Empathy is examined by the degree of concern a person has towards justice sensitivity. “Empathy and motivation for justice: Cognitive empathy and concern, but not emotional empathy, predict sensitivity to injustice for others” authored by Jean Decety and Keith J. Yoder was first published in Soc Neurosci.
The article makes an exploration of the emotional facet of empathy and what are the main motivations behind it. The authors experimented on various groups of people who sought to examine everyday moral situations pitting personal benefit against social justice and the common moral standards of justice that are acceptable in society. The results discovered from the same were rather counter-intuitive (Decety & Yoder 2016).
Cognitive Empathy and Emotional Empathy
The study showed that people with cognitive empathy, had more concern for social justice compared to those with emotional empathy, had more concern for social justice.
People with emotional empathy, had a self-oriented sense of justice and were more egocentric and cared less about social justice. They also seemed to be more permissible of behavior that are against the moral fabric of society. They also had a higher justice sensitivity scores and were consistently in support of pro-social behavior.
Empathy cannot be passed on from one human being onto another like flu. Authored by Kayla Chadwick, this article was posted on the Huffington Post. The author points out how hard it would be to reason with someone about how to care about others if it is not within their nature to care for the well being of others (Chadwick 2017). The author has grown weary of the political dialogue and debates on the same. She comments that if a person is not willing to pay an extra 17 cents for a burger so that the staff can afford to feed their family then such a person is not worth having a conversation with. If someone is content of thousands of people dying from treatable diseases just so they can save some extra dollars then such a person is not worth discussing empathy with (Chadwick 2017). In a nutshell, the author is saying she is tired of having debates with people who do not care about the wellbeing of others. The two speakers make use of pathos and logos in appealing to the reader and the essay below makes a comparison and contrast of how the two persuasive techniques have been used in both and how effective they are at convincing the reader.
Logos is an appeal to logic and reason. The best way of appealing to logic and reason is via the provision of factual material that leans more towards convincing people logically. With this regard, the first article makes more of the case of a logo. The article tests out several people within the society who all have different levels of emotional contagion or empathy. It begins with people who have emotional empathy. This means people who are themselves the victims of social injustice. Secondly, it tests out psychopaths who are people with no empathy or remorse for their actions and are likely the perpetrators of the injustice. Third, it tests out the observers of injