Sensitive? Emotional? Empathetic? It could be in your genes

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Post by Guest on Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:28 am

Do you jump to help the less fortunate or cry during sad movie scenes? If yes, you may be among the 20 percent of our population that is genetically pre-disposed to empathy, according to a study. The results provide further evidence that highly sensitive people are generally highly tuned into their environment, and provide evidence that especially high levels of awareness and emotional responsiveness are fundamental features of humans characterized as HSPs.


Previous research suggests that sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) is an innate trait associated with greater sensitivity, or responsiveness, to environmental and social stimuli. According to Dr. Arthur Aron, the trait is becoming increasingly associated with identifiable behaviors, genes, physiological reactions, and patterns of brain activation. Highly sensitive people (HSP), those high in SPS, encompass roughly 20 percent of the population. Elaine Aron, PhD, originated the HSP concept. Humans characterized as HSPs tend to show heightened awareness to subtle stimuli, process information more thoroughly, and be more reactive to both positive and negative stimuli. In contrast, the majority of people have comparatively low SPS and pay less attention to subtle stimuli, approach situations more quickly and are not as emotionally reactive.





http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140623091828.htm

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Post by Guest on Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:50 pm


Interesting but I'm sure the figure of people genetically predisposed to empathy is really far higher.

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Post by eddie on Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:45 pm

lovedust wrote:
Interesting but I'm sure the figure of people genetically predisposed to empathy is really far higher.

I'd tend to agree with that but having thought about it, how many people are truly empathetic?
I mean truly, enough to really know and understand how it feels to be somebody else?

I believe we are all capable (sociopaths aside) but we either ignore it due to survival instinct or it dies away from underuse?

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Post by Guest on Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:24 pm

eddie wrote:
lovedust wrote:
Interesting but I'm sure the figure of people genetically predisposed to empathy is really far higher.

I'd tend to agree with that but having thought about it, how many people are truly empathetic?
I mean truly, enough to really know and understand how it feels to be somebody else?

I believe we are all capable (sociopaths aside) but we either ignore it due to survival instinct or it dies away from underuse?

I'd say every non-psychpathic person is empathetic, ultimately.

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Post by eddie on Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:48 pm

lovedust wrote:
eddie wrote:

I'd tend to agree with that but having thought about it, how many people are truly empathetic?
I mean truly, enough to really know and understand how it feels to be somebody else?

I believe we are all capable (sociopaths aside) but we either ignore it due to survival instinct or it dies away from underuse?

I'd say every non-psychpathic person is empathetic, ultimately.

Hmmm, everyone? Surely you've come across people and though "She/he has no feelings!"

Perhaps we all are, I just think it's some people's natural instinct and in others, perhaps an afterthought?

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Post by veya_victaous on Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:55 pm

eddie wrote:
lovedust wrote:
Interesting but I'm sure the figure of people genetically predisposed to empathy is really far higher.

I'd tend to agree with that but having thought about it, how many people are truly empathetic?
I mean truly, enough to really know and understand how it feels to be somebody else?

I believe we are all capable (sociopaths aside) but we either ignore it due to survival instinct or it dies away from underuse?

I was going to say I think some of us learn it (or learn to improve it)

I think (besides sociopaths ) we are all capable but not necessarily good at it. Because it is a trait that is helpful for human society both as a species and individuals we encourage it, how much of entertainment is 'showing what it's like to be someone else, most movies are dramatised version of other people and nowadays we even have 'reality' TV telling us about someone's 'real' life  Neutral  all this trains us and increases our ability to empathise.....  weather it gets us to be accurately empathic is debatable as most entertainment is still mild cultural propaganda  Wink

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Post by Ben Reilly on Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:57 pm

I had a counselor tell me I'm an HSP, not sure how she came to that conclusion, though. I looked into it and a lot of it does seem to fit me, though:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/26/highly-sensitive-people-signs-habits_n_4810794.html

Except the movie part, I do enjoy something like Kill Bill or a decent horror movie ...

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