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pandabear88
Post  Post subject: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empaths?  |  Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:38 pm

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Or does anybody know of the scientific explanations for empath's abilities? By "empath" I mean people who claim to experience the emotions of people near them. The only explanations I've found are "mirror neurons" and "mirror-touch synesthesia", but I want to know if other explanations exist.

Any links to peer reviewed articles, or articles written by reputable authors would be appreciated.
Thanks!


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:11 am
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I don't have a link handy, but remember reading many years ago that children growing up in abusive households learn to become hyper aware and attuned to the moods and feelings of those around them as a means of survival and self protection...that this learned trait often stays with them well into adulthood.

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pandabear88
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:04 am

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iNow wrote:
I don't have a link handy, but remember reading many years ago that children growing up in abusive households learn to become hyper aware and attuned to the moods and feelings of those around them as a means of survival and self protection...that this learned trait often stays with them well into adulthood.


so you're saying they learn to read people's body language, expressions, and tone of voice to figure out people's moods and feelings?


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:07 am
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Exactly. They tend to pick up on extremely subtle cues, pupil dilation, changes in breathing and heartrate, and even microtwitches in facial muscles. My understanding is that similar "tricks" are used by fortune tellers and related carnival charlatans.

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pandabear88
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:56 pm

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iNow wrote:
Exactly. They tend to pick up on extremely subtle cues, pupil dilation, changes in breathing and heartrate, and even microtwitches in facial muscles. My understanding is that similar "tricks" are used by fortune tellers and related carnival charlatans.


why do they experience the other person's emotions though? my best guess is mirror neurons.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:50 am
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We don't need to invoke the idea of mirror neurons to explain perceptions of social cues.

We're a social species. We exist in tribes and packs. Being oblivious to the feelings of those around us is a sure way to get killed or ostracized. We've learned to pay attention to this stuff.

You walk into a room and can tell when someone is mad or sad. It's quite common as a skill. The rest is just degrees and sensitivity.

IMO, most of that comes through practice, experience, and/or training.

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pandabear88
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:31 am

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iNow wrote:
We don't need to invoke the idea of mirror neurons to explain perceptions of social cues.

We're a social species. We exist in tribes and packs. Being oblivious to the feelings of those around us is a sure way to get killed or ostracized. We've learned to pay attention to this stuff.

You walk into a room and can tell when someone is mad or sad. It's quite common as a skill. The rest is just degrees and sensitivity.

IMO, most of that comes through practice, experience, and/or training.


empaths claim that they experience the emotions of people around them.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:46 am
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And mentally unstable people claim they see ghosts or were abducted by aliens. The claim is not relevant in the same way as the evidence. I've yet to see evidence that empaths even exist and are not just extra sensitive to physical cues. We all react to the emotions of those around us and it's the nature of that reaction you're exploring.

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pandabear88
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:28 am

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iNow wrote:
And mentally unstable people claim they see ghosts or were abducted by aliens. The claim is not relevant in the same way as the evidence. I've yet to see evidence that empaths even exist and are not just extra sensitive to physical cues. We all react to the emotions of those around us and it's the nature of that reaction you're exploring.


you're right, but i still want to know if any scientific studies have tested their claims.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:15 pm
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I'm sure there have, but none that have come out to suggest they're anything more than more sensitive to physical cues. Part of the challenge is in defining what is an empath, what specific skills or characteristics must a person demonstrate to be described as such?

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pandabear88
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:10 am

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iNow wrote:
I'm sure there have, but none that have come out to suggest they're anything more than more sensitive to physical cues. Part of the challenge is in defining what is an empath, what specific skills or characteristics must a person demonstrate to be described as such?


are you sure you'd know if a study did come out that suggested otherwise? by empath i mean somebody who claims to experience the emotions of people around them.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:20 am
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As I said already, every single one of us experiences the emotions of those around us. Your definition is so broad and unspecific that it's useless.

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pandabear88
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:59 am

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iNow wrote:
As I said already, every single one of us experiences the emotions of those around us. Your definition is so broad and unspecific that it's useless.


that's not true. i don't experience the emotions of other people. maybe if somebody laughs i might be likely to laugh with them, but i don't experience their emotions. maybe you aren't understanding my definition. my definition of an empath would be somebody who experiences the emotions of people near them whether or not they see them. for example, if an empath was alone in a room and somebody in the room next to them was very angry then they would become angry too. i don't believe empaths like that exist, but some empaths claim to have that kind of ability.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:44 pm
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Have those claims ever been validated with objective experiments? I don't believe so. At this point, the most likely explanation is they are either lying to us or lying to themselves.

