sensations in the head, reflecting changes in the facial area by muscle activation, skin temperature, tearing, and thoughts of emotional events.

Jon Kaas

Jon Kaas

Approach-oriented emotions,” including anger and happiness, were associated with increased upper limb sensation whereas depression was linked to decreased limb activity and sensation.
Disgust was felt in the digestive system and around the throat.

Positive emotions, including happiness, love, and pride, clustered in one group.
In contrast negative emotions diverged into four separate groups based on linguistic analysis and sensed body location:

  • Anger and fear
  • Anxiety and shame
  • Sadness and depression
  • Disgust, contempt, and envy.

Surprise was seen as neither a negative nor a positive emotion, yet it was distinctly different from neutral emotion.

Emotional metaphors appear connected to actual physiological experience of emotions, even when researchers controlled for familiar linguistic stereotypes and “conventional wisdom.”

-*What discrepancies have you observed between emotion descriptions and physical experience of emotion?

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Emotional Music Can Lead to Biased Judgments

Joydeep Bhattacharya

Joydeep Bhattacharya

Emotions elicited by music influence can influence and even bias visual judgments, according to University of London’s Nidhya Logeswaran and Joydeep Bhattacharya.

They presented volunteers with short excerpts of “happy” music or “sad” music, then showed neutral, “happy,” and “sad” faces.
When people listened to a “happy” music, they were more likely to perceive faces as “happy” even when the face was neutral.
Similarly, the “priming” with “sad” music was associated with more ratings of faces as “sad,” even if they were neutral.

The team also observed the effects of musical “priming” in electrophysiological measures of brain potential components within 100 milliseconds after the faces were presented, suggesting rapid neuronal information processing.

Even if listeners’ perceptions and judgments can be biased by emotional music, listeners do not experience the precise emotions they hear in music.

Kiyoshi Furukawa

Kiyoshi Furukawa

Listeners can identify strong emotions conveyed by music, but do not experience the same degree or type of emotion, according to Tokyo University of the Arts’s Ai Kawakami and Kiyoshi Furukawa, who collaborated with University of Tokyo’s Kentaro Katahira and Kazuo Okanoya.

Kazuo Okanoya

Kazuo Okanoya

Kawakami and team distinguished “perceived emotion” from “felt emotion” in response to music, and presented two pieces of “sad” music (Mikhail Glinka’s “La Séparation” in F minor) and one piece of “happy” music to 44 volunteers, both musicians and non-musicians.

Mikhail Glinka

Mikhail Glinka

Participants rated their perceived emotions and felt emotions in response to each musical selection using 62 descriptions on a scale from 0 (not at all) to 4 (very much).
Although participants recognized the “sad” music’s negative emotions, most reported feeling “romantic,” and “blithe,” rather than negative or unpleasant.

Muzak

Muzak

“Muzak” (now Mood Media) audio in workplaces can evoke emotional responses that may lead to biased business decisions.

As long ago as the 1950s, concerned American citizens claimed that Muzak practiced “brainwashing” with its planned musical sequences in quarter-hour segments.

Muzak Stimulus ProgressionMuzak’s playlist is synchronized to time of day to “increase energy” at predicted low-energy times based on its patented “Stimulus Progression.
These 15-minute sequences feature about six songs with varying “stimuli values,” based on tempo, rhythm, instrumentation and orchestra size.
The next 15-minute period features silence.
Mood Media
Over a 24-hour period, tunes with higher “stimulus value” are played when people are typically “lethargic” – 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and slower songs are played “after lunch” and at the end of the work day.
Muzak claimed that this programming “increases morale and productivity at workplaces, increase sales at supermarkets, and even dissuade potential shoplifting at department stores.”

The emotional tone of music may bias other cross-sensory judgments.
Adrian C. North, working at University of Leicester and Herriott Watt University, tested the effect of music in a supermarket on wine selections and olfactory/gustatory judgments wine’s properties.

