Who says watching TV can’t be good for you? A recent study suggests that watching top notch television dramas like Mad Men and The Good Wife can help you develop your emotional intelligence and empathy.
When you were a kid and stole your friends’ toys, your parent probably asked you this angry hypothetical: “How do you think that made them feel?” But what if you actually could feel what another person is feeling? This week, we travel to a future where humans have invented an empathy machine.
This week's video in the University of California system's Fig. 1 YouTube series (tag line: "Get inside the mind of a researcher!") offers a bite-sized lesson in why, exactly, powerful people tend to be so selfish.
The word 'narcissist' is used so much these days that you might think we're in the midst of an epidemic. But pathological narcissism is not just about having an inflated ego — it's a very serious psychological disorder. Here's why certain people are obsessed with themselves, and the gnawing fear that drives them.
She was just thirteen years old when my grandmother last saw her parents at Auschwitz. On Holocaust Remembrance Day, it's worth pausing to reflect on how our species led my grandmother to find herself in such a horrific place, and how it might have been avoided.
So you've suffered an embarrassing and public setback, and the people who dislike you are rejoicing. Their glee at your misfortune is called schadenfreude. Should you hang your head in shame, or should you consider their happiness a huge compliment?
Whether it be in movies or real life, we don’t tend to feel sorry for the villains. But strangely, and even a bit disturbingly, we often empathize more with the pain they experience. A new study offers a potential answer to this puzzling phenomenon — and it may have something to do with wanting to keep our enemies…
Robots are playing an ever-increasing role on the battlefield. As a consequence, soldiers are becoming attached to their robots, assigning names, gender — and even holding funerals when they're destroyed. But could these emotional bonds affect outcomes in the war zone?
Researchers from Emory University have discovered that fathers with smaller testicles are more likely to be involved in caregiving activities like diaper changes, feeding, and nap time. Brains scans also show higher activity in their reward system. But the study is far from complete in its assessment.
Advocates of human enhancement often say that we ought to increase our intelligence as a species. But the consequences of actually doing this have never fully been explored. An excessive amount of intelligence might actually prove to be a bad thing — and a distraction from what really matters.
People are capable of amazing kindness, but also of unbelievable callousness. We go out of our way to help strangers, but we also turn a blind eye to misery. But what if you could make human beings kind all the time? What does science teach us about empathy, and how to create it in people? We decided to ask the…
Humans are a genetically diverse bunch. Some of us are born with extraordinary perceptual powers — neurological gifts that biologists might eventually be able to provide for the rest of us. But do we really want to have some of these 'superhuman' quirks?
We're really loving this
yawn compilation exercise in sympathetic yawn repression. It's a video by filmmaker Daniel Mercadante (titled "Yawns," naturally). Assembled from clips of the best yawn footage the internet has to offer, it may be the most definitive proof ever that yawns are contagious. Seriously — we defy…
The human brain is unquestioningly an amazing thing. But for all its strengths, it can be pretty glitchy at times. And indeed, as new research from Case Western Reserve has revealed, our brains have two very important functions that tend to work quite well - just not simultaneously. It turns out that when we're being…
According to a study published yesterday in PLoS ONE, you're more likely to respond with a yawn to a family member's yawn than to a friend's yawn. (Be honest, how many of you just yawned?)
Just like humans, chimpanzees yawn when they're bored or sleepy, and they also yawn contagiously when they see another chimp do it. That discovery could help unlock the secrets of human empathy.
The robotic Replicants in Blade Runner were indistinguishable from humans except for their lack of empathy. Now researchers are creating virtual humans that can detect human emotions through non-verbal cues and develop appropriate responses. This could lead to artificial life forms who are not only intelligent, but…