What do psychopaths and altruists have in common? According to Abigail Marsh’s eye-opening book, The Fear Factor, one answer is that they both have highly unusual brains – at least in one small but very important area.
Friends, children, romantic partners, family members – many of us exchange hugs with others on a regular basis. New research from the United States, published today in PLOS, now shows hugs can help us to cope with conflict in our daily life.
Hugs are considered a form of affectionate touch. Hugs occur between social partners of all types, and sometimes even strangers.
Researchers are split over guilt. Many of them think that guilt is negative—it feels bad, it’s related to poor functioning, and it’s something we should reduce in our lives. (That may be your assessment, too.)
But another group of researchers suggests that guilt is good. It leads people to take actions to repair relationships and engage in prosocial behavior. Our attempts to get rid of guilt lead to good behavior—and ultimately the guilt experience and response is positive.
Empathy is typically seen as eliciting warmth and compassion—a generally positive state that makes people do good things to others. However, empathy may also motivate aggression on behalf of the vulnerable other. Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo, examined whether assessed or elicited empathy would lead to situation-specific aggression on behalf of another person, and to explore the potential role of two neurohormones in explaining a connection between empathy and aggression. The study is published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.