The question was actually not about whether they are compatiable.I'm not too sure those two things are incompatible, but cynicism got defined as a form of bullying at one workplace meeting I attended.
The claim was met with much cynicism.
Arent parents generally empathic rather than cynical toward their babies /kids?
To me that indicates that its a powerful way to lead..
Do you mean perception of empathy? Leaders are often actors on a stage, selling an image that doesn't reflect reality, and an agenda that is not in their followers' interests by manipulating their emotions. Am I just being cynical?
Worth pointing out this was American college students.In 2010, a meta-analysis by Konrath found empathy among college students declinedbetween the 1970s and the 2000s, as measured by standard tests for the trait. During this time period, the average level of “empathic concern,” or sympathy for the misfortunes of others, declined by 48 percent. “Perspective taking,” or the ability to imagine others’ points of view, also declined by 34 percent. Konrath says she’s working on an update to the 2010 study, and that it can be difficult to pinpoint the complex reasons behind these statistical shifts.
You are referring to politicians, not leaders.Do you mean perception of empathy? Leaders are often actors on a stage, selling an image that doesn't reflect reality, and an agenda that is not in their followers' interests by manipulating their emotions. Am I just being cynical?
unfortunately it becomes clear early on in life who will become a reader in the first place.I see both as very useful traits, on both an individual and a societal level. Cynicism is a defense against manipulation by con artists in personal lives, business and politics, and an inoculation against the most basic tricks of propaganda. Empathy is the key to feeling some connection and compassion towards others. Interestingly, the level of both empathy and cynicism towards others is largely defined by an us/them dynamic. Societies tend to be more empathetic and less cynical towards others when they are not broken down into many antagonistic groups that see people outside of their group as threats.
How Reading Fiction Increases Empathy and Encourages Understanding
There might some truth to the beloved quote, "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies." Researchers say reading fiction can show us different viewpoints — and shape how we relate to each other.
By Megan SchmidtAug 28, 2020
Perspectives on Empathy
Psychologists have found that empathy is innate, as even babies show it. And while some people are naturally more empathetic than others, most people become more-so with age. Beyond that, some research indicates that if you're motivated to become more empathetic, you probably can. Although there are many ways to cultivate empathy, they largely involve practicing positive social behaviors, like getting to know others, putting yourself in their shoes and challenging one's own biases. And stories — fictional ones in particular — offer another way to step outside of oneself.
Fiction has the capacity to transport you into another character’s mind, allowing you to see and feel what they do. This can expose us to life circumstances that are very different from our own. Through fiction, we can experience the world as another gender, ethnicity, culture, sexuality, profession or age. Words on a page can introduce us to what it's like to lose a child, be swept up in a war, be born into poverty, or leave home and immigrate to a new country. And taken together, this can influence how we relate to others in the real world.
“Fiction and stories do a lot of things for us,” says William Chopik, a psychologist at the University of Michigan. “They expose us to uncomfortable ideas ... and provide us with the opportunity to take other peoples’ perspectives in a safe, distanced way. In that way, fiction serves as a playground for exercising empathic skills.”
The End of Empathy?
Sometimes, empathy is described as the glue that holds society together. Without it, humankind probably wouldn’t have gotten very far. Our ancestors depended on acts of caring for survival — such as sharing resources, help with healing the sick, and protection from predators. And we’ll probably continue needing empathy to move forward. Yet, at this particular moment in history, it can feel like empathy is on shaky ground.
In 2010, a meta-analysis by Konrath found empathy among college students declinedbetween the 1970s and the 2000s, as measured by standard tests for the trait. During this time period, the average level of “empathic concern,” or sympathy for the misfortunes of others, declined by 48 percent. “Perspective taking,” or the ability to imagine others’ points of view, also declined by 34 percent. Konrath says she’s working on an update to the 2010 study, and that it can be difficult to pinpoint the complex reasons behind these statistical shifts.
Chopik says a common culprit that often gets blamed is a generational shift in parenting styles, such as a hyper-focus on personal achievement and high self-esteem. Critics say these trends might compromise empathy so individuals can get ahead. Another is the rise of social media and the erosion of meaningful, in-person connections.
But Chopik also notes that things might not be as dire as they seem.
“The consequences of negative changes like these — and the exact extent to which people are changing in recent generations — can be a bit overblown sometimes," he says. "There seems to be a moral panic about young people becoming less empathic or more narcissistic."
simple people simply don't get cynicism, and they are in a majority.
If you want a serious answer to what brings out empathy or hostility towards others, it is important to remember the primitive tendency of the human mind to divide others into in-group/out-group (us/them) dynamics, and how profoundly that affects how we treat others. Political organizations and groups interested in manipulating and shaping individuals and societies have long been aware of this dynamic. Robert Sapolsky is respected by organizations interested in human behavior.. . . random postmodernism and absurdity . . .
Cultures evolve over centuries, but people can change in days, hours, even minutes. Such a dramatic shift was the Christmas truce of WWI, when a few hours’ halt in bitter trench warfare allowed both sides to bury their dead. The soldiers spontaneously extended the truce, had Christmas dinner together, exchanged addresses, and agreed to shoot over each other’s heads when fighting resumed (which they did, until dire threats from their officers got them back to the business of killing one another).
“After decades of nationalism, jingoism, military training, it just took a few hours to change who was ‘Us,’ who was ‘Them,’” Sapolsky said.
“These men had the same brains, the same biology as we do,” he concluded, stressing the need to study the science behind events like this, if we hope “to repeat such moments of human magnificence.”
In-group/out-group dynamics are a key to understanding conflict and war.This kind of story about ordinary people putting aside their differences is all very well, but it functions as an ideological smoke-screen to forestall any real work directed to resolving conflict.
Versions of the armistice truce story are a dime a dozen in reporting on the ME, but the situation continues to deteriorate.
Quite.It has been said that the most useful propaganda causes the target (individuals, populations) to move in the direction you desire for reasons they believe to be their own. It's usually more of a cynical process than empathetic.
Edward Bernays: “The Father of Public Relations”Quite.
Have you read any of these 2 mens work/books?
[Source: Bernays, Propaganda, 1928, p. 52; available here.]Modern propaganda is a consistent, enduring effort to create or shape events to influence the relations of the public to an enterprise, idea or group.