Research
10:50 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

How your brain makes you less sensitive to suffering

Credit Indiana Public Media / flickr

This week our Michigan Radio colleague Kyle Norris will be starting a series on homelessness.  So, when I came across this post on the stellar Sociological Images blog I thought it was worth a mention.

It explores a study that finds our brains, not just our emotions, react to the homeless with "disgust." This happens in part because we see them as very different from ourselves. Then, with the help of our brains we build up our tolerance for seeing suffering among these people. We rarely feel empathy for them.

I'll be exploring issues of empathy and children in a few weeks with the help of one of our storytelling sources. This study  is an an interesting introduction.

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