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Does anybody know of any scientific studies done on empaths?

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Posted (edited)

Empaths are not supernatural beings, they are just individuals who are very high on the empathic spectrum. Unless someone is a socio or psychopath then they possess empathic capabilities. Given that it is a spectrum, some are more empathic than others and a variety of factors go into why. Most empaths are born that way, or their "gifts" are heightened due to environmental conditioning in childhood. Most empaths I've encountered that are very sensitive tend to have suffered childhood trauma and heightened their ability to attune to their caregivers' emotions in order to survive. We are all born highly empathic (excluding psychopaths) and develop mirror neurons in response to others around us in early developmental stages. There have been numerous studies done on this topic. I have linked to several articles below my post. I do believe there is more going on with empaths than the ability to read micro-expressions and pick up on subtle nuances in body language and verbal communication. Our heart and mind create an electromagnetic field around our bodies (also known as aura) and I believe empaths have an ability to perceive the electromagnetic spectrum in an intuitive way that leads to "downloads" of information about another individual's state. In terms of a link between empaths and telepathy, I do believe there is a correlation even if there has been no study yet available to prove its existence. Quantum physics is rapidly growing as a field and I think we've yet to develop the correct technology to apply to this in order for there to be a conclusive study. Speaking from personal experience, it's been a number of years where I have noticed that I may randomly think of certain friends or people and end up getting a phone call or text message immediately, or it can take up to a few hours. It is especially prominent with family members or friends I have had a very close connection with for years. It has occurred too many times for me to consider it simply coincidental. Although this is a far cry from direct telepathy, having these experiences definitely makes me believe in the possibility that telepathy could be real or better yet, that we may have the capacity to communicate in such a way in the future. I think we should consider the fact that scientifically we know that we only use 10-15% of our brain matter. Imagine what we could be capable of if we found effective ways (beyond meditation) to increase that percentage? Just because science has not been able to fully account for phenomena many of us may have experienced firsthand or know to be a relatively commonly held belief or idea does not mean that it is not true. I am one hundred percent behind relying upon scientific proof or evidence to support many of my beliefs, but I also try to keep an open mind to ideas or concepts they may not have been proven yet. 

 

https://chopra.com/articles/5-scientific-explanations-of-empathy-and-empaths

https://psychcentral.com/blog/new-research-may-support-the-existence-of-empaths/

https://www.acesconnection.com/blog/the-new-science-of-empathy-and-empaths-drjudithorloff-com

https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/i-feel-your-pain-the-neuroscience-of-empathy

https://www.iflscience.com/brain/researchers-find-physical-differences-empathetic-peoples-brains/

https://www.spiritualmechanic.com/2013/05/the-science-behind-being-an-empath/

https://www.eliselebeau.com/the-empath-experience

 

Edited by rrose

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4 hours ago, rrose said:

we should consider the fact that scientifically we know that we only use 10-15% of our brain matter

I assume you are using Heartmath as the same "scientific" source for this claim as you used for your claim regarding the ability to download information from the EM field created by the heart.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, rrose said:

the fact that scientifically we know that we only use 10-15% of our brain matter

Being more blunt than Zap above, this myth was debunked long ago.

The technical term for what you just shared is “nonsensical bullshit.”

5 hours ago, rrose said:

it's been a number of years where I have noticed that I may randomly think of certain friends or people and end up getting a phone call or text message immediately

Are you familiar with the concept of a coincidence? Yes, it feels synchronistic, I agree, but the technical term here is “confirmation bias.”

Said another way, explain how you account for the millions of times you think of others and nothing whatsoever happens. You simply don’t remember those. They’re less salient. You ignore them completely in your analysis  

Perhaps the phenomenon you describe truly exists, but for now the intelligent position is to assume it does not. You’re making an extraordinary claim and simply failing to offer extraordinary evidence that appropriately scales in support of it. 

I’m interested in your idea and welcome the aforementioned extraordinary evidence to convince me it’s worth accepting as valid. 

Edited by iNow

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8 hours ago, rrose said:

Speaking from personal experience, it's been a number of years where I have noticed that I may randomly think of certain friends or people and end up getting a phone call or text message immediately, or it can take up to a few hours.

This is probably an example of "confirmation bias". How often do you think of people and not getting a message from them? You don't know, do you? Because you only remember the few occasions when the coincidence seems remarkable.

That is why science relies on objective measurements rather than anecdotes.

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5 hours ago, Strange said:

That is why science relies on objective measurements rather than anecdotes.

3.7 times/month (over a 3 month period), I look at the clock to see it's exactly 12:34pm. Until I actually measured it, it seemed like this was happening constantly (my wife gave me this little bias). When compared to all the instances where I looked at a clock and saw a different time, the confirmation bias was revealed.

There's a country road I travel every day with my daughter that has a sharp, narrow turn. When we meet another car coming the other way right at the turn, it's a bit harrowing and memorable. My daughter commented that it was happening an inordinate amount of the time for such a back road, but when we put tally marks on a sticky note, we found it was far less than it seemed (plus, since it's a 90 degree turn, both directions have to slow down, which makes it more likely you'll meet another driver right on the corner).

