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Culture of Empathy Builder:  Dan Batson
http://bit.ly/iSwLnu
 

C. Daniel Batson

Dan Batson is Professor Emeritus at the University of Kansas. His main research interests are in prosocial emotion, motivation, and behavior. He has conducted a number of experiments on empathy, on perspective taking, and on various forms of prosocial motivation.  Author of 'Altruism in Humans'.
 

He formulated the: 'empathy-altruism hypothesis'  - "If we feel empathy towards a person, we are likely to help them (in proportion to the empathy felt) without any selfish thoughts. Otherwise, we will help them only if the rewards of helping them outweigh the costs."
 

 

 
Daniel Batson & Edwin Rutsch: The Definitions of Empathy

Dan Batson is Professor Emeritus at the University of Kansas. His main research interests are in prosocial emotion, motivation, and behavior. He has conducted a number of experiments on empathy, on perspective taking, and on various forms of prosocial motivation.

His chapter titled, '
These Things Called Empathy', in the book, 'The Social Neuroscience of Empathy', explores eight ways the word and concept of empathy is used. We walk through and discuss each of these in depth.
Sub Conference: Science

 

 

2013-07-23 - Dan Batson in Response to The Case Against Empathy by Paul Bloom, Interviewed by Edwin Rutsch
The Baby in the Well, The Case Against Empathy' by Paul Bloom- New Yorker Magazine
Dan Batson is Professor Emeritus at the University of Kansas. He formulated the
'empathy-altruism hypothesis'
"If we feel empathy towards a person, we are likely to help them (in proportion to the empathy felt) without any selfish thoughts. Otherwise, we will help them only if the rewards of helping them outweigh the costs."

 

 


 

Daniel Batson & Edwin Rutsch: Definitions of Empathy

 

 

(Video Transcriptions: If you would like to take empathic action and create a transcription of this video, check the volunteers page.  The transcriptions will make it easier for other viewers to quickly see the content of this video.)

 

 

'These Things Called Empathy', Daniel Batson
(from The Social Neuroscience of Empathy,

 

"The term empathy is currently applied to more than a half-dozen phenomena.

1. Knowing another persons internal state, Including thoughts and feelings
2. Adopting the posture or matching the neural responses of an observed other
3. Coming to feel as another person feels
4. Intuiting or projecting oneself into another's situation
5. Imagining how another is thinking and feeling
6. Imagining how one would think and feel in the other's place
7. Feeling distress at witnessing another person's suffering
8. Feeling for another person who is suffering  (empathic concern)  An other-oriented emotional response elicited by and congruent with the perceived welfare of someone in need. Includes feeling sympathy, compassion, tenderness and the like (i.e. feeling for the other, and not feeling as the other)"

 

 

2012- The Science of Compassion: Origins, Measures, and Interventions, 
CC
ARE July 19th to 22nd in Telluride Colorado

 


 

 

Altruism in Humans

Contents


ABSTRACT
"This book takes a hard-science look at the possibility that we humans have the capacity to care for others for their sakes (altruism) rather than simply for our own (egoism). The look is based not on armchair speculation, dramatic cases, or after-the-fact interviews, but on an extensive series of theory-testing laboratory experiments conducted over the past 35 years.

 

Part I details the theory of altruistic motivation that has been the focus of this experimental research. The theory centers on the empathy-altruism hypothesis, which claims that other-oriented feelings of sympathy and compassion for a person in need (empathic concern) produce motivation with the ultimate goal of having that need removed. Antecedents and consequences of empathy-induced altruistic motivation are specified, making the theory empirically testable.

 

Part II offers a comprehensive summary of the research designed to test the empathy-altruism hypothesis, giving particular attention to recent challenges. Overall, the research provides remarkably strong and consistent support for this hypothesis, forcing a tentative conclusion that empathy-induced altruism is within the human repertoire.

