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Chimpanzees Show Empathy, Can You?

Popularity 3Viewed 3126 times 2017-1-19 14:03 |Personal category:Psychology|System category:Life

Imagine that you are in a cinema watching a movie, and the actor on the screen is hammering a nail into the wall, but as he is either ham-fisted, or simply gets distracted, he just slips up, and pounds the hammer onto his thumb instead, then the hapless guy starts to cry in pain. At seeing this, what will your reaction be? Or will you react at all?

 

According to some surveys, most viewers would involuntarily grimace as if the hammer falls on their own thumbs, even without feeling the pain.  (Also crying aloud in sync with the actor on the screen is deemed as an overreaction or a conscious attempt at spoofing. lol)  Are you among the ”most viewers”? If yes, congratulations, you are offically a guy with empathy.

 

As the example indicates, empathy may inherently be in our genes, and it constantly manifests itself in our interactions with others, be it our visceral reaction to other people’s sufferings, or our instinctive exertion to interpret other people’s emotions. So why make such a fuss about empathy, which is claimed to be deeply set in our psyche?

 

Empathy is defined on Wikipedia as the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other being's frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another's position. And while empathy appears to be a gift we were endowed with the moment we were born, it is cultivated in different ways throughout our life time.

 

Have you ever been in an awkward situation when you appeared over-joyous in front of an aggrieved co-worker, who might start to bear grudge against you as a result of your callousness to his or her grievance? And have you ever been given a resentful look when you remained deadpan while one of your friends was over the moon over an extraordinary achievement he or she made? You may argue that you behaved that way for rightful personal reasons, but being aware of the social settings, and conducting yourself with othe people in mind would help you cut a positive image, and maintain a cordial social environment that would ensure you have more access to resources, and less contrived obstacles to your own development.

 

Last but not least, there is the morality issue that also has a lot to do with empathy. To illustrate this point, I would like to share an example again, which actually is a zoological experiment.

 

Two chimpanzees were locked up in 2 adjacent rooms which were separated by a glass wall, so the chimps could see each other. In one room, there was a lever mounted on a wall, and whenever the chimp pulled it, a banana would fall from a hole in the ceiling, meanwhile sending an electric shock through a wire that ran through the glass wall, and was attached to the other chimp. So this hapless chimp would be sent shrieking and jumping in agony by the non-fatal electrocution. Initially the chimp in the room with the lever was happy to see the bananas keep coming down as he repeatedly pulled the lever, however, when he came to realize that his delicacy actually came at his peer’s expense, he immediately stopped, and appeared bewildered. The dilemma the chimp found himself in cogently demonstrates that even among primates, empathy plays a role in determining their behaviors, even when personal gains and substantial benefits are involved.

 

I have no idea how this experiment ended, but I wish if I was the lever-pulling chimpanzee, I could figure out the way out, with my intelligence and empathy.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report HailChina! 2017-1-21 14:56
The newborn is id ridden and has no empathy. So it is logical that empathy is learned. You yourself list advantages that come with showing 'empathy'.

Milgram Experiment shows that humans don't even need a reward to electrocute fellow humans, all many humans need is a guy in a lab coat giving instruction. Most humans do not want to he wrong. Not wanting to be wrong has a great deal to do with humans development of 'morality' and their 'empathy'. It is wrong to be happy about the death of another for example. Most humans know that. Unless the human has Saddam or Gaddafi or Osama or someone like that. Most humans are terrified of being wrong.

And back to Milgram Experiment - hot girls are most likely people to continue shocking a stranger even after the stranger starts to object and ask the shocker to stop due to electro pain. Empathy is a lot less important to hot chicks. Think about it. It is.

'Elite' humans are fully aware that their advantage is only possible if the majority is at a disadvantage. The advantage must be protected and extended at all costs. That is what it is all about. Elites know but they don't care. Which is pretty smart really.

