Empathy Appears Highest Among Middle-Aged Women
Need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to hear your story? According to new research, your best bet is to share your feelings with a woman in late middle age.
Rick Nauert PhD
Notes that late middle-aged individuals show more empathic signals such as reacting with emotion to other's experiences and attempting to see the other's point of view. Women, however, rated considerably higher than men.
The results may be attributed to the fact that younger age groups are experiencing rapid growth in cognitive and emotional abilities, while older groups are going through a decrease in both.
Researchers pointed to several areas rich for future study. They wondered whether the fact that late middle-aged adults, having grown up during the civil rights and antiwar movements, may have increased levels of empathy.
The scientists also want to explore whether individuals can increase empathic abilities through training, perhaps through electronic media.
The role of empathy in social life and relationships is so important that this kind of research merits further investigation.
Darin's note: Empathy is the single most important social ability in humans and animals, and studies within the last decade have revealed fascinating information regarding the origin and nature of empathy.
Many cognitive scientists attribute empathy to a special class of cells in the brain called mirror neurons. I have performed a lot of research in this area, and plan to write much more about it in feature articles under "Mysteries of the Mind."
Interested? Click the title or image to read on.
Source is PsychCentral.com
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