 

Part III considers the theoretical and practical implications of this conclusion, suggesting that empathy-induced altruism is a far more pervasive and powerful force in human affairs than has been recognized. Failure to appreciate its importance has handicapped attempts to understand why we humans act as we do and wherein our happiness lies. This failure has also handicapped efforts to promote better interpersonal relations and create a more caring, humane society."


Book Review:  Altruism in Humans by Dieneke Hubbeling,

"Batson’s book is a summary of his impressive research career investigating altruism and more specifically the claim that empathic concern is an important motivator for altruistic behavior. Years ago he wrote another book about the topic, The Altruism Question (Batson, 1991). In the current book, Batson describes further developments in altruism research by himself and others and reflects on what is not (yet) known. It is not a book about evolutionary psychology per se but it does have implications for altruism research from an evolutionary perspective. Furthermore, by using an evolutionary perspective one could interpret some aspects of Batson’s findings differently"

 

Dan Batson lays out the way the word empathy is used.

His chapter titled, 'These Things Called Empathy', in the book, 'The Social Neuroscience of Empathy', he explores eight ways the word and concept of empathy is used.

 

In the book Altruism in Humans, in Chapter One, The Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis he again talks about the seven uses of the term empathy.

 

The term empathy is currently applied to more than a half-dozen phenomena.

1. Knowing another persons internal state, Including thoughts and feelings


2. Adopting the posture or matching the neural responses of an observed other


3. Coming to feel as another person feels


4. Intuiting or projecting oneself into another's situation


5. Imagining how another is thinking and feeling


6. Imagining how one would think and feel in the other's place


7. Feeling distress at witnessing another person's suffering


8. Feeling for another person who is suffering  (empathic concern) 
An other-oriented emotional response elicited by and congruent with the perceived welfare of someone in need. Includes feeling sympathy, compassion, tenderness and the like (i.e. feeling for the other, and not feeling as the other)"

 

 

 

 

Wiki/Empathy-altruism
"
Empathy-altruism is a form of altruism based on feelings for others. The social exchange theory basically states that altruism does not exist unless benefits outweigh the costs. C. Daniel Batson disagrees. He feels that people help out of genuine concern for the well-being of the other person. [1]. The key ingredient to helping is empathy. According to his 'empathy-altruism hypothesis', if you feel empathy towards another person you will help them, regardless of what you can gain from it (1991). Relieving their suffering becomes the most important thing. When you do not feel empathy, the social exchange theory takes control."

 

 

Empathic Concern and Altruism in Humans

"We humans spend a remarkable amount of time, money, and energy to benefit others, including family, friends, and strangers. Why do we do it? Do we ever care about others for their sakes and not simply for our own? Is our ultimate goal always and exclusively self-benefit, or are we capable of caring about another person’s welfare as an ultimate goal? These questions are asking about the existence of altruistic motivation in humans....."


Edwin: I was wondering how you see your work connecting with Obama’s call for more empathy?

 

Dan Batson:  "Edwin, many thanks for sharing your great collection of video clips and quotes from Obama speeches in which he emphasizes the importance of empathy and speaks of the “empathy deficit” in the U.S.! The term empathy as Obama uses it in the quotes almost always seems to refer to imagining how one would think or feel in another’s place—what I have called an imagine-self perspective. As I said in response to Frans, this form of perspective taking can serve as a stepping stone to provide insight into the situation of another person (especially if that person’s situation is relatively foreign to us) and to how he or she is affected by that situation—the sensitive understanding that I have called an imagine-other perspective. This sensitive understanding can, in turn, lead to the empathic concern (synonymous, I believe, to what Obama calls compassion) that has been found to produce altruistic motivation. I think it is this sequence that Obama has in mind in his references to empathy and our empathy deficit.