Monkeys do do stuff like rape and what not though. Elite humans are probably far superior to your average chimpanzee, even if monkeys do have more empathy.
Reply Report Liononthehunt 2017-1-21 17:03
HailChina!: The newborn is id ridden and has no empathy. So it is logical that empathy is learned. You yourself list advantages that come with showing 'empathy'.  ...
Thanks for sharing your insight in this topic.
I happened to have watched a snippet of the Milgram Experiment, in which a subject appeared visibly agitated when he was asked to raised the electric intensity to a level he thought would be high enough to cause a fatality, though he eventually did what he was told to do. Even so, is it a manifestation of empathy.
I think recognizing the existence of empathy in our psyche doesn't necessarily mean it would have significant swing in every single act of decision-making, and of course, there are also the so-called dark triadic personality traits, i.e. narcissism, psychopath, and Machiavellianism that are epitomized by Hitler, Osama, and other bad guys, so it is a mixed picture regarding human psychological motivators.
My point is that empathy (A renowned psychologist, Martin Hoffman,does claim that "everyone is born with the capability of feeling empathy.") should be deemed as a positive factor in guiding people's behaviors and interactions with other human beings.
Interestingly, in a psychological research piece I once read, the setup of the Milgram Experiment is claimed to be  fundamentally flawed, as it completely ignored the mentality of the subjects who might have already figured out that they were just taking part in an experiment, and nobody was gonna be hurt. (You could also find the same conclusion concerning the Milgram Experiment from a Harvard open course in social cognition psychology.)
By the way, I am utterly intrigued by your statement that hot chics are much less empathetic, this certainly is a bad news to us, isn't it?   
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-1-21 21:41
Liononthehunt: Thanks for sharing your insight in this topic.
I happened to have watched a snippet of the Milgram Experiment, in which a subject appeared visibly agi ...
I was just thinking about this topic and I read your comment and now I cant remember what I was thinking about. (: Fear. Fromm claims that humans have an inherent need to avoid aloneness. Fromm was critical of Freuds concept of the so-called 'id'. The first time I read about the 'id' I was actually offended because I felt that the idea took away any 'good' intention that I or anyone else may have since the idea of the 'id' essentially is that we are id-ridden and completely egocentric at our core. Freuds thrust is that humans only do 'good' things because we personally gain something from doing them - even if only the intrinsic/non-material good/happy feeling that doing something 'good' gives them and the reinforcement that they are a 'good' person. ( It was my Christian slave morality that caused me to be so offended ) But the thing is that good is right, bad is wrong. Humans fear being wrong. Humans seek a community for security because a human is inherently insecure ( especially the majority/masses ). What humans have is an inherent need for security and this is what Fromm confuses with a need to avoid aloneness. Fromm is correct that humans are communal animals but their desire to be accepted by the community does not stem from a need to avoid aloneness, it stems from the need for security. The typical human fears aloneness because they associate aloneness with insecurity. There is a lot of truth to this idea because there is indeed strength in numbers. Even/especially 'elites' understand that community is vital, but the 'elites' are a different community to the public/masses. There is security in community. Communion is the most important thing for any individual. The better the community/network the individual is part of, the better for the individual.

Fair enough humans may be born with the capacity/ability to feel empathy but that is different to empathy being inherent. You would have to keep a baby in a box away from any human/social interaction until it was older and then let it out and see if it had empathy to prove that empathy is not learned. My guess is that if you kept a kid in a box until it was about three or four and then let it out it would not show a lot of empathy right away.

The typical Aztecs would have had a lot less 'empathy' than a modern humans and the reason would be that Aztec society would have seen 'empathy' as weakness for the most part. Some have studied the brains of Nazi to try to understand why they were so 'psychopathic' but clearly it was just Nazi society/environment that caused them to have the mindsets that they did. Not that a Nazi was without empathy or compassion. The actual reason Nazi experimented with gassing people in the first place was because shooting Jews and others at close range into mass graves that they had made the prisoners dig themselves was causing many of the Nazi executioners to have psychological problems. Witnessing one even these events even caused Himmler to vomit. The thing with the Nazi is that the majority of them were the 'folk'/masses' in every sense of the word. So your typical Nazi was every bit as insecure as the next human - even more-so considering how most of them were living such insecure lives under the Treaty before Hitler. So at the core of these Nazi was insecurity and fear. These Nazi had slave morality identities just like most humans. So Hitler and the Nazi Party had to make them believe that they had the moral high ground and that everything that they were doing was justified and right - and the typical Nazi did believe this - so your typical Nazi was not 'psychopathic' at all and it is really not so difficult to understand how Hitler and the Nazi party were able to manipulate and control them despite the fact that Nazi society was more of a master morality type society. The masses are the masses no matter where they are.