North ensured that French accordian music or German Bierkeller brass band music were played on alternating days for two weeks at the supermarket.
French wines and German wines had similar prices and their order on the shelf was changed each day.

After 82 shoppers selected wines, an interviewer asked customers to complete a questionnaire about the purchase, including:

  • Preference for French or German wines
  • Extent to which the music brought to mind France or Germany
  • Degree to which the music influenced specific wine selection.

The results from 44 shoppers suggest that music influenced shoppers’ wine selections:  More French wine was sold when French music played (40 bottles of French wine vs 8 bottles of German wine), and more German wine was sold when German music played (22 bottles of German wine vs 12 bottles of French wine).

North concluded that barely audible music can implicitly, unconsciously affect thoughts, perceptions, decisions, and even buying action.

Charles Areni

Charles Areni

Music can trigger thoughts similar to the music’s mood, context, or speed, according to the Preference-for-prototypes model proposed by Macquarie University’s Charles Areni and David Kim of Texas Tech.

-*When have your judgments and performance been altered by ambient music?

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Body Language Conveys Emotions more Intelligibly than Facial Expressions

Paul Ekman

Paul Ekman

Numerous studies, pioneered by Paul Ekman of University of California, San Francisco, argue that facial expressions provide an accurate, consistent, universal “tell” to underlying emotions.

However, body language more accurately conveys intense emotions than facial Ekman Emotion Stock photoexpressions, according to Hebrew University’s Hillel Aviezer,Yaacov Trope of NYU, and Princeton University’s Alexander Todorov.

Three groups of 15 people judged intense emotions, including pain, pleasure, victory, defeat, grief and joy, portrayed in stock photographs of:

  • facial expressions alone or
  • body language alone or
  • both facial and body expressions.
Hillel Aviezer

Hillel Aviezer

Volunteers assigned more accurate inferences of pictured emotion based on body language, alone or combined with facial expressions, than judgments based on facial context alone.

These results challenge presumption that the face best communicates feeling, yet most participants believe that they rely on facial expression was their most important cue in making inferences.

Yaacov Trope

Yaacov Trope

More than half the volunteers reported that they use facial expression to judge underlying emotions, a bias labeled “illusory facial affect” by Aviezer and team.

Some participants did not view the photos, but heard a description of the content.
The vast majority – 80 percent – said they “would” rely solely on the face when determining the emotion.
The remainder said they would consider the face and body together, yet not one participant indicated that body language alone would be the most important guide to emotion.

Alexander Todorov

Alexander Todorov

Another experiment presented volunteers with altered photos that combined one intense emotional expressed in the face with an opposing “peak” emotion portrayed by the body language.
Volunteers more often judged the emotion associated with the body, although they thought that facial expression was more indicative of underlying emotional experience.

A different condition demonstrated that most participants provided inaccurate judgments of six emotional states portrayed by faces alone:  They judged positive facial expressions as negative more frequently than the actual negative expressions.

Aviezer, Trope, and Todorov argue that facial expressions can be ambiguous and subjective when viewed without the context of body, particularly during intense emotional expressions.

Jamin Halberstadt

Jamin Halberstadt

Jamin Halberstadt of University of Otago explained Team Aviezer’s findings by noting “…bodily context is the expression of emotion…the face reveals a general intensity of feeling but doesn’t communicate what the person is feeling exactly. The body is where the valid information comes from during intense feelings.”

Piotr Winkielman

Piotr Winkielman

His expertise is based on earlier research with University of California at San Diego’s Piotr Winkielman, Paula Niedenthal of University of Wisconsin and University of Clermont-Ferrand’s Nathalie Dalle.
They demonstrated the important role of expectancy in reading, experiencing, and recalling emotions expressed by ambiguous facial photographs.

Paula Niedenthal

Paula Niedenthal

Halberstadt’s team used electromyography (EMG) to evaluate volunteers’ muscle mimicry responses and memory of photos portraying ambiguous faces when associated with emotion labels like “angry” or “happy”, and when the same photos were presented without labels.

