You could say that fiction is about pain. When you boil them down, stories describe characters taking hits and trying to emerge as unscathed as possible. Neighborhood under attack by zombies? Run hard and hope you have some painkillers on hand if they catch you. Or what if it’s actually a friendly, attractive zombie who loves you? In that case, it’s all good -- until you realize that mortals and undead can never be together. Oh the agonies of unfulfilled love!
Read the rest of my guest post on pain, empathy, and fiction at Nathan Bransford's blog. Older blog followers will recognize one of the studies. I also describe a new study about some interesting gender differences in empathy (Hint: see title).
That was a great guest post! I hope you do more.ReplyDelete
Loved this post over on Nathan's blog!ReplyDelete
I just read your article on Nathan's blog. That was a really cool study. I'd almost bet my daughter would have scored the same way men do, and we both like our heros to have empathy. When she dates someone the guy is always very empathetic. It's pretty funny. She is the opposite of most females and attracted to the opposite of most males. Her current six foot four boyfriend cries at the same movies I do, and she never does.ReplyDelete
Read your guest post, loved it, became a follower. Wanted to let you know I gave you the blog post of the week at my blog. Looking forward to reading future posts from you!ReplyDelete
Livia: Love this blog! I found your site on Terresa's blog, The Chocolate Chip Waffle. I would like to follow, and I also invite you to follow mine. Thanks.ReplyDelete
The Disconnected Writer
That was really interesting. No surprises on the sympathy pain felt by women. But, interesting on the "he had it coming" attitude especially from men. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Interesting analysis though I am always wary of all-encompassing theories.ReplyDelete
I am also wary of anyone using the word empathy as I believe it impossible to stand in the emotional skin of another. I find it fairly difficult to stand in my own emotional skin and understand what is going on.
DOT -- This is just one experiment and by no means an all encompassing theory. The theory will come after more experiments flesh out the picture.ReplyDelete
Dot, have you ever looked at someone with pink eye and had your eye turn red? Or listen to someone talk about getting hurt and have that part of your body feel a sharp pain too? Cry at movies or the news for someone else? Our pain may not be as intense for someone else, but there are a lot of people that actually feel for other people and animals. Heck my youngest daughter feels empathy for bugs.ReplyDelete