How reading makes you more intelligent and empathic

Get lost in a good book. Time and again, reading has been shown to make us healthier, smarter, and more empathic.

Fitness headlines promise staggering physical results: a firmer butt, ripped abs, bulging biceps. Nutritional breakthroughs are similar clickbait, with attention-grabbing, if often inauthentic—what, really, is a “superfood?”—means of achieving better health. Strangely, one topic usually escaping discussion has been shown, time and again, to make us healthier, smarter, and more empathic animals: reading.

Reading, of course, requires patience, diligence, and determination. Scanning headlines and retweeting quips is not going to make much cognitive difference. If anything, such sweet nothings are dangerous, the literary equivalent of sugar addiction. Information gathering in under 140 characters is lazy. The benefits of contemplation through narrative offer another story.

Leer Más

Schadenfreude: Your pain is my gain


If someone in the workplace is mistreated, their colleagues may respond with empathy — or with schadenfreude. The latter emotion, according to a new study by the University of Zurich, occurs primarily in highly competitive working environments, when one person’s misfortune facilitates another’s goals. Even worse, schadenfreude can be contagious. For this reason, it is worth establishing an inclusive working climate and team-based incentives.

Most employees have heard of or witnessed a colleague being mistreated, talked over, or bullied. To date, most research on this subject argues that observers feel empathy toward victims and anger toward perpetrators. However, Jamie Gloor, business economist at UZH, believes that this view oversimplifies the complex nature of social dynamics. Together with colleagues from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the National University of Singapore, she devoted her latest publication to the emergence, development, and behavioral consequences of schadenfreude — an emotion long discussed by philosophers as early as Aristotle but which modern organizational research has largely overlooked.

Leer Más

O que os outros pensam sobre você reflete quem eles são, não quem você é

Os Sioux têm um provérbio muito interessante: “Antes de julgar uma pessoa, caminha três luas com seus sapatos”. Se referem ao fato de que julgar é muito fácil, entender o outro é um pouco mais difícil. Ser empático é muitíssimo mais complicado. E o julgamento só será justo se vivermos experiências iguais.

Entretanto, com frequência pretendemos que os outros nos entendam, que compreendam nossas decisões e as compartilhem, ou que, ao menos, nos apoiem. Quando não fazem o que queremos, nos sentimos mal, nos sentimos incompreendidos e até rejeitados.

É evidente que isso é difícil de aceitar, todos necessitamos que, em algumas situações, alguém acolha nossas emoções e decisões. É perfeitamente compreensível. Contudo, sujeitar nossa felicidade à aceitação dos demais ou tomar decisões com base no medo de que os outros não vão nos entender é um grande erro. Um grande e inominável erro.

Leer Más

Different Types Of Meditation Change Different Areas Of The Brain, Study Finds







There’s been a lot of discussion about what kinds of mental activities are actually capable of changing the brain. Some promises of bolstered IQ and enhanced brain function via specially-designed “brain games” have fizzled out. Meanwhile, meditation and mindfulness training have accumulated some impressive evidence, suggesting that the practices can change not only the structure and function of the brain, but also our behavior and moment-to-moment experience.

Leer Más