Sure humans have the ability to feel compassion and sure this can be exploited to help elites maintain advantage but with empathy and compassion you eventually reach a point that should be considered to be Criminal Compassion and this Criminal Compassion that slave morality based societies promote makes the masses unreasonable and impossible to govern. Look at how police in USA have been treated under Obama in USA. Slave Morality promotes opposition to authority. It is little wonder that 'elites' are so very hated by most of western society. Plus under slave morality the bar is never too low and this causes a lot of problems going forward as well. Slave morality based society encourages the masses to be more concerned about their so-called 'rights' rather than their responsibilities. What is 'bad' is not excused in a virtue based society but slave morality encourages the protection of what is bad. Fair enough elites want to do 'bad' things and for society to accept them but wouldnt it be more sensible to make those 'bad' things that 'elites' want to do into good things? This is totally possible in a virtue based society like the ones the old Pagan Romans and Greeks used to have. Christians sure do hate the human race dont they? Slave Morality hates the human race.

Elites should want a society that will be stable for an age. It will never be possible to bring one about while ever the masses are encouraged to embrace a criminal compassion.

Machiavelli knew how important it was to maintain/protect and extend the advantage. Most elites do right down to the worker 'elites' that act in movies or whatever. I actually saw an interview with Ellen Page after she acted in the movie 'The East' and an answer she gave to a question was something about how it is kind of sad that the great lives of some rely on the not so great lives of many. You could tell that she was fully aware of her status as a member of the some that are living great lives. And she was actually promoting a film that was made to make environmentalist protestors all seem like 'eco-terrorists' - but you could tell that there was some empathy there in relation to the masses below her in society. But I wont be holding my breath for Ellen Page to trade places with a homeless man from Africa any time soon. And I do not expect Ellen Page to join any kind of rebellion against capitalist society any time soon either unless it is as controlled opposition that is trying to take leadership/ownership/control of some rebellious movement. You can have empathy without surrendering to criminal compassion right? Your community is the important thing for the individual.

And it was just one run of Milgram Experiments that showed hot girls being less empathetic that I know of. It was on a tv show where the host goes to some college and they are actually doing the experiment. But it does make a lot of sense doesnt it. A hot girl cannot afford to be too charitable because if they did guys would be bothering them night and day. And yes the hotter the girl the less chance you will get any form of sympathy from them. Sadly for me.
Reply Report voice_cd 2017-1-22 08:47
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Reply Report Liononthehunt 2017-1-22 09:43
voice_cd: thanks for sharing your story here, we would like to highlight it on the homepage.
Thanks a lot.
Reply Report Liononthehunt 2017-1-22 11:53
HailChina!: I was just thinking about this topic and I read your comment and now I cant remember what I was thinking about. (: Fear. Fromm claims that humans have ...
Thanks for the comments again.

I think we are at one on most of the points.
In essence we are gregarious animals, and generally we instinctively seek to be part of certain communities, and I do think the sense of empathy helps hold a community together, as it might provide the most fundamental sense of cohesion for any community, though it practically serves people's need for security. This is how our genes work, according to the book "The Selfish Gene" written by Richard Dawkins.

Apparently, you are really well-versed in psychology and history, and I would always appreciate your insightful thoughts and ideas.
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-1-23 07:57
Liononthehunt: Thanks for the comments again.

I think we are at one on most of the points.
In essence we are gregarious animals, and generally we instinctively seek ...
Richard Dawkins said that? I hate that guy.

