作者: Richard A Friedman / 2645次阅读 时间: 2017年10月11日
来源: 陈明 编译 标签: 共情 特朗普

What if Trump is actually a master of empathy?心理学空间(S m.O*Y+s)U

Richard A Friedman/卫报心理学空间p~[f0q,NjW
陈明 编译心理学空间gV]At I



‘Trump made a strong empathic connection with his supporters.’ Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images心理学空间7I]#b g3eP;vD@#`

摄影:Brendan Smialowski /AFP/Getty Images心理学空间 sRb&jl

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Many Americans see President Trump’s preoccupation with the protesting NFL athletes – and his near silence on the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico – as evidence that Trump has no empathy. Wrong.心理学空间?Sx2U(k*C

:q}*sy,]'g-n hi0许多美国人认为特朗普总统念念不忘于橄榄球运动员的抗议,而且他沉默于最近在波多黎各展开的人道主义危机,人们以这些为依据来证明特朗普不具同理心。这是错误的。心理学空间8Bu2s"eD


科林·凯普尼克在去年NFL一场联赛开始前奏美国国歌的环节中并没有起立,而是单膝下跪且拒唱美国国歌,他说:“我不会起立对这个压迫黑人和有色人种的国家表达尊敬。”特朗普在上月26日在记者会上指出,NFL奏国歌下跪抗议是对为这个国家奋斗的老兵的一种藐视,是十分可耻的。心理学空间"Q ~+yjC2@%h'w dk

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Actually, Trump is a master of empathy. Most people confuse empathy with sympathy and don’t understand the nature – or power – of empathy. There is nothing necessarily nice about empathy, which is essentially the ability to imagine and intuit how other people think and feel.心理学空间dR4r3XS&N#b%W

(z\'f*M:T x {HD0事实上,特朗普是一位共情大师。大多数人混淆了共情和同情,不理解共情的本质或力量。共情不一定是好的,本质上,共情是想象和凭直觉知道他人所思所感的能力。心理学空间*\0@)JL`^[2j

It has nothing to do with genuinely identifying with others or actually feeling their pain; that would be sympathy. Instead, empathy is really about having an accurate theory of mind of other people – and getting under their skin.心理学空间2] B/f'hF P



Trump has lots of empathy. What he doesn’t have is sympathy – he doesn’t really feel badly for other people. He is not using his considerable empathy skills for Puerto Rico for a simple reason: they are not his base and he has little interest in them.



All successful politicians have unusually high levels of empathy. That is what makes their supporters feel and believe that they are understood, regardless of the true motives of the political figure.心理学空间$] k QEk*O

;N]}? q)U&M(q0所有成功政治家的共情水平都非常高。这让他们的支持者觉得自己被理解,并且相信自己被理解,而不管政治人物的真正动机是什么。心理学空间 _&EI:|}Edh6W

The same is true of successful demagogues and psychopaths who have an uncanny ability to read the mind of their victims in order to manipulate and control them. Thus, depending on the moral compass of a leader, empathy could be a very positive or very destructive force.

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of_%F wO \B0蛊惑人心的政客和精神病患者也是如此,他们有一种不可思议的了解受害者心智的能力,以便操纵和控制他们。因此,基于领导者道德准则的共情,可以是一种非常积极的或非常有害的力量。


Trump made a strong empathic connection with his supporters by acknowledging their pain and economic hardship and by promising to Make America (and by extension, them) Great Again. How? It hardly mattered once he made people feel he understood and liked them, something far more effective than policy details.

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特朗普承认支持者们经济困境的痛苦,并承诺使美国(以及他们)再次伟大起来,通过这些 ,他与他的支持者建立了强烈的共情链接。这是如何产生的呢?答案是:一旦他让人们觉得他理解他们,并且喜欢他们,一切就都好说了,这比政策细节更为有效。

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But there is an extra twist to what Trump has done when it comes to empathy that helps us understand not only his success, but the puzzling and enduring loyalty of his core supporters, many of whom are unemployed, angry and stressed.心理学空间9N3KV \+m



Despite considerable evidence to the contrary, they still believe he will deliver on his campaign promises because the empathic connection he’s made with them, which emphasizes fear and threat, is psychologically and neurobiologically much more powerful than mere facts. Why?心理学空间\?!p)g9l'ys


尽管有许多相反的证据表明,他们仍然相信他会履行他的竞选诺言,由于强调恐惧与威胁,特朗普与他们产生了共情的连接,这些在心理学上和神经生物学上比仅有的事实更强大。为什么?心理学空间;Z4fiMRVB DQ

Studies of humans and other animals show that chronic stress tends to makes us more fearful while at the same time less critical and analytical in our thinking.心理学空间o%Kh:X i ZX


对人类和其他动物的研究表明,慢性压力往往让我们更加恐惧,同时,我们也会让我们的思维缺乏批判性和分析性。心理学空间;t^ rz5h@

The reason is that chronic stress is toxic to the prefrontal cortex, which is the brain’s reasoner-in-chief and allows us to rationally evaluate evidence, among other things. In response to chronic stress, neurons in our prefrontal cortex shrink and, as a direct result, we lose some of our ability for flexible and critical thinking.心理学空间s tS6^Z@ l

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In stark contrast, chronic stress causes neurons in the amygdala, the seat of anxiety and fear in the brain, to get larger and more active, increasing a sensation of danger.心理学空间 Z/p!u'bh,O^2jT


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(Both these effects are usually reversible so long as the stress is not too severe or prolonged.)



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Is it any surprise, then, that a fair chunk of President Trump’s core base – people who are probably chronically stressed – would be particularly receptive to “information” that conveys a sense of threat and more likely to dismiss reasoned argument and real facts as fake news?

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There is a clear adaptive advantage to being vigilant and anxious in the face of real danger. But you want to be able to dial down your fear once the danger has passed – or you discover there was little danger to start with – so that you have greater access to your critical faculties.

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That is exactly what President Trump is hoping his core supporters never get around to. From the moment of his inaugural speech where he declared that “this American carnage stops right here and stops right now” to the present, he never misses an opportunity to remind his base of their supposed enemies, be it Muslims or the liberal media, with a histrionic sense of threat and fear.心理学空间2t {0P'S;m)l"R$_L



So long as Trump continues to stoke his supporters’ fear, he strengthens their loyalty. It also explains, in part, why President Trump has been so eager to provide his base with convenient human scapegoats for their predicament.心理学空间7A/gsz n-s,xv'a#{R

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只要特朗普继续向他的支持者煽动恐惧,这就会加强他们对他的忠诚。这也部分说明了为什么特朗普总统一直急于向困境中的支持者提供便利的替罪羊。心理学空间Q z7fY-c/eiyy




After all, if you are angry about having lost your job, it is far more emotionally satisfying to blame an immigrant than the likely truth, which is that you lost your job to automation or a shift in the nature of the economy – an abstract explanation without a human target for your anger.心理学空间 Y9Ay/e'Uv;[ H

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The disturbing truth is that we are most vulnerable to being exploited by an empathic demagogue like President Trump when we are stressed and anxious. In that state, we are hard-wired to favor fear over reason.

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s;Mf E.K0令人不安的事实是:当我们处在压力和焦虑中时,我们最容易被这种像特朗普总统的共情煽动者利用。在那种状态下,我们硬要找理由来战胜恐惧。心理学空间/\9|.r J.`o2? {B&l

Richard A Friedman is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Cornell Medical College心理学空间 lJ a'^$~5V%LX

Richard A Friedman是康奈尔医学院的临床精神病学教授心理学空间.Xd$oRg

TAG: 共情 特朗普
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