How Psychology Breeds Empathy

How Psychology Breeds Empathy

Empathy. Arguably the most important human emotion, empathy is what enables human beings (and I’m assuming animals too) to connect. If it weren’t for empathy, there would be no friendship, love, forgiveness, or human connection. It is empathy that is the most basic driving force of our world. If it was not for empathy, would there really be a point to anything? No way.

Now psychology is a whole different subject. In a nutshell, psychology is the study of the mind and its causal relationship with human behavior. So how does learning basic psychology create empathy?

Psychology has taught me to really look into people instead of just judging them by what they say or do. What people say and do is a cause and effect that has everything to do with what’s going on upstairs ie: their mind. Everyone has a unique experience that shapes their views and behavior. No one can truly walk in another’s shoes, but psychology teaches us to acknowledge those “shoes” (or barefeet if you’re into that sort of thing) and understand that individual human experience is filled with so many external factors that affect a person- for life. Here’s a basic example- People tend to be politically aligned with their parents political values. I am a liberal, because my parents are liberal. But I can bet you a million dollars (that I’m definitely not good for) that if I was raised by conservative parents, that I too, would be conservative. Unfortunately, it would be impossible to test that theory- unless cloning was ethical, and I’m pretty sure society is still strongly against the notion.  A more intense example is when people are born into a families with extremist views, whether it be religious, social, or political. In these upbringing situations, it is typical for people born into it to follow those views- I mean why wouldn’t they, it’s all the know. When we say we “hate” the people with opposing or even extreme views, it’s ignorant. It shows a lack of understanding for the basic process that forms a person into what they are. “The power of choice” is the argument against this. The power of choice argument is this-“We all have the power to choose to do right.” Well, the problem with that is people are raised to believe different “rights.”  There is no one source that explains exactly what is right, and even if there was one, it’s unique independence would not guarantee its validity.

People’s lives are half chance and half genetics-and neither one of those things are something you can choose. People are just here, and they didn’t ask for the cards they were dealt. It’s just a big game of chance.  Some people are simply born with the gene that creates weak character or a tendency to conform, whilst others are born to be what society would see as a hero.  No one really has a total control of who they are because so much of who they are was already there before they were born, and then another large portion was created by their surroundings.  But of course, we are not a hundred percent determined by these things, so if it is within your capacity- choose empathy, for it will serve you and everyone else far greater.


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