Nathalie Dalle

Nathalie Dalle

Participants displayed more EMG activity associated with smiling when they viewed faces labeled “happy” than “angry,” and remembered faces labeled “happy” as happier than faced coded “angry” even though the photographed expressions were ambiguous.

When participants spontaneously mimicked emotions labeled with a specific affect label, they were more likely to remember this emotion.
Since the photos were ambiguous, this recall represents memory bias, based on expecting, then mirroring an expected emotion. 

SPOT-Dept Homeland SecBody language’s greater accuracy than facial expression as a measure of emotion, has important implications for mission critical interrogation and security-screening techniques.

One example is the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program, which was based on Ekman’s facial expression research, but did not account for bodily expression as an indicator of underlying emotion.

Team Aviezer’s findings argue that emotion-screening procedures, as well as everyday workplace interactions, should evaluate both cues from both the body and the face to form most accurate judgments of others’ likely emotional states.  

-*Which cues do you find most helpful in judging other people’s emotional states when interacting with them?

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Expressing Anger at Work: Power Tactic or Career-Limiting Strategy?

Organizational pressures including complex relationships, chronic constraints, high stakes, and factors beyond individual control can lead to anger expressions at work.

Victoria Brescoll

Victoria Brescoll

Women and men receive differing evaluations of status, competence, leadership effectiveness when they express anger
Yale University’s Victoria Brescoll and Eric Luis Uhlmann, now of HEC Paris School of Management, report that  both male and female evaluators conferred lower status on angry female professionals, regardless of the actual occupational rank, than on angry male professionals.

Eric Luis Uhlmann

Eric Luis Uhlmann

The team found that evaluators assigned lower status to female CEOs as well as to female trainees when expressed anger, despite these women’s varying  job role statuses.

In addition, men who expressed anger in a professional context were conferred higher status than men who expressed sadness.

Kristi Lewis Tyran

Kristi Lewis Tyran

Similarly, women who express anger and sadness are rated less effective than women who express no emotion, according to Kristi Lewis Tyran of Western Washington University.

Building on Brescoll and Uhlmann’s findings, Tyran’s laboratory study found that men who expressed sadness received lower effectiveness ratings than those who expressed in neutral emotions.

Observers also attribute different motivations and “root causes” to anger expressions by women and men.
Brescoll and Uhlmann found that  evaluators attribute women’s angry emotional reactions to less changeable internal characteristics such as “she is an angry person,” and “she is out of control”.

Men seem to get “the benefit of the doubt” from evaluators, who attributed men’s angry reactions to external circumstances, such as having external pressure and demands.

Managers who help employees deal with angry feelings and expressions at work may be seen as more powerful and effective leaders by employees.

Ginka Toegel

Ginka Toegel

Ginka Toegel and Anand Narasimhan of IMD Lausanne with University College London’s Martin Kilduff found that employees expect managers to provide emotional support, and attribute leadership qualities to managers who provide emotional support in their analysis of a recruiting agency headquarters.

Further, employees considered that managerial support requires no reciprocation because it is a role expectation.

Anand Narasimhan

Anand Narasimhan

Managers have a contrasting view:   They consider providing emotional support as “above-and-beyond the call of duty” and outside their role requirements.
As a result, most managers believe that employees have an obligation to reciprocate or express gratitude and are disappointed  when employees fail to show appreciation for emotional support.

Martin Kilduff

Martin Kilduff

These discrepant views may reflect employees’ view of managers as having:

  • Formal authority based on their job roles
  • Parental-like authority, based on their help-giving.
Donald Gibson

Donald Gibson

Fairfield University’ s Donald Gibson and Ronda Callister of Utah State University note societal and cultural norms and expectations for women to regulate anger expressions and the resulting negative consequences that follow violations of these expectations.

