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Sunday, February 1st, 2015
Volume ∞ Issue ∞
 
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Journal Writing Project: Empathy and why we have it


By Sara Vettleson-Trutza

Mon, Jan 19th, 2015
Posted in Canton Journal Student Writing Project

Empathy, the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.(Dictionary.com 2014)

Many people know and understand what empathy is. But have you ever wondered why we have empathy? Is it something learned, that our parents taught us? Or is there a more scientific explanation behind empathy?

After a little research, I discovered something interesting that may start to answer this question. In our complex brains there are billions of neurons constantly working, sending messages back and forth responding to multiple different stimuli from our environment. There is a special class of neurons that was discovered around the 1900’s by Italian researchers. They were doing an experiment with macaque monkeys. When they discovered this special class of neurons. They are called mirror neurons. (Susan Perry 2008) They are a special class of neurons the fire when a person acts or watches another person perform the same act. However they have only been proven to be in these monkeys. They are still a fairly recent discovery, and it has yet to be proven that people possess these specialized neurons. (APA 2015) However, if we could prove humans had mirror neurons, an interesting study with empathy could be researched. Does the amount of mirror neurons a person possess affect the amount of empathy they feel?

If I go as far to say humans do have mirror neurons. Are they the reason we have empathy? What happens when we don’t feel empathy? Do mirror neurons not always fire off? Is empathy actually a combination of mirror neurons, learned behavior, and something else?

It is said that serial killers have no empathy. It is also said that children that show no empathy are more likely to become serial killers. Is this always true? No, of course not. Empathy is a state of thought. The individuals are the only ones who knows what they feel. No one else can tell us how to feel, and all of us tend to have more or less empathy depending on many factors and situations. It is an interesting thing. People don’t always react to another person’s situation in an empathetic way. Humans are more likely to have empathy if they themselves experienced the situation.(Susan Perry 2008) They have empathy because they have gone through it and understand what it was like. Mirror neurons could easily come into play with this. Seeing an action and performing an action. Say someon .....
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Journal Writing Project: Vacations

By Gabrielle Sand

Mon, Jan 12th, 2015
Posted in Canton Journal Student Writing Project

Ever since I was a little kid, I would go on family vacations. They weren’t the big huge ones like going to another state for a week vacations, but the ones where you learned something. They would always be short vacations like a day or two, may ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: New Year’s resolution

By Stephanie Phillips

Mon, Jan 5th, 2015
Posted in Canton Journal Student Writing Project

While most people are making their New Year’s resolutions about losing weight or getting active, you could be making yours to save a pet in need. According to ASPCA (2014) there are approximately 7.6 million animals that are sent to animal shelt ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: Fascinations

By Sara Vettleson-Trutza

Mon, Dec 15th, 2014
Posted in Canton Journal Student Writing Project

Why do we as people become thoroughly enthralled in sports? This obsession has become a huge money making industry. According to Forbes(2014) the average NFL team is worth 1.43 billion. Most people don’t think twice about this. They love to watc ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: It is the giving season

Mon, Dec 8th, 2014
Posted in Canton Journal Student Writing Project

By Gabrielle Sand Have you done your good deed for the day? If not, you can stop by the Mabel-Canton High School Gym and pick out an ornament off the Christmas in Fillmore County tree! The ornaments have pictures on them of gifts that are needed. O ..... 
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Remembering those lost

By Stephanie Phillips

Mon, Dec 1st, 2014
Posted in Canton Journal Student Writing Project

Everything changed for the families of 26 people on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. Early in the morning while Sandy Hook Elementary School was in session, a 20 year old man named Adam Lanza, shot his way into the school. The police be ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: Looking forward

By Abigail Hanson

Mon, May 19th, 2014
Posted in Canton Journal Student Writing Project

The school year is coming to a close, and it is necessary for me to think about my future. For me, that means college. I’ve filled out college applications along with numerous scholarship applications, including one for the Fillmore County Journal ..... 
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