Saturday, August 11, 2018

Another Sadistic Empath

It doesn’t really prove anything, so take it as comic relief. In the world of science it counts as anecdotal, so read it for the amusement value.

First, some background. You know well that today’s psycho professionals have been out there selling empathy. They have no real use for social customs and mores, so they want us to believe that if we shower each other with empathy society will descend into a soporific state of eternal peace. Or something like it.

We have already reported on Yale professor Paul Bloom’s observation, to the effect that feeling empathy for someone who is being beaten up can easily incite you to want to avenge his pain. Empathy is morally neutral. It does not necessarily make you nicer. It can make you a sadistic empath.

Speaking of sadistic empaths, we have just learned about a German empathy researcher, a leader in her field. He name is Tania Singer. She professes at the Max Planck Institute for Human and Cognitive Sciences in Leipzig. And she is, not to put too fine a point on it, an insufferable bully. Or better, a sadistic empath.

New York Magazine has the story:

Tania Singer is known for her extensive, well-regarded research on the subject of human empathy. She’s argued that meditation can make people more kind and caring, and has given talks on the “neuroscience of compassion” at prominent venues like the World Economic Forum. She is also, according to eight current and former colleagues, a bully.

Co-workers say that Singer, who is currently on a one-year sabbatical from her position as director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, is known for leading meetings that leave her subordinates “in tears,” and that she’s been especially hard on employees who become pregnant. “For [Singer], having a baby was basically you being irresponsible and letting down the team,” one former colleague told Science.

Colleagues also say Singer was prone to screaming at them when challenged, and could become verbally and emotionally abusive. “It was very difficult to tell her if the data did not support her hypothesis,” said one researcher who’d worked with her.

When called on to explain her sadistic behavior, Singer blamed it on the difficulties managing her research staff. Apparently, a soul full of empathy does not give you any advantages when it comes to managing other people.

Who knew?

1 comment:

Korora said...

"Do what you will, there is going to be some benevolence, as well as some malice, in your patient's soul. The great thing [from Hell's perspective] is to direct the malice to his immediate neighbours whom he meets every day and to thrust his benevolence out to the remote circumference, to people he does not know. The malice thus becomes wholly real and the benevolence largely imaginary." -- Screwtape, Letter VI