Telepathy – Wishful thinking or social adaption?

Have you ever been thinking of someone, and that certain someone is ringing on your phone, or is just knocking on your door? A best friend who happens to be thinking the exact same thing as you? You even finish each other’s sentences.

Professor Charles Xavier from X-men is probably the most well-known psychic telepath. He is able to read, control and even erase people’s minds. Sadly, real telepathy does not work that way. However, Digby Tantam, is writing in his article, published 2009 that neuroscientists are demonstrating that emotions can spread, not from Mind to Mind, but from brain to brain.

Telepathy means feeling at a distance, according to Digby.T(2009). But when we say it, we don’t mean feeling; we also mean reading what someone is thinking. Feelings others feelings, AKA, Mirroring other persons feelings – having he ability to put yourself into someone else’s situation – Empathy – Compassion! (Mrnorthernstorm.wordpress.com, Is compassion an emotion?, October,2011)

When we look at someone, we are sometimes, very often, able to read that persons emotion, by looking at their face. And if it is someone we know very well, we don’t even have to look at their face. We just know how that person is feeling. You can also by listening to someone’s way of speaking on the phone, tell who that person is speaking to. Why? You have learned how that person acts in certain situations. When we are on the phone with someone, we mirror our speech to match the persons on the other end. (Fexeus, H. Konsten att läsa tankar, 2007)

Being able to tell other persons feelings, is a very important skill if you live in groups, humans are gregarious animals and our ability to communicate with our group, none-verbal, telling how someone is feeling would increase the groups chances of survival.

Mr Northernstorm

References:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brain-mind-and-spirit/200909/can-we-really-read-minds
Fexeus,H. Konsten att läsa tankar, 2007. Bokförlaget Forum, Sweden.

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Is Compassion an Emotion?

Is compassion an emotion?
The first natural response for the most if us would probably be; Yes of course it! But is it really an emotion?  To be able to discuss this question we must first know what Emotions are.  Emotions are, according to Paul Ekman (2003) something that is universal, they are the same no matter where you go or who you talk to. Saying that a Lecturer of Bangor University, the president of the United States of America, a student from Sweden and the native Indian have the exact same way of showing fear, anger, happiness, sadness, contempt and disgust…and pleasure.

Same facial expression of emotion on four different people, in four different contexts. (http://satanicrabbit.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/lens8529101_1260738655famous_micro_expressions1.jpg )

These basic emotions are not learned in any way, they are innate, and they are all shown in our face. A study that shows this exceptionally well is Psychology Professor David Matsumotos (San Francisco State University) study where he compared blind and sighted judo athletes. The results showed that blind and sighted individuals use the same facial expressions He analyzed 4’800 pictures of athletes from 23 countries, from 2004 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games. (unknow. (2008). Facial expressions of emotion are innate, not learned, says new study) This paragraph is more of a detour from my main topic, supporting the theory that facial expressions of emotion are universal and is not something we learn from each other.

Blind/ sighted comparison. (http://esciencenews.com/articles/2008/12/29/facial.expressions.emotion.are.innate.not.learned.says.new.study )

Now that we think us knowing that Emotions are universal and that they are innate, what about compassion? There is a difference between the compassion a mother feels towards her newborn child, the one we feel towards friends and colleges and the one we feel towards a complete stranger, says Paul Ekman in an interview at Lund’s University, Sweden 2011-05-27. And a mother’s compassion is the one closest to fit Ekman’s criteria for being an emotion because it is stronger and long-lived compared to the compassion we feel for the ones who dies in the tsunami in Thailand. Some people can see pictures of suffering people in a distant country and become to touch that they devote the rest of their life to help them, but they are a minority, says Paul Ekman during his lecture at Lund’s university.

Own thoughts.

