Study: Empathy represses analytic thought, & vice versa

Research in neuropsychology continues to shed more light on how and why NLP processes work:

Empathy Represses Analytic Thought, and Vice Versa: Brain Physiology Limits Simultaneous Use of Both Networks

ScienceDaily (Oct. 30, 2012) — New research shows a simple reason why even the most intelligent, complex brains can be taken by a swindler’s story — one that upon a second look offers clues it was false.

When the brain fires up the network of neurons that allows us to empathize, it suppresses the network used for analysis, a pivotal study led by a Case Western Reserve University researcher shows.

How could a CEO be so blind to the public relations fiasco his cost-cutting decision has made?

When the analytic network is engaged, our ability to appreciate the human cost of our action is repressed.

At rest, our brains cycle between the social and analytical networks. But when presented with a task, healthy adults engage the appropriate neural pathway, the researchers found.

The study shows for the first time that we have a built-in neural constraint on our ability to be both empathetic and analytic at the same time.

This study has a lot of interesting implications.

It suggests to me that one of the things that makes a lot of NLP processes work is that they switch the explorer from one neural network to the other.

A client stuck in the analytic network gets guided into the empathic network via association and shifts to Self and Other position. A client stuck in the empathic network gets guided into the analytic network through disassociation and shifting to Observer position. Many of the most powerful NLP processes repeatedly switch the explorer between networks, facilitating comparison and contrast between the perceptions in each. This also brings two sets of resources online.

Read the complete article on the Science Daily website.

Joy

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