I used to work in childrens services and one year I cared for a 3/4 year old kid named Adam. Adam would often use violence to get his own way when he first came to my room, and the staff from the room he came from had been watching and recording every little thing Adam did, and they had all these stupid behaviour management plans for Adam. Adams father was a shearer and his mother was a housewife and the staff in the other room had stressed them over Adams behaviour to the point that they were on the brink of having Adam put on ADHD medication. So when Adam came to my room I just ignored all of the plans the other staff had for Adam and treated him like the rest of the children in my room. Before long we were outside playing one morning and Adam and another child both wanted to use the same toy and Adam used violence, punching the other boy and then throwing him to the ground. And while the defeated kid is lying on the ground crying Adam stomped on his back for good measure, and then took the toy. It was pretty brutal behaviour for a kid that age. The stomp. So I calmly went to the aid of the defeated kid and ignored Adam so that I did not reinforce his negative behaviour by giving him any kind of attention for it. I instead made a big deal about the defeated crying kid. You could tell Adam was surprised that I ignored him, and all of the other children were looking at Adam as if to say 'what the hell?' So I calm the crying defeated kid down and we finished our play outdoors and I still hadnt responded to what Adam did. At the start of rest time ( our preschoolers used to have a nap for about an hour after lunch ) I sat down with Adam while he was laying down to for his nap, and I had a talk to him about what had happened outside. I explained to him that what he had done had made me feel very sad because I know what a good and nice boy Adam is. I told Adam that if he hurt other children and made them cry then all of the children would be afraid of him and would not want to play with him or be his friend. Then I left Adam to think about that for an hour while he lay on his bed ( Adam didnt nap, but he still had to lay on the bed for an hour and look at a book or whatever ). So at the end of that day I didnt bother telling Adams parents about the violence ( or Daniels ) since there were no visible injuries and it really wasnt a big deal. I really never had any major trouble with Adam after that day and by the time he was ready to go off to kindergarten he was the nicest little boy and not just well-liked but a bit of a leader in that group of preschoolers. Adam did not get put on ADHD medication and was able to shed his label as a bad kid.

So yeah, my strategy with Adam was to make him understand that his violent behaviour would result in him being excluded from his group/community. I had to make Adam believe that it was in his best interest to be nice to, and cooperate with the other children.

Sure you do role modelling and praise desirable behaviour and all of that but the key to changing Adams behaviour was our talk that day before nap time, when I explained that it was in his best interest to be nice.
Reply Report Liononthehunt 2017-1-23 15:57
HailChina!: Richard Dawkins said that? I hate that guy.

I used to work in childrens services and one year I cared for a 3/4 year old kid named Adam. Adam would o ...
Radical behaviorism, as championed by B.F Skinner, outright denied feelings, states of mind and introspection in its approach to behavior research. And some proponents of this school of psychology claimed that if they were given an infant, they would be able to turn him or her into whatever they intended, be it a worker, engineer, drug dealer, politician, and whatever, by exposing him or her to specific environment, people, and stimuli. Personally, I think it is an overstatement.  
Freud, though did a groundbreaking job for the science of psychology, failed to explain many psychological phenomena, and many of his claims as to people's involuntary behaviors and unconscious responses to certain occurrences also prove to be without science proof, until evolutionary psychology became a branch of the science of psychology that looks at things from an evolution point of view.
Take phobias for example, many people have an acute fear of snakes, including myself. Some of them have the fear because they were bitten by a snake in the past, so they automatically cringe whenever they encounter a snake again. However, there are also many who have never been hurt by a snake in their life, so why the fear? Evolutionary psychology argues that people with the genes that make you instinctively stay away from snakes give you a better chance of survival in the wild.

I think the same goes with empathy.
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-1-23 18:57
Liononthehunt: Radical behaviorism, as championed by B.F Skinner, outright denied feelings, states of mind and introspection in its approach to behavior research. An ...
It may be an overstatement but the fact is that the majority of professionals are not exactly rocket scientists and you could take a baby from any poor village in Africa and if you put them in the right environment they could indeed become a doctor or lawyer or psychologist or whatever for the most part. Your average doctor, lawyer or psychologist is certainly no genius are they? It is simply a matter of being able to remember information in these careers for the most part right? I mean your average General Practitioner is no Einstein and they really do not do much at all, and if anything is out of the ordinary the patient is sent on to a specialist.

Unless a child has some kind of disorder I really do not see why it would be difficult to make them into a doctor or lawyer or psychologist. Honestly.

But yes, humans have differing potentials and they also have different intelligence types and I do agree that 'radical behaviourism' claims are overstated. Somewhat.

One of my favourite developmentalists is Bronfenbrenner. I like Bronfenbrenners 'Ecological Systems Theory' because of how it honours the potential of the child/individual. Bronfenbrenner himself felt the need to further develop his original theory to put more emphasis on the fact that individual biological potential is indeed a factor in relation to what an individual is capable of, not just the environment, but in my opinion this actually goes without saying and I dont think he had to alter the original theory at all really, or change the name to 'bioecological systems theory'. Of course potential varies from child to child - but again - most professional jobs are not quite rocket science are they? Pretty much every child that does not have a disorder could be developed so that they could have a career as a regular lawyer, doctor or psychologist.

