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neuroscience

The Goodness of Guilt: Problems Measuring the Mind

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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. 

Exploring the Connection Between Empathy, Neurohormones and Aggression

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.