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Empathy and Learning

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:09 pm
by Sabina
In another topic, on how we came to be who we are, I wrote....
For me it was enough to hear a story and learn from it. I know others hear the same story, but unless they experience the "teaching" of that story on their own skin, they are not going to get it. It remains abstract for them.

I continued thinking (amazing, I know), and made the hypothesis that learning from stories is connected with empathy. You empathize with the characters (or at least one character) so much that it feels as if you are going through the experience yourself. Hence, you don't have to learn the same lessons in real life. You experienced them personally, while hearing of someone else's story. Does that make sense?
What do you think? B0)

Sabina

Re: Empathy and Learning

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:36 pm
by dermot
That is interesting.........and as i read it i realised i do it through songs, in particular. Listening to song lyrics can be a real way to learn for me.
Dylan as opposed to some girl writhing around in a bikini obviously!
dermot.

Re: Empathy and Learning

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:41 pm
by GenerousGeorge
=0o So that's what I ve been doing wrong....no wonder I'm not learning. 80S

Re: Empathy and Learning

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:49 pm
by Leahann
Sabina

I continued thinking (amazing, I know), and made the hypothesis that learning from stories is connected with empathy. You empathize with the characters (or at least one character) so much that it feels as if you are going through the experience yourself. Hence, you don't have to learn the same lessons in real life. You experienced them personally, while hearing of someone else's story. Does that make sense?


I think I do understand, because while I learn first handed more often then not...I also learn from others experiences...and stories...however I wonder if we can apply Empathy directly to the story as there is no one there to connect with, but rather the ability to imagine what it must be like because you have such a vast data base within of emotions and situations, due to Empathy, from which we can connect.

I do find that there is a different experience when I read a new's story about a person that is living, and I seem to connect to that person...even if it is long distance...and it is different...but just as impacting.

Just a thought.

Leahann

Re: Empathy and Learning

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:06 pm
by mirjana
For me, empathy is not necessarily learning. It is more understanding.
But as about learning from stories, I agree Sabina, it is one of the best ways to learn, for me too.
Dermot, I agree. Songs and lyrics are also great for learning and they influence me very much in that direction.
I also can learn lessons from literature, poetry and all kinds of movies. I can identify with a certain character and this identification can help me to figure certain things better or even to learn. I enjoy "aha" moment in such situations.
But, identification with a character is not for me empathy. In identification I become the character; in empathy I understand the person.
You gave us good food for thoughts, as usually Sabina.

Mirjana

Re: Empathy and Learning

PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:44 pm
by Sabina
Mirjana wrote:For me, empathy is not necessarily learning. It is more understanding.

Mirjana wrote:In identification I become the character; in empathy I understand the person.

When you recognize something in a natural way, almost like it is happening to you personally, then you very well understand it too... So what exactly is the difference?
If you empathize to the extent of identification, simply because it feels so real, then it is not anymore empathy?
Just wondering... ;0)


Or is it the connecting aspect that Leahann mentioned?
It's just that by definition connecting to a living person is not necessarily a part of empathy.

empathy
1. the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.
2. the imaginative ascribing to an object, as a natural object or work of art, feelings or attitudes present in oneself: By means of empathy, a great painting becomes a mirror of the self.

According the the dictionary definition the analogy with stories, songs, etc. seems to fit.

Sabina

Re: Empathy and Learning

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:47 am
by GenerousGeorge
I think I better be careful what I read. =0o