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Know Empathy Psychology & Neurobiology For Community Development Public Safety Culture

Updated on February 5, 2013

What is Empathy ?

Empathy is a human characteristic that has been observed to exist in high degree among certain individual and cultures while lacking in others.

Some spiritual heritage of humanity, such as Christianity and Buddhism, for example, emphasizes empathy, the ability to feel and serve others in need as part of their religious cultural heritage.

In science fiction, depiction of natural empathic ability of higher order beings have been associated with biological empathic skills. For example, an alien visitor to earth is depicted in human form unknown to humans.

I remember one such scene in a science fiction movie. An automobile driven by a human with such an alien in human form unknown to the driver of an automobile. The auto accidentally hits a deer on the highway.

The car stops, the alien walks to the deer and touches it with his right hand. The deer revives and walks way into the woods. The surprised driver and his alien passanger continues their journey on the highway toward town.

This is modern science fiction depiction of higher order empathic beings than normal humans. Empathy remains a cultural aspiration for human societes, some more so than others since the dawn of human civilization merely some 5000 years ago. .


Empathy, Neuroscience and Psychology

In modern science culture, study of empathy has been mostly in the realm of psychology with the behaviorist school lead by such prominent scientist as Professor B. F. Skinner, a legacy exists on the Nature vs Nurture Scientifc Debate that is now on going for more than a century here in America.

While behaviorists have made some progress in demonstrating such techniques as "behavior modification" for psychological abnormalities that threatens safety of human communities, this behavior modification through psychological means remains a challenge for future development.

Neurobiology, study of human brains functions, the "nature" side of the Nature vs Nurture Debate, have made considerable discoveries in recent decades. Neurobiology promises dramatic solutions for human brain disorders including in some in the relem of behaviorial psychology side, the "nurture" side of the "Nature vs Nurture" Debate.

An example would be the new field of neurbiology called "Optogenetics" discussed elsewhere in my Squidoo lense and Facebook group by the same name.

This then is the background for this Squidoo conversation.

Know Empathy Psychology & Neurobiology Elements For Community Development of Public Safety Culture

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