So why is it that some people devote their life to save others, whilst some just don’t give a damn about others? Some people have absolutely no compassion at all, we call them psychopaths. Emotions are something we feel and respond to, the same way over and over, and we show it, even if the think we don’t.  Compassion is varying from time to time, sometimes we have it, and sometimes we don’t.  Compassion can also be trained away, if it couldn’t be – How would you explain the human habit of killing each other off? Without compassion (or the risk of going to jail) would we even hesitate to commit an act of murder?

I think that compassion is something we learn from our parents, friends and neighbors. Just as we learn how to separate Right from Wrong – Ethics. We are not born with the knowledge about Ethics. If you were to say that Compassion is with us from birth, you are in a way saying that the human is born with an innate goodness. Which I don’t think is the case, we are as easy to affect and easy to predict. Hell, even what we think is attractive can be calculated by a computer – The golden face ratio.

Hopefully you have Compassion enough to comment 🙂

(http://www.52ndreadingscoutgroup.org.uk/Cub%20Club/notices.html)

Bibliography

http://esciencenews.com/articles/2008/12/29/facial.expressions.emotion.are.innate.not.learned.says.new.study

http://www.lu.se/o.o.i.s?id=708&news_item=6870

http://challenge.visualessence.nl/C514241107/E20060927114121/Media/RF-Mask.jpg

http://satanicrabbit.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/lens8529101_1260738655famous_micro_expressions1.jpg

http://www.52ndreadingscoutgroup.org.uk/Cub%20Club/notices.html

Parental Alienantion Syndrome?

Parental Alienation Syndrome is when one parent,
intentionally influences his/her child or children to takes distance from the
other adult.  It is often the mother who
practices PAS in such ways as refusing to talk to the father, avoiding him or
directly insulting him in front of his children. One is to think that this
should make the children resent their mother, but it actually has the opposite
effect. Nowadays it is becoming more and more common that men are inducing
their children with PAS ever since this phenomenon was discovered.

PAS is seen as emotional abuse, and Richard, A. argues in
his article (Parental Alienation Syndrome
(2nd edition)
Richard, A. and Gardnern, M.D, 1999) that it actually is
worse than physical or sexual abuse. With the result that children, who have
been exposed to anything out of the latter fact, at some point in life may be
reuniting with the parent. But a victim of PAS will never come in contact with
the targeted parent again.

At first, during the late 80’s and mid 90’s when this syndrome was first
discovered, it was believed that it was women who used themselves of PAS, but
after Richard A. and Gardnern, MD released their first book and the subject
became more widely known to people who are facing divorce, the number of men that
had been convicted of having programmed his children to distance themselves
from the mother increased.

This phenomenon have been tested on later occasions, where they tested 50
undergraduate psychology students from the age 18 to over 50, who studied at
the University of Texas at Dallas and University of North Texas. Thirtytwo of
the students lived with both their parents and seventeen lived with either
their mother or father. The student were given questionnaries with scale based
questions including statements as “My mother wanted me to respect and admire my
father”, then they’de have to rate on a scale from 0-8. As in 0 is ‘strongly disagree’ and 8 would be ‘strongly agree’. This statement were
also asked the other way around later on in the same questionnarie to help the
researches meassure whether they could detect PAS behavior, and who was more
likely to use it, the mother or the father? The research resulted in the
following figures you can see below.

The figures shows that women are more likely to use
PAS to make children distance themselves from their fathers. This study was
made available on the internet in 2011, and yet, you can see from the figures
that women still are more likely to use PAS to program their children into
distance themselves from the father, in both catecories.

I still believe that there are some holes in their
research, things you need to take into consideration here is the family
situation. Why are they divorced? That is a question with major importance for
this kind of study that you need to consider. What if the father was an abuser,
or the mother a drugadict?

And can you really do a study using only 50 test
subjects? To be able to state something as serious as this I believe that they
should have done more studies using more people.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01926187.2011.575336

Parental Alienation Syndrome (2nd edition) speaks
Richard, A. and Garndern, MD (1999)