November 25, 2020         
Consumers Planning to Spend $470 over Thanksgiving Weekend: ICSC Survey   •   First all-female artist gallery 'Inside HER STUDIO' now open in Houston   •   Guaranteed Rate Donates Over $3 Million to Children in Need Through New Initiative   •   CORRECTING and REPLACING Rite Aid Updates COVID-19 Testing Program   •   The National Council of Teachers of English Announces Winners of Prestigious Literary Awards   •   Groupon to Participate in the Credit Suisse 24th Annual Technology Conference   •   Nextep Charitable Foundation Donates $10,000 to Urban League to Support Local Black Community   •   Former Governor of Puerto Rico Statement Regarding Exoneration by Independent Prosecutor   •   Recording Academy® Announces Nominees for the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards®   •   CURE Media Group Names Devon Still as Keynote Speaker for the 2020 MPN Heroes® Virtual Celebration   •   Talent Agent Phillip Sun, Former NFLer Kirk Morrison Join Wharton Dean Erika James on LinkedIn Live Panel "Race & The Sellin   •   American Eagle Outfitters Reports Third Quarter Results   •   Minister Vandal, partners to the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework meet to discuss priorities for the North and Arctic   •   Milstein Medical Asian American Partnership Foundation Announces 2020 Grant Awards   •   MANSCAPED™ Named Official Sponsor of Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic   •   AI-Powered CV19 CheckUp Has the Potential to Save Thousands of Lives by Assessing Personal COVID Risks   •   Latino Community Foundation puts Hope Back into Thanksgiving; Announces $2M in Relief Grants Amid COVID-19 Surge   •   “KISS THE GROUND” Wins Its 25th Film Festival Award to Date   •   +Life Launches "F+STIGMA" Campaign to Fight Against HIV Stigma in Anticipation of World AIDS Day   •   Sports Facilities Companies Launches Hype Nation Volleyball in Partnership with Showtime Events
Bookmark and Share

North Western Research Shows Black More Empathetic Than Whites


EVANSTON, Ill. --Race matters on a neurological level when it comes to empathy for African- Americans in distress, according to a new Northwestern University study.

In a rare neuroscience look at racial minorities, the study shows that African-Americans showed greater empathy for African-Americans facing adversity - in this case for victims of Hurricane Katrina - than Caucasians demonstrated for Caucasian-Americans in pain.

“We found that everybody reported empathy and showed increased neural response within brain regions associated with empathy toward the Hurricane Katrina victims,” said Joan Y. Chiao, assistant professor of psychology and author of the study. “But African-Americans additionally showed greater empathic response to other African-Americans in emotional pain. And this enhanced or extraordinary empathy and altruistic motivation for ingroup members was associated with increased neural activity within a brain region called the medial prefrontal cortex.”

The more African-Americans identified as African-American the more likely they were to show greater empathic preference for African-Americans, the study showed.

Initially, Chiao thought that both African-Americans and Caucasian-Americans would either show no pattern of in-group bias or both show some sort of preference.

The take-home point to Chiao: our ability to identify with another person dramatically changes how much we can feel the pain of another and how much we're willing to help them.

"It's just that feeling of that person is like me, or that person is similar to me," she said. "That experience can really lead to what we're calling ‘extraordinary empathy and altruistic motivation. It's empathy and altruistic motivation above and beyond what you would do for another human.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the study included an equal number of African-American and Caucasian-American study participants. They were shown pictures depicting either African-American or Caucasian-American individuals in a painful (i.e. in the midst of a natural disaster) or neutral (attending an outdoor picnic).

"We think this is really interesting because it suggests mechanisms by which we can enhance our empathy and altruistic motivation simply by finding ways in which we have commonality across individuals and across groups," Chiao said.

Chiao, who works at one of only two labs in the world dedicated to cultural and social neuroscience, is particularly interested in how social identities related to gender or race modulate the biological process underlying feeling and reason. (The Web address for the Social and Cultural Neuroscience Lab at Northwestern ishttp://culturalneuro.psych.northwestern.edu/Lab_Website/Welcome.html).

"Neural Basis of Extraordinary Empathy and Altruistic Motivation," was published in March in the journal NeuroImage and is available online at http://www.sciencedirect.com. The study's co-investigators are Chiao, Vani A. Mathur, Tokiko Harada and Trixie Lipke, of Northwestern's Department of Psychology.

Hilary Hurd Anyaso is the law and social sciences editor. Contact her at h-anyaso@northwestern.edu



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News