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pandabear88
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:47 pm

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iNow wrote:
Have those claims ever been validated with objective experiments? I don't believe so. At this point, the most likely explanation is they are either lying to us or lying to themselves.


i don't know. that's why i made the post


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:16 pm
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Understood. My apologies for not having a study or link handy. I just know this is a claim similar to telepathy and telekinesis. They've been tested, hundreds maybe thousands of times, and debunked every time.

That said, maybe articles like this will be interesting to you? >> https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/th ... ce-empathy

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pandabear88
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:11 am

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iNow wrote:
Understood. My apologies for not having a study or link handy. I just know this is a claim similar to telepathy and telekinesis. They've been tested, hundreds maybe thousands of times, and debunked every time.

That said, maybe articles like this will be interesting to you? >> https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/th ... ce-empathy


thanks. i would still like an article about a test or study.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:27 am
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I suspect you made need to visit a forum about pseudoscience or paranormal beliefs then. Alternatively, you could propose a valid physical mechanism by which one individual can experience and respond to the exact emotions of another human even absent any transfer of information from that individual like sight, sound, smell, or touch and then proceed to conduct some experiments yourself.

As it stands right now, I keep thinking of this scene from Ghostbusters 33 years ago:


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pandabear88
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:28 am

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iNow wrote:
I suspect you made need to visit a forum about pseudoscience or paranormal beliefs then. Alternatively, you could propose a valid physical mechanism by which one individual can experience and respond to the exact emotions of another human even absent any transfer of information from that individual like sight, sound, smell, or touch and then proceed to conduct some experiments yourself.

As it stands right now, I keep thinking of this scene from Ghostbusters 33 years ago:



i have never met anybody who said they were an empath before, but i asked on reddit/r/empaths for somebody to do some experiments.
ill post the results if anybody does it.


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Pong
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:40 am
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The people described would properly be called sympaths not empaths, because they're feeling with not feeling for. Empathy is one of the most misused words in our language. That mangles our understanding of the concepts.


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Lynx_Fox
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:27 pm

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pandabear88 wrote:
empaths claim that they experience the emotions of people around them.


A bit disappointed your comment was dismissed with a handwave.

It's quite obvious and measurable that most people are empathetic. Walk into a funeral or even sit in a sad movie theatre and most of us are caught up in the emotions of others in the same room. It's far beyond simple recognition of sadness, that even psychopaths that have no emotion can recognise and exploit...it's having the same actual feeling. And yes, it seems to be both common and probably offered a survival advantage to many social species.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:02 am
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Lynx_Fox wrote:
A bit disappointed your comment was dismissed with a handwave.

That's on me, but the OP is not commenting about people in the same room responding to social cues or sharing circumstances or just acting like normal members of a social species existing in a tribe.

The question instead was about people experiencing the emotions of other people even absent any incoming stimuli or information...like in a separate room, for example. You and I agree on the normal explanations, but that's not what was being asking about here.

pandabear88 wrote:
my definition of an empath would be somebody who experiences the emotions of people near them whether or not they see them. for example, if an empath was alone in a room and somebody in the room next to them was very angry then they would become angry too. i don't believe empaths like that exist, but some empaths claim to have that kind of ability.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:20 am
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iNow wrote:
The question instead was about people experiencing the emotions of other people even absent any incoming stimuli or information...like in a separate room, for example. You and I agree on the normal explanations, but that's not what was being asking about here.

pandabear88 wrote:
my definition of an empath would be somebody who experiences the emotions of people near them whether or not they see them. for example, if an empath was alone in a room and somebody in the room next to them was very angry then they would become angry too. i don't believe empaths like that exist, but some empaths claim to have that kind of ability.


to be fair, that's not really the standard definition of an empath, which I thought involved the sharing of feelings with people in your presence

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Lynx_Fox
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:13 pm

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Thanks INow.

I agree that empath's as the OP has defined it (as odd as that definition is) don't really exist.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empa  |  Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:54 pm
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Unfortunately, that hardly stops lots of people from claiming it does or that they have such abilities ;)

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