In my opinion phobias are irrational and I think people that become hysterical over irrational fears should be slapped in the face and told to calm down. Do more humans are silly phobias in modern times than any other time in history? I would bet on it. I blame society for allowing people to act like babies and get away with it. If people understood that phobias would not be accepted then less people would have them. It is perfectly normal to fear a snake in my opinion because many snakes are poisonous and can hurt you ( the way that snakes move without legs is also unnatural looking and disturbing in my opinion ). But yes it is silly to get hysterical about them. I was watching tv the other day in my lounge room and a snake came out from under the lounge right where I was sitting, it was lucky I had my feet up. The snake slithered across the lounge room floor and into a corner where I think it slipped through a crack in the wall ( old house ). It gave me a bit of a scare. It was red/orange. I am pretty sure it was a Brown Snake - Brown Snakes can be different colours. I have never been bitten by a snake but I fear them somewhat because I know that they can bite you and sometimes kill you. But I am not going to sit around worrying about getting bitten by a snake, or stop sitting where I was sitting.

Anyway, so you think that empathy is an instinct? Maybe. Humans/animals can pass on acquired traits/characteristics to offspring ( soft inheritance ). And since empathy often does help individuals to be accepted/valued by their community then some empathy gene may have been passed down through generations of humans since it helped with survival. But the stronger you are the less important empathy is to your survival ( and at some point the strong individual reaches a point where empathy can really only hurt them ) - so my guess is that empathy is a far less evolved instinct in the genes of 'elites'. My guess is that if you put an alpha chimp in a room with a lever that give him a banana when the lever was pulled while at the same time shocking a fellow chimp behind glass, the alpha chimp would be far more likely to pull the lever when it got hungry than some regular or lower chimp.

And empathy is not very important to hot chicks either is it.

What I have always found disturbing is scenes in a movie where a finger is cut by a razor blade. That kind of thing always makes me cringe. But I am not exactly feeling 'empathy' for the person I am seeing getting cut - I am imagining my own finger being cut by a razor blade and that is what disturbs me. I used to have a girlfriend that had a needle phobia and she couldnt watch a scene in media of someone getting a needle, but I think her thinking was the same as mine in that she really didnt have empathy for the stranger that she saw getting a needle, seeing a scene like that just made her think of how much she fears getting needles herself.
Reply Report Liononthehunt 2017-1-24 22:55
HailChina!: It may be an overstatement but the fact is that the majority of professionals are not exactly rocket scientists and you could take a baby from any poo ...
It is interesting that you use the metaphor of alpha chimp, I bet he might have already been thrown out of the herd before he became the king of the colony, if he showed a remarkable lack of empathy towards his mates. He definitely will die a lonely chimp.
Since you brought up again the hot chicks, who might have larger leverage over the dudes drooling over them, I would assume theoretically that it is just their tactic for striking a deal as favorable as possible for themselves, which may have not so much to to with empathy. They do have empathy, I assure you, if you rub them the right way.
Then let's get to the matter of elite, what did you mean by elite? Do the likes of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, or even Jesus count as elite? Did you say that lack of empathy is one of the hallmarks of elite? Frankly speaking,  I am not convinced.
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-1-25 01:51
Liononthehunt: It is interesting that you use the metaphor of alpha chimp, I bet he might have already been thrown out of the herd before he became the king of the c ...
See you can't have empathy for everyone because at some point there is a conflict. You have empathy for self, family, community, class, countrymen etc. At some point you can't have empathy for all unless it is just a thought that you ignore in favour of being loyal to your own interests. If 'elites' spent time worrying about the troubles of the masses and genuinely trying to fix them then the 'elites' would at some point cease to be 'elites'. Is this really so difficult for you to comprehend? Or are you some kind of outer party guy that likes to kid themselves for your own conscience or something? A lot of that does go on you know. Is that what is going on here? Or are are you $%$%ing with me? If I had to guess I would say you are $%$%ing with me.

Edit - If 'elites' had true genuine empathy for the disadvantaged then they would fix it by giving away more and more of their advantage wouldn't they? And before long the 'elite' would have no advantage. Funnily enough global elites do the exact opposite of reducing disparity and disadvantage don't they? I wonder why..

