[教育時評] Developing Empathy

為什麼同理於此時比以往任何時刻都重要?

同理(empathy)可以定義為從他人觀點理解感受他人所感的能力。這與同情(sympathy)不同,同情是對處於困境之人感到難過的感覺。在某些情況下,兩個術語有共同之處是因為同理是一種共鳴的關切,其中包括希望人們更好的渴望。

心理學家已辨識出不同種類的同理,主要為情感和認知兩種類型。情感同理心 (affective empathy)是指能分享他人感受的能力。它使我們能夠「鏡像」他人的感受並覺察他們的焦慮或恐懼。

認知同理心(cognitive empathy),也稱為換位思考,是識別和理解他人感受的能力。有效的溝通需要情感同理心和認知同理心兩者,因為它們可以幫助我們建立情感連結並向受眾傳達信息。同理對於協作和領導力也很重要,因為一個人需要理解和預期他人的情感和行為,才能與之工作並帶領他們走向成功。

人們可以看到同理呈現在所有職業中。老師需要靠同理來理解和滿足學生的多樣化需求。研究表明,富有同理心的醫療人員的患者享有更好的健康狀況。警察需要同理來拉近與之打交道的人的距離,來減少以武力處理的狀況。想想當警察缺乏對示威者的同理時會發生什麼。

現在比以往任何時候都更需要同理心。身份政治,政府競爭,甚至是最近的健康危機,都在逐漸蠶食我們的同理心和同情心,導致更大的緊繃,分裂和衝突。社交媒體上有多少發文在強調相互幫助的需要,又有多少在傳播恐懼和仇恨?

 
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並非所有希望都已失去。我們仍可以懷有和培養同理心。我們可以試著練習:
 
1.積極傾聽 (Active listening):傾聽並關注他人意見。不要只是簡單地摒除與自身不同的觀點。
 
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2.破除認同屏障(Shared identity):了解與自己不同的人。與其只關注兩者間的差異,不如考慮自己與他們分享的共同點。想像自己如何能設身處地的換位思考。
 
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3.制止不平等和冷漠 (Combating inequality and indifference):許多獲得較高社會經濟地位(socioeconomic status、SES)的人有時同理稍弱,因為他們較少有連結、依靠或與他人合作的需求。這並不意味所有富裕之人都對他人的需求漠不關心,但他們可能更需要去關注維持對他人的同理。
 
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4. 閱讀與改變觀點 (Reading and changing perspectives):研究表明,閱讀文學小說(例如《殺死一隻知更鳥》,《老鼠與男人》)著重於人物心理及其與世界的互動。這些書激發讀者理解角色的意圖和動機,且這種的意識可以被帶入現實世界。但是,我認為,所有書籍,即使是非小說類書籍(例如《安妮·弗蘭克日記》)也能做到這一點,讀者不應受到書本類型的限制。重點在以閱讀了解他人的思維方式,從他人的角度思考和「體驗」生活,並將所學應用在自己的生活中。
 
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因此,為協助學生發展同理這一重要能力,我決定在我們的粉專上發起一個全新的系列:翻轉視界 (Changing Perspectives)。除了定期發布的《時事英文》、《教育時評》和《學習資源》,我們還將分享來自世界各地的人們的故事,文章中會提供關鍵詞、翻譯並向你提出批判性問題以期能幫助各位從不同的角度解讀世界!但是,單單思考並不夠!希望你可以不僅通過閱讀來發展同理,也通過理解和與他人合作將同理應用到生活中來取得成功。
 
References
 
Bal, P. M., & Veltkamp, M. (2013). How does fiction reading influence empathy? An experimental investigation on the role of emotional transportation. PloS one, 8(1).
 
Kaplan, S. (2016, July 22). Does reading fiction make you a better person? The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/07/22/does-reading-fiction-make-you-a-better-person/
 
Keen, S. (2007). Empathy and the Novel. Oxford University Press on Demand.
 
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Why is empathy more important now than ever?
 
Empathy can be defined as the capacity to understand feel what others experience from their perspectives. It differs from sympathy, the feeling of feeling sorry for someone in a difficult situation. In some instances, the terms overlap as sympathy is an empathetic concern, which includes the desire to see people better off.
 
Psychologists have identified different types of empathy, two main types being affective and cognitive. Affective empathy refers to the ability to share the feelings of others. It enables us to “mirror” what others feel and detect their anxiety or fears. Cognitive empathy, also known as perspective-taking, is the ability to identify and understand how others feel. Both are needed in effective communication because they help us build emotional connections and relay information to our audiences. Empathy is also essential for collaboration and leadership as one needs to understand and anticipate the emotions and behaviors of others to work with them and lead them to success.
 
One can see empathy present in all professions. Teachers need it to understand and meet the diverse needs of students. Research shows medical workers high in empathy have patients who enjoy better health. The police need it to feel less distant from people they are dealing with and defuse situations with less physical force. Think about what happens when the police lack empathy with protestors.
 
Empathy is needed more than ever now. Identity politics, government rivalry, and even the latest health crisis are gradually stripping us of our empathy and compassion, leading to greater tension, division, and conflict. How many posts on social media highlight the need to help one another, and how many spread fear and hate?
 
Not all hope is lost. We can still nurture and cultivate empathy. We can practice:
 
1. Active listening: Listen and be mindful of the opinions of others. Don’t merely dismiss every viewpoint different than your own.
 
2. Shared identity: Learn about people who are different from you. Rather than focus only on the differences, think about what you have in common. Imagine what you would do in their situation.
 
3. Combating inequality and indifference: Many who have attained higher socioeconomic status (SES) sometimes have diminished empathy because they have less of a need to connect with, rely on, or collaborate with others. This does not mean that all wealthy individuals are indifferent to the needs of others, but they might need to be more mindful about maintaining empathy towards everyone.
 
4. Reading and changing perspectives: Research shows that reading literary fiction (e.g., To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men) focuses on the psychology of characters and their interaction with the world. These books motivate readers to understand character intentions and motivations, and such awareness can be carried into the real world. However, I personally believe that all books, even non-fiction (e.g., the Diary of Anne Frank), can do the same, and readers should not be restricted by the genre. The point is to read to understand the mindset of others, to think and “experience” life from their perspectives, and to apply these lessons to your own life.
 
Thus, to help students develop empathy, I have decided to launch a new series on our page: Changing Perspectives (翻轉視界). In addition to our regular posting of News English, Opinions in Education, and Learning Resources, we will share stories of people from around the world, provide key words, translations, and ask you critical questions to help you view the world from other perspectives! However, thinking is not enough! Develop empathy through reading but also apply it to your lives by understanding and working with others to achieve success.
 
References
 
Bal, P. M., & Veltkamp, M. (2013). How does fiction reading influence empathy? An experimental investigation on the role of emotional transportation. PloS one, 8(1).
 
Kaplan, S. (2016, July 22). Does reading fiction make you a better person? The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/07/22/does-reading-fiction-make-you-a-better-person/
 
Keen, S. (2007). Empathy and the Novel. Oxford University Press on Demand.
 
★★★★★★★★★★★★
 
圖片出處:https://bit.ly/2JUYzA9
 
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tl;dr: View the world from different perspectives. Have empathy and be nice.
 
教育時評: http://bit.ly/39ABON9

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