Rhonda Callister

Rhonda Callister

Women may buffer the status-lowering , competence-eroding, and dislike-provoking consequences of anger at work by:

-*What impacts and consequences have you observed for people who express anger in the workplace?

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Reduce “Affective Forecasting” Errors with a Geographic Cure?

People must often make “affective predictions” about choice of life partner, occupation, residence, yet most everyone makes small, but systematic errors in forecasting personal emotional responses.

These misjudgments can negatively affect personal health, happiness, financial well-being, and interpersonal relationships.

Kostadin Kushlev

Kostadin Kushlev

University of British Columbia’s Kostadin Kushlev and Elizabeth Dunn identified these decision biases, and noted that one of the most well-known and widely-occurring affective forecasting errors is impact bias, the tendency to overestimate the intensity of emotional responses to future positive and negative events.

Elizabeth Dunn

Elizabeth Dunn

In addition, Kushlev and Dunn reported that people tend to overestimate the duration of future emotional reactions, labeled durability bias.

Seymour Epstein

Seymour Epstein

Also known as “focalism,” durability bias can occur when people rely on the “rational system” for information processing, according to Seymour Epstein of University of Massachusetts.

His Cognitive-Experiential Self Theory proposes that the “rational system” is used to make affective forecasts, and typically processes information slowly, analytically and abstractly.

Seymour Epstein-CESTIn contrast, the “experiential system” of information processing operates rapidly, associatively, holistically, and concretely.

Shifts between rational (“cold”) and experiential (“hot”) decision systems can cause another bias, “Empathy gap.”

Epstein posits that rational system processing can lead to imagining the event isolated from its broader context that may mitigate its emotional impact.
In this situation, it is easy to focus on distinctive, observable characteristics, and to overvalue these due to their availability rather than their actual future impact.

Relying on the rational system may lead to another error, immune neglect, when people underestimate their likelihood of later reinterpreting future events to reduce negative feelings.

Anna Freud

Anna Freud

Epstein refers to this self-care process as the “psychological immune system” that enables recovery from negatively-tinged emotional events.
This is a more positive reinterpretation of Anna Freud’s focus on defense mechanisms.

Another predictive error, underestimating the power of future affective states can occur when people don’t consider the impact of physical states like hunger and thirst.

Habit-control programs like Alcoholics Anonymous implicitly recognize the tendency to underestimate future emotional states by urging participants to “HALT” while they consider whether problematic urges stem from being “Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.”

Sometimes forecasting errors are based on inaccurate theories about the determinants of happiness, such as being able to reverse decisions or having more choices.
In addition, people often overlooked the influence of their own dispositions, such as optimism,  in predicting future feelings.
The result of this error, “personality neglect,” can lead to overestimates of future happiness by people who score high on the personality characteristic “neuroticism.”

Roger Buehler

Roger Buehler

Despite people’s imperfect ability to predict future emotions, whether happy or unhappy, people who expect positive emotions in the future report greater present satisfaction, according to Wilfrid Laurier University’s Roger Buehler, Vassili Spyropoulos and Kent C. H. Lam with Cathy McFarland of Simon Fraser University.

Even if fueled by another thinking error, optimism bias, positive anticipation improves the present moment and may play a central role in each individual’s psychological immune system.

Biases and thinking errors in considering future emotional reactions can be minimized by:

  • Defocusing on the anticipated emotional occurrence
  • Considering emotional outcomes in similar previous experiences
  • Anticipating  consequences of other simultaneous future events
  • Previewing the future state with feedback from others
Chip Heath-Dan Heath

Chip Heath-Dan Heath

Similarly Stanford’s Chip Heath and Dan Heath of Duke Corporate Education suggest mitigating decision bias with WRAP:

  • Widen your options
  • Reality-check your options
  • Attain distance before deciding
  • Prepare to be wrong.
Kristin Weger

Kristin Weger

University of Alabama at Huntsville’s Kristin Weger and Sandra Carpenter demonstrated that “guided flexivity” or “structured reflection” can improve performance on simulation game tasks over multiple trials.
They found that volunteers reduced errors in predicting future emotions by evaluating expectations in comparison to actual experience during a “post-mortem” session to review “lessons learned.”