'Elites' see the masses the same way that the Iron Heel sees the masses in Jack London's book. They are at war with the masses. They hate the masses and they really do not even hide this fact. And 'elites' have empathy? HA! What a joke. Look at the world. They may have class empathy, but none for the masses.

What do you do anyway? Doctor, lawyer, psychologist or equivalent? I am guessing not a rocket scientist right? What do you think about the disparity between 'professionals' and middle-low income workers? Do you really believe the pay scale of these 'professionals' is justified? Seems most of them believe they are worth all that much more than their fellow workers that do lesser jobs. What do you think? These people are earning 200-300k a year right? While seven out of ten Americans can't scape $1000 together in the event of an emergency. It costs at least $80,000 a year to be happy and not struggling in US society right? Most are so cranky about it too. Things are great for university educated 'professionals' though aren't they? Never been better for then. And they fully agree that they are worth all that much more than the majority that struggle. How much empathy do you think that scum truly have matey? I would say $%$% all. They are out for all they can get and they don't give a $%$% about the peasants. There is no way that actual 'elites' do. Elites will care when pitchforks come out. Pretend to anyway. You think 'elites' have empathy. If you really are kidding yourself for your own peace of mind then it really isn't good enough and you must know it. You really should stop being so ludicrous.

Do you reckon 'elites' have a conscience? I sure hope not. They would be in constant hell if they did.
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-1-25 02:06
Liononthehunt: It is interesting that you use the metaphor of alpha chimp, I bet he might have already been thrown out of the herd before he became the king of the c ...
Anyway, you brought up instinct in a less worthless reply. Instinct makes me think Intelligent Design. Instinct does not make any sense.

I saw some doco on National Geographic about some wasp or hornet or something that lays its eggs inside the living body is a scorpion or maybe it was a spider. It was in some desert. So the wasp lays the eggs inside the spiders body and they hatch or whatever and then they east the insides of the spider but somehow they know not to eat the vital organs. Come on. How do they know this? How did this start? What? It doesn't make any sense. That is just one example.

Maybe most humans were designed to have empathy.
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-1-25 03:15
Liononthehunt: It is interesting that you use the metaphor of alpha chimp, I bet he might have already been thrown out of the herd before he became the king of the c ...
If you have any tips or advice that would help me to better interact with hot chicks I would sure like to hear it. You should write a book probably. For all us losers out here drooling over hot girls. I would buy it for sure.
Reply Report Liononthehunt 2017-1-25 16:51
HailChina!: Anyway, you brought up instinct in a less worthless reply. Instinct makes me think Intelligent Design. Instinct does not make any sense.

I saw some  ...
Hi, buddy, shall we wrap up this debate which I think is going nowhere, as I can clearly see that we often did not even debate about the same thing, as a result of the misunderstandings and misconceptions that have constantly arisen . We certainly are of the same mind on some matters, but also not on the same wavelength on others. Using my empathy, I could also feel your frustration about it. lol. (wish this would not freak you out.), and I feel the debate is increasingly turning sour. So just pack it in.