I think empathy is extremely important for its focus on being more sensitive, not because it confers any special powers. In fact, being more sensitive can easily lead humans into seeing patterns that aren't there. And of course, there's evolution. It would be VERY hard to hide some special psychic ability that conferred great benefits. Such a trait would be passed along, and such people would show some pretty anomalous statistical behavior. 

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So that's a hard pass on grannies slide-show?

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8 hours ago, Phi for All said:

it's a bit harrowing and memorable.

And there's the explanation.
Not meeting a car coming the other way is not memorable.

So what you remember is a few meetings, but what you forget is a much larger number of non-meetings.

 

 

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On 7/29/2019 at 7:58 PM, zapatos said:

I assume you are using Heartmath as the same "scientific" source for this claim as you used for your claim regarding the ability to download information from the EM field created by the heart.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I did not realize it was a myth that had been debunked and have since researched and stand mistaken. I originally learned that statistic from Dale Carnegie's "How To Win Friends and Influence People" in one of my college communications classes. I never thought to research the subject. 

On another note, the Heartmath institute is incredibly scientific. They are actually a huge contributor the field of epigenetics. I also never made the claim that I had the ability to do this. I proposed a possibly theory behind some of the more extraordinary claims individuals make regarding this topic.   

Edited by rrose

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On 9/17/2019 at 6:09 PM, rrose said:

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I did not realize it was a myth that had been debunked and have since researched and stand mistaken. I originally learned that statistic from Dale Carnegie's "How To Win Friends and Influence People" in one of my college communications classes. I never thought to research the subject. 

On another note, the Heartmath institute is incredibly scientific. They are actually a huge contributor the field of epigenetics. I also never made the claim that I had the ability to do this. I proposed a possibly theory behind some of the more extraordinary claims individuals make regarding this topic.   

I have not seen any of the publications of that institute in mainstream journals. Most references I found where in more obscure psychology journals. That does not necessarily mean that they are not doing research, but they do not seem to be huge contributors. The titles I have seen appear to be make claims that are quite outside of what current science is able to tell us.

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On 9/18/2019 at 1:09 AM, rrose said:

On another note, the Heartmath institute is incredibly scientific.

Are we talking about the one whose banner says "Lifting Global Consciousness
Raising Our Vibration and Expanding Our Capacity to Love"?

Because I don't see any science behind the use of the word "vibration" (or, indeed, anything else they do).

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On 3/23/2017 at 5:00 AM, StringJunky said:

I agree with you generally but there are some people that can lack it with certain psychopathies and autism spectrum disorder, for example.

 

On 3/24/2017 at 1:51 AM, John Cuthber said:

Yes I can provide the evidence.

If any of this stuff was real they would have claimed the million dollars by now.

 

Also, if you could really do these magic tricks you would have a great evolutionary advantage.

So, such an ability would spread rapidly through a population and after a while, everybody would be able to do it.

We can't, so the trait doesn't exist.

These were from 2017, but I read it.

Primary psychopaths probably resemble narcissists in having statistically lower emotional empathy and, at least, statistically normal cognitive empathy.  Autism has several components that include below normal mentalizing or theory of mind, which might be similar to cognitive empathy.  The link between autism and psychopathy is a myth, although both aspies and secondary psychopaths statistically tend toward lower mentalizing ability and lower religiousness.  Ara Norenzayan published his findings linking "belief in God" to mentalizing.

On 7/29/2019 at 5:05 PM, rrose said:

Empaths are not supernatural beings, they are just individuals who are very high on the empathic spectrum. Unless someone is a socio or psychopath then they possess empathic capabilities. Given that it is a spectrum, some are more empathic than others and a variety of factors go into why. Most empaths are born that way, or their "gifts" are heightened due to environmental conditioning in childhood. Most empaths I've encountered that are very sensitive tend to have suffered childhood trauma and heightened their ability to attune to their caregivers' emotions in order to survive.

[superstitious ramblings omitted]

See above.  Secondary psychopathy is linked to childhood adversity and lower mentalizing ability.  Overlapping syndromes have shown an ambiguous relationship to mentalizing and, unexpectedly, they showed higher performance on the RMET (Reading the Mind in the Eyes), which was originally designed to measure autism.  The reason is very much unclear.  Confusingly, depression severity has been associated, but being in a depression is inversely associated.

Schizophrenics have a better prognosis with more positive symptoms, which can include blatantly psychotic audio-verbal hallucinations, ambiguously defined "delusions", or even obsessive-compulsive symptoms or dissociative symptoms, which I would expect to be statistically more common in STPD or BPD, respectively (i.e. misdiagnosis).  Those so called "delusions" can include beliefs of "thought insertions" or mind reading.  These people might actually have a better prognosis.  They might even show higher social functioning rather than lower, and social support does probably decelerate the schizophrenic deterioration.  Confusingly...


In summary, believing in things you cannot prove is normal, and it might suggest higher or lower "empathy."

P.S. That other thread is about REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, but maybe she should be told by a friend.  Like OCD, this disorder is also linked to STPD.  I imagine such patients would in need of some kind of explanation.

*be* in need of

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