Empathy

Research participants listen and react to stories designed to evoke social emotions such as admiration and compassion. The neural activity deep within the brain, including nonconscious systems that control heart rate and breathing and that sense our viscera (deep gut feelings), reveals the power of empathy. Our strong emotional responses to the emotional states of others allow us to feel what they feel, to make meaning of their situations, and to examine our own lives. This research suggests the power in engaging social emotions in schools.