But this sequence is not the only possibility when we use our “ability to see the world through somebody else’s eyes, and to stand in somebody else’s shoes” (i.e., use our ability to adopt an imagine-self perspective). Let me mention two other possibilities. First, it is possible to empathize in this sense in a competitive situation in order to anticipate your opponent’s moves and thwart his or her interests, as a skilled chess player or negotiator does. Adam Galinsky and Nick Epley have each done interesting and valuable research on the role of this kind of perspective taking in bargaining and negotiation situations. Second, it is possible to imagine yourself in others’ shoes to compare and contrast your reaction to their’s. If you judge them to be reacting less appropriately than you think you would—or did—then this form of perspective taking may provide the basis for censure, condemnation, and rejection. I do not think Obama had either of these last two sequences in mind. However, their existence highlights the complexities of perspective taking and the fact that it is a skill that can be used either to bring us into alignment with the interests of others or to drive us farther apart."
 

 

 

2007 Autonomy Singularity Creativity Conference.
Dan Batson delivers an address on “empathy-altruism hypothesis"
    (mentions his definitions of empathy starting at 10:00)

 

Empathy Induced Altruism! Friend or Foe of the Common Good?
 

  • 5:30 Begin - Egoism Altruism debate

  • 4 prosocial motivations

    • Egoism - motivation promoting ones own welfare

      • what after in the situation

      • get a warm fuzzy felling, avoid guilt

    • Altruism - motivation goal of increasing the others welfare.

      • not self sacrifice

    • Collectivism - motivation goal of increasing the groups welfare

      • good of marriage, family

    • Principleism - motivation  with the ultimate goal of upholding a given moral principle

  • 11:16 conflict between self-interest (egosim) vrs. the common good in social dilemmas

    • social dilemmas

      • allocate resources

        • to self

        • to whole

    • examples

      • resources used, public TV, taxes

  • 14:00 Why act for the common good in a social dilemma?

    • Modified Orthodox Answer - Expanded Self interest

    • 1. enlightened self interest

      • long term consequences

      • side payments

    • 2. group identity - self-reidentification identity as we

      • expanded self interest

  • 17:00 They have truth, but they leave out altruism

    • empathy and altruism

    • if you feel empathic concern - will evoke altruistic motive to benefit them

    • empathy altruism hypothesis - empathic concern to relieve the need

  • 18:40 What is 'Empathic Concern'

    • many people with call it sympathy,

    • not talking about

      • matching the response

      • motor mimicry

      • not talking mirror neurons

      • affective or emotional resonance

      • feeling distressed at feeling another's distress

        • self oriented emotion

      • Theory of mind simulation

      • Imagining how another is thinking and feeling

        • not the same as empathic concern

        • a cognitive set that can produce empathic concern

      • not a disposition or trait

  • 21:18 When is Empathy-Induced Altruism a Friend of the Common Good?

    • two ways

      • when the need for empathic concern is induced is shared by many if not all other individuals in the group

      • promoting the common good is an unintended consequence of promoting the welfare of the target of empathic concern

    • 24:00 Prisoners Dilemma

      • two prisoners - police try to get them to rat on the other.

        • to your benefit to defect

        • Predictions for cooperation in a one-trail prisoners Dilemma

        • game theory says no-one should cooperate

      • How to induce Empathic Concern?

  • 38:00 - When is  Empathy induced altruism a  Foe of  the Common Good

    • 1.

    • 2.

    • 3.

    • 4.

  • 40:30 - Inducing Empathy concern into a social Dilemma (tests)

  • 43:58 - Comparing Egoisin and Altruism as Treats to the common good.

    • there are sanctions against egoism are there sanctions against altruism?

      • bleeding hearth, soft, naive

    • Why are there no social sanctions against altruism (2 possible reasons)

      • belief that altruism is always good

      • belief that altruism doesn't exist or is to weak to compete with any other motive

      • (he doesn't think either of these is correct)

  • 51:00 Conclusions

    • self-interest and the common good are not the only concerns in many social dilemmas.

    • empathy-induced altruism also comes into play

    • empathy-induced altruism is a surprisingly powerful motive.

    • it can be either a friend or a foe of the common good

    • It's a friend where it leads one to care for the welfare of all

  • Q and A

    • Brooks - Liberals and Conservatives

      • religious duty

      • no good evidence for altruism or egoism

    • who is the common in the common good? different groups

    • 59:30 - The costs - the escalating costs to participants

    •