What is empathy? Are you born with it or does it develop as you age?

Empathy is a person’s ability to “read” (for lack of a better word) another person’s feelings, by understanding your own feelings, through many ways such as observation, verbally, physically and even aurally. Empathy can also be categorized as a form of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is how an individual can recognize their own feeling and that of people around them and deem what emotion they or another is feeling appropriately. People have also used emotional intelligence to help them adapt to the certain situations they are in, in other words they can control their emotions.


How is empathy different from sympathy?

Sympathy, is feeling pity or compassion towards someone, for instance someone got a bad mark on a test and you feel bad for them. While empathy you try to visualize yourself getting that mark, and imagine how that would make you feel. Or maybe if you reminisce about if you ever had a bad mark.


How is the development of the brain linked to the development of empathy?

As you develop and mature, parts of your brain also become more developed. This is evident by a child’s huge strides in maturity during and after growth spurts. This is because parts of a child’s brain becoming physically larger leading to greater cognitive ability in certain sections of the brain.


How are the brains of males and females different?

Male brains are composed with eight times more grey matter, and female brains are formulated with ten times more white matter. The difference means that females tend to be better multitaskers, organizers and caretakers. While males are better at single-tasking, are less distracted. Loners vs pack mentality, you could say. You may think that women having ten time the grey matter vs a man eight times makes women smarter. But that just isn’t the case, because grey matter is a denser material, plus men’s anatomy tends to be much larger than a womens. And a study was done and it showed that men’s academic scores were slightly higher. Though the difference was so small that it could be passed on as a fluke.


Can empathy be learned?

I wouldn’t say empathy can be learned, I would say more like inherited. Because I’ve never seen somebody learn empathy, i’ve seen people learn what empathy is (like how crystal explained empathy to us). But using me as an example, I just have empathy, and it developed naturally as I got older. But I never would describe that as learning because there was no active process.


What is “neuroplasticity”?

Neuroplasticity Is an individual’s ability to learn and pass-on knowledge throughout their life. Or a more scientific term would be the difference in neural pathways and in the synapses through the course of  a person’s life. Like how a child learns that 2+2=4 or how a high-school student have added on to that knowledge, are now able to figure out that 25×24=600. Or how a teacher taught that Kid that 2+2=4. Alzheimer’s disease is a person’s neural pathways and synapses have broken down to such a degree that their neuroplasticity has eroded away. Or in simpler terms, their ability to learn, remember and pass on knowledge, has become crippled.

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