Category: Human Development

Why Empathy? The Science Behind Understanding Other’s Feelings

Why Empathy? The Science Behind Understanding Other’s Feelings
BY Ahmad Amirali

Last month was a hectic and energetic month for me as I conducted educational camps in two of the major cities of Pakistan. Once again, I experienced that although people live in diverse cultural and linguistic environments, they still value certain things in their lives, which is common among us. Food and clothing are some of the things through which we can connect. Talking about connection, does it mean that feelings and emotions play an essential role in interacting with people? When students usually share something with me, they feel relaxed and secure. I experienced the same when I interacted with my students on these camps. It means even though I was utterly stranger to them moments ago, they still believe and trust me enough that they can share their issues, confusions and even fears with me. The term which I was searching for this phenomenon was ‘Empathy’.

Empathy is the ability to share and understand the emotions of others. It is a construct of multiple components, each of which is associated with its brain network. There are three ways of looking at empathy. First, there is affective empathy. This is the ability to share the emotions of others. For example, people who show a strong primitive reaction when watching a scary movie fall in the practical empathy stage. They feel scared or feel others’ pain firmly within themselves when seeing others scared or in pain. Another type is cognitive empathy. It is the ability to understand the emotions of others. Continue reading “Why Empathy? The Science Behind Understanding Other’s Feelings”

What Makes You, You? The Puzzle of Personality Traits

What Makes You, You? The Puzzle of Personality Traits

Have you ever wondered how you develop the personality which is an integral part of your identity? What inspires you to be who you are right now? Maybe you traditionally answered, I am like my dad or mom, I encouraged by my teacher or a celebrity’s struggle and life story motivated my personality trait. Psychologists like to talk about our traits or defined characteristics that make us who we are. But psychologists like Brian Little, a Cambridge professor and personality analyst, is more interested in moments when we transcend those traits — sometimes because our culture demands it of us, and sometimes because we demand it of ourselves. Continue reading “What Makes You, You? The Puzzle of Personality Traits”

Why Do We Get So Attached to The Movie’s Fictional Characters?

Why Do We Get So Attached to The Movie’s Fictional Characters?
By Ahmad Amirali

I recently watch Marvel’s latest Avengers: Endgame with my friends. I like the storyline, and all the action sequences, above all Marvel’s characters, are grouped up in this movie. We all know that the Endgame is the last movie of its Avenger’s franchise, and it is evident pretty much in every scene of the film. Many lead characters are now dead or getting old, which gave us the impression that the future marvel world will now be in the hands of new generations of heroes. However, I am not writing this article to provide you with my reflections about the Endgame movie. Instead, I observed people’s reactions during the end credits of the film. Everybody was like crying or waiting for the post-credits clip, usually included in the MCU movies since 2008. The audience’s emotional behaviour made me read some researchers and ask why we get so attached to the movie’s fictional characters? Continue reading “Why Do We Get So Attached to The Movie’s Fictional Characters?”

Why Do We Lie to Ourselves Most of The Times?

Why Do We Lie to Ourselves Most of The Times?
By Ahmad Amirali

As a teacher, I often observed that students always have their reasons ready for their incomplete homework or their bad behaviour in classrooms. We, teachers, know that almost all these reasons and excuses are nothing but small lies generated in a specific mind frame of students. Interestingly the case is similar to us adults as well. We often, or almost all the time, give excuses to our bad behaviour or bad encounters in our daily lives. However, we often find ourselves defending our lies in front of others and considering it normal behaviour. I called this a motivated false belief wrapped with a fabric of our false hopes and expectations. The question is, why we engage in a practice where we create false promises to ourselves and become part of that drama? Continue reading “Why Do We Lie to Ourselves Most of The Times?”

Stage Fright: Why Do We Fear Public Speaking

Stage Fright: Why Do We Fear Public Speaking
By Ahmad Amirali

Once my teacher told me, when I was in school, to go in front of the class and describe what good and bad conductors of electricity are. As the subject of science was one of my favourite subjects, I gathered all my strength and went to the podium which was placed in the middle of our lecture room. My hands were full of sweat, heart tumbling inside-out, stomach knots and having a strong urge to cry out loud. I realised that speaking randomly to people is much different than speaking in front of the same people. Why would I afraid of talking in front of people whom I met and talked every day? Continue reading “Stage Fright: Why Do We Fear Public Speaking”