How empathy works

When Jealousy and Empathy Collide in the Brain

You know that friend who always tells funnier stories than you do, or the colleague at work who got the promotion you were in line for? Be honest — how much sympathy would you feel if you saw them stub their toe painfully? Would it be more or less than if a less threatening person had the same accident? If you’re a nice person, you’ll probably tell me that you’d put any status differences to one side and that you’d wince with empathy just as much for whoever you saw suffering. A new brain-imaging study published last week in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience suggests you’d probably be lying. …[READ]

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