Monday, June 18, 2007

Empathy Experiment

When people say "I feel your pain," they do not mean it literally, but certain people really do feel something that appears to be an extreme form of empathy, British researchers have said.

From "Study May Explain Roots of Empathy"

Pretty cool. I've always thought we have the capacity for more than we know - perhaps one day, my Psy stuff will be real in terms of the strength of what we can do with our minds (except without the murderous Psy Council and all). Any of you ever have an extrasensory moment?


Ange - The Romance Groupie said...

I think I've had lots of extrasensory experiences. In fact, I think a lot of people have them every day. They just label them as something 'acceptable' or dismiss them.

For example, what they call "mother's intuition" is possibly extrasensory. I am a mother and I DO sense or just 'know' things about my children. Emotions, thoughts, ctions, motives, etc. are all things that mothers often have extra insight into... and I don't really think it's a 'learned' talent.

It is possible that the intuition is based on a subconcious analysis of clues that we recieve from our other senses and analyze based on experiences with our children but even right after the birth of my first child I could 'sense' things about her.

I think the label of 'mother's intuition' is used to explain something that cannot be explained. Especially to someone who has not felt it.

I totally believe that certain psychic powers are possible in the future. The human brain has an unlimited capacity for learning.

The old myth about humans using only 10% of their brain is normally rolled out to support to possibility of psychic power but it's not a scientific fact... or I guess you could say, it's more like a 'catchy' oversimplification used for a 'wow' effect.

If you're curious (like me), more info on this myth can be found at:

Also, conditions could force human evolution to create psychic power for survival in future generations. Such an evolution would take a long, long, long, long time though.

According to (most) evolutionists, it took approx 4-5 billion years to evolve from cells to what we are today and approx. 2 million years to evolve from the first human species (homo habilis) to our current form. So I'm guessing that it would probably take under a million years for such a trait to appear in the majority of the human species.

In my opinion, it's also possible that the evolution has already begun and some people have a small amount of 'power' now. Like empathy or things such as mother's intuition.

LOL... OK, I'll stop now. I'm sure this was WAY more than anyone wanted to know about my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I've had a number of deja vu moments. Or I'll think that I need to call someone today, and they'll call me.

The deja vu things are interesting. I can't decide if my life is so incredibly boring that I DO actually do the same things over and over, or if there's something strange going on.

And you know I love "Heroes"! Completely awesome show. I can't wait to see what they'll do next. I would absolutely love to have Hiro's powers: time travel and teleportation? Wicked cool. I could teleport to Hawaii, after having gone forward in time to purchase Caressed by Ice -- to start. I could laze away the day on the beach, reading, lots of tanned, toned, good-lookin' men dashing past on their way to surf ... Oh yeah. I want me some teleportation and time traveling powers.

I would probably, maybe, most likely use my power for good, not evil. Probably. ;)

Cyn Bagley said...

I do not have the empathy gene... but I have had a few experiences with touch -- feel an object and learn something of its history.

It is very small. I don't lose much, but I can feel energy sometimes. Why? I have no idea.

It has been very helpful in research... ;-)

PS... one of my biology professors (PH.D) had the same talent. He was a very interesting character.

Ange - The Romance Groupie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nalini Singh said...

Ange - I must go check out that article, and I agree with you - Mom's seem to grow some sort of super sense when it comes to their kids.

Jennifer K - deja vu - I've had those moments, too! It's an interesting sensation.

Cynthia - wow, that's so interesting. Tell us more!

Anonymous said...

I've had a lot of moments that were more deja vu than anything. However, I have had moments where I've known something bad was going to happen if I or someone I knew was going to go to such & such a place.

Once my dad was leaving for a hunting trip & both my mom & I told him not to go. That we'd had a really bad feeling about it, etc. He decided to not go & it ended up that one of his friends fell and got a severely broken leg.

So, yeah, I think empathic moments can happen to anyone. You just have to be open to them. :)

Anonymous said...

I think I had some moments...I have known in some instants of someone close getting hurt or is in trouble. Once when I was waiting for my brother to get home from school, I found myself rubbing my knuckles over and over..and my mouth hurt. And I found myself thinking my brother that he was in trouble. Sure enough, not long he came home...found out that he had fight after school. I also feel when something bad is know bad vibes... my body actually humms. So am very cautious when that happens...

Nalini Singh said...

Kaitlin & Anon - isn't it amazing what we can hear when we're ready to listen?

Anonymous said...

Once, a number of years ago, my boyfriend & I went to Europe to visit my family. We returned to the states, but I felt very uncomfortable, anxious, almost panicky at coming back and I didn’t know why. I figured I just hadn't spent enough time with my family. I told my boyfriend that I felt something bad was going to happen to my maternal grandmother who has a heart condition and I had to return. But I didn’t believe that – really, I thought I was making it up so that he would understand my need to return so quickly – we lived together and shared finances. Within weeks I returned to Europe. On the day I arrived, my paternal grandmother died. My mother, sister & I were still at the train station on the way home from the airport when we got the call. I never figured that one out, especially since I wasn’t very close to my paternal grandmother and although she was old and senile there wasn’t much else wrong with her when I first left.
If you're my friend don't lie to me, because I can tell. But in the moment, it's like … are they lying or am I imagining things/paranoid/projecting? Later (sometimes, months/years later) I get confirmation of the lie - I was right! But I don't always get confirmation, so am left in limbo many other times. When it happens, it's not like I KNOW, it's more like I can't believe what they're telling me - for no good reason, I can't believe them. It drives me NUTS! And yes, sometimes I’m wrong which only messes it all up more in my head. But I’m right too often to be able to completely dismiss it, conversely, I’m wrong enough so as not to depend on it. It drives me NUTS! Did I already say that? lol
I can read a news story about something bad, like a child dying of cancer and it doesn’t tear me up. But if a complete stranger tells me their child died of cancer - I get all teary & I feel the grief as if it were my own. If said stranger tells me his friend/family/etc.’s child died of cancer, it’s like the news story, it doesn’t tear me up.
If I know a person at all, I will know what mood they are in as soon as I step into the room with them, before they even speak.
Is any of this extrasensory? I don't know. It’s hard (impossible?) for me to believe in psychic powers in real life, I'm too pragmatic. Maybe I'm just very sensitive to body language. It's hard to look back on things and not think, "You're crazy! It's just a coincidence!" or “You would love it if psychic powers were real (I’m a big Sci-Fi fan) so you’re just projecting or putting more into it than it is.” I’ll probably always doubt. It all drives me NUTS! Ok, I already said that, right? LOL