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Emotion, Empathy, and Glasses

Emotion, Empathy, and Glasses

Yesterday, I read this fascinating article in Good Magazine about a pair of glasses being designed by researchers that would amplify the ability of a doctor or nurse to detect slight changes in the hue beneath a person’s skin. If a person is flushed, it would show up more dramatically to one wearing the glasses. An anemic person’s blood would appear slightly more green, and doctors could see veins more easily, so there would be no more jabbing the wrong part of the arm with needles.

Dr. Mark Changizi, who is leading the research team, argues that there is another advantage, as well. The glasses allow the wearer to better read others, which can strengthen social and emotional connections.

Perhaps they should be called empathy glasses. Changizi’s point about the importance of reading others speaks to the significance of compassion and empathy. When we understand what others are feeling and experiencing, of course, it is more difficult for us to do anything that would harm them.

I heard a story on the radio a few days ago about video game-like programs being developed that would control drones that drop bombs thousands of miles away. From the perspective of the military, the advantage of this technology is that it dehumanizes the people being attacked. It takes away our ability to empathize.

Compassion and empathy are powerful forces that should not be underestimated. Indeed, they should be celebrated. And what better way to do that than by allowing us to see emotion in living color?

 

Related:
Compassionate Listening
Group Thinking
Are We Losing Our Empathy?

Read more: General Health, Health, Spirit, ,

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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.

19 comments

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5:34AM PST on Jan 25, 2013

Awsome. Thank you

2:59AM PST on Dec 23, 2012

Empathy can not be taught or bought. The glasses can only help diagnose.

4:16AM PDT on Oct 26, 2012

thanks

3:40PM PDT on Oct 25, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

1:51PM PDT on Jul 6, 2012

How about a pair of glasses that gives a mild shock to the doctor whenever he forgets his bedside manners and acts like a jerk?

7:57PM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

X-Ray specs.

7:12PM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

I guess being an empath myself, I don 't really equate seeing a flush with empathy.

3:31PM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

I am mexican and after just to days of reading FB and twitter status´ and the news I agree: we need these glasses and fast!

2:35PM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

Many people wear invisible blinder glasses to NOT see around them. A fashion "must" for the 1%, and those who vote repub.

10:57AM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

Wow, what a great idea. Thanks for posting.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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