Sandra Carpenter

Sandra Carpenter

Wegner and Carpenter found that guided reflexivity increased individuals’ awareness of their roles as well as others’ expertise and responsibilities in the target situation.

Other strategies to improve performance and decisions require even more commitment, like finding that living in a more “interdependent” culture like Japan for even a year.

This type of “geographic intervention” results in increased people’s consideration of contextual factors in decision making and creativity.

-*Time to book a flight?

-*How accurate are you in predicting your feelings about a specific choice or situation in the future?

-*How do you detect and mitigate bias in predicting your future emotional reactions?

-*What positive and negative impacts have you observed in affective forecasting errors?

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Compassion Training Surpasses Empathy Training to Reduce Stress

Susanne Leiberg

Susanne Leiberg

Compassion training has positive effects on mood and health, and University of Zurich’s Susanne Leiberg, Olga Klimecki, Tania Singer demonstrated that it can actually change the brain’s functioning, and related emotions and behaviors.

Olga Klimecki

Olga Klimecki

Klimecki, Leiberg, Singer, now at Max Planck Institute collaborated with Claus Lamm of University of Vienna to examine the impact of compassion training on brain activity in response to observing another person’s distress.

Tania Singer

Tania Singer

A frequent experience in daily life, most people experience distress, or empathy, when observing another’s distress, due to activation of the brain’s “mirror” neurons.

Claus Lamm

Claus Lamm

In contrast, compassion is concern with others’ suffering coupled with the desire to alleviate the other person’s pain, and can exist without actually experiencing the other persons’ distress through empathy.

The researchers evaluated whether personal distress be transformed into compassion, a useful coping strategy for those in health care professions, and in caretaking roles.
They developed the Socio-affective Video Task to measure neural and subjective responses to witnessing the distress of others.

Most volunteers experienced initial empathic negative feelings and activations in the brain’s pain empathy areas, the anterior insula and anterior medial cingulate cortex, when they observed the distress of others.
However, the volunteers who completed compassion training experienced less negative emotion, and more positive feelings when witnessing others in distress, related to increased activity in brain areas associated with positive emotion and affiliation:  the medial orbitofrontal cortex, putamen, pallidum, and ventral tegmental area.

In contrast, control group volunteers who received memory training did not have more positive emotions, and participants in empathy training actually experienced more negative feelings.

The studies suggest that compassion training can be an effective coping strategy when observing or supporting others in distress, and the mental discipline of compassion training can increase positive emotion more effectively than memory training or empathy training.

Besides changing the brain and related feelings, compassion training triggered more “prosocial” behavior, including helping and cooperating.

This researcher team developed the Zurich Prosocial Game (ZPG) to validly assess helping behaviors in light of reciprocity, helping cost, and distress cues influences.
Volunteers who had received short-term compassion training increased their helping behaviors in the game, but this was not true for volunteers who received short-term memory training.

Charles Raison

Charles Raison

Emory University’s Charles Raison advocated compassion training as a better day to deal with “enemies,” whether globally or interpersonally.
He collaborated with Emory colleagues including Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, who developed Cognitive-Based Compassion Training (CBCT) and Sheetal Reddy of Atlanta’s Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, to evaluate the impact of compassion training with youth in foster care.

Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi

Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi

The team considered whether these participants, who had suffered maltreatment, experienced improved psychosocial functioning after twice-weekly Cognitive-Based Compassion Training (CBCT) for six weeks compared with young people assigned to the “wait-list-no treatment” group.

Researchers found no difference in measured functioning, but young people who practiced compassion more frequently reported greater hopefulness and ability to deal with life stressors, and decreased generalized anxiety.

These findings suggest that compassion training can improve stress management, mood, and cooperation.

-*How have you seen compassion training affect feelings and behaviors?

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