Anyway, nice talking to you, and wish you a happy Chinese Lunar New Year.
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-1-25 18:02
Liononthehunt: Hi, buddy, shall we wrap up this debate which I think is going nowhere, as I can clearly see that we often did not even debate about the same thing, a ...
And I bet that you never insult people to their faces do you buddy. God I hate your kind of pathetic scum.
Reply Report Liononthehunt 2017-1-25 20:11
HailChina!: And I bet that you never insult people to their faces do you buddy. God I hate your kind of pathetic scum.
Like I said in another reply to your comments on my another blog "My Only Red Carpet Experience", I just opt to clam up, and let the readers judge who has been offensive all along.
Reply Report Liononthehunt 2017-1-26 14:09
Personal policy on comments on my blogs
As a newcomer to this blogging community, I really enjoy making friends by engaging in activities on this public forum, and I have come across many brilliant minds across this platform. As diverse as this community is, I have found that many ideas and opinions from people from various backgrounds are incredibly inspiring, and I will always be striving to be accommodating and open-minded to any advice and suggestions, as long as they are expressed in an unbiased, objective way. Fact-based and intellectual debates are also welcome. However, any attempt at targeting and attacking any specific group of people and person will not be allowed, and any act of venting negative personal sentiments through blog comments will be deemed as unacceptable and immediately stopped. Comments and messages with vulgar languages and deemed as paranoid would also be promptly deleted or overwritten with this message.
The forum is a fun place, and let’s have fun together.
Reply Report Liononthehunt 2017-1-26 14:11
Personal policy on comments on my blogs
As a newcomer to this blogging community, I really enjoy making friends by engaging in activities on this public forum, and I have come across many brilliant minds across this platform. As diverse as this community is, I have found that many ideas and opinions from people from various backgrounds are incredibly inspiring, and I will always be striving to be accommodating and open-minded to any advice and suggestions, as long as they are expressed in an unbiased, objective way. Fact-based and intellectual debates are also welcome. However, any attempt at targeting and attacking any specific group of people and person will not be allowed, and any act of venting negative personal sentiments through blog comments will be deemed as unacceptable and immediately stopped. Comments and messages with vulgar languages and deemed as paranoid would also be promptly deleted or overwritten with this message.
The forum is a fun place, and let’s have fun together.
Reply Report J.E.Overington 2018-12-23 07:41
You closed with "I have no idea how this experiment ended, but I wish if I was the lever-pulling chimpanzee, I could figure out the way out, with my intelligence and empathy," and I was left thinking about the many conversations I've had with students asking why scientists make cruel experiments. We develop our conversations noting we can make positive hypothesis experiments such as, reward the other chimp too but not with food + feed him unattached to the experiment, then would the wire-pulling chimp pull it all the time? Probably not, because unearned rewards become boring. Instead of torturing animals to ask which of two evils they prefer, why not ask them which of two goods they prefer, all in the name of science? Why threaten mice's lives with drowning to see if panic induces them to read symbols indicating survival when the whole charade can be done equally well with an amusing maze and some food? Many people have found positive hypotheses work better than torture, often producing alarming surprises that torture-committed scientists view with skepticism, saying there must have been hidden factors in the experiment. So I think cultures that emphasize emotional awareness, communication without language and empathy, altogether having an increasing influence in science and scientific experiment designs, is very important for the world.

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  • Truth Be Told 2018-12-23 19:14

    J.E.Overington: Thanks for sharing your Chinese step-by-step thoughts through conflict management in front of media. I'm western, trained in logic, and I have media f ...
    Thanks for the comment.

    The story is about a fictitious incident, and it is not even set in China.  

    Actually I meant to write a story that could illustrate people's tendency to veil their true feelings on camera (or by extension, in public places) in social interactions, based on their calculation of gains and losses.

    Anyway, since I have put it out for everybody to read, I expect readers to interpret the messages in various ways, as it's par for the course according to research in social cognition psychology.

    By the way, I have to clarify that my experiences with drugstores in China are actually the polar opposite of what is depicted in the story, the dispensers are mostly nice ladies, friendly, obliging, sometimes even overzealous in helping you.  

  • Truth Be Told 2018-12-23 08:04

    Thanks for sharing your Chinese step-by-step thoughts through conflict management in front of media. I'm western, trained in logic, and I have media facing experience silencing scandals. I'll share my thoughts step-by-step,

    First, I would praise all I could, as you did, but I would omit praise of the staff. We like to create wiggle-room so we don't feel cornered into anything in the future.

    Second, if the cut on your finger is severe enough to need stitches, not just a swipe of H2O2, then the staff's unprofessionalism could be a health hazard, and that can be brought quietly and anonymously to her supervisor without asking for her to be fired. Again, we like room for maneuverability, so I would report only potential health hazards without comment on her ability to get along with people.

    Third, she gave you terrible customer service, and among foreign-dominated conversations in China, customer service is widely commented on as a "missing phenomenon". I tend to disagree with the ways foreigners talk when alone together in China: if they don't like it they can go. But I listen because sometimes I meet a caring person who is struggling to solve a challenge. Due to that situation, I've been wondering how to teach customer service skills to Chinese who do not seek the skills, do not know foreigners wish the Chinese would develop their skills... so that sort of thing, shown here, I air a little in public to listen to Chinese responses gradually. I'm a slow developer and customer service lessons from westerners for Chinese is going to be a big win someday, but years after the topic cools down.

    In the west, because you received no customer service, you could easily say so without the issues you iterated in your blog. We expect customer service training to be part of the norm, and a way to say it without causing all the upsets you apprehended, is to say the worker could benefit from some customer service training you guess the city is in the process of providing. That lets all involved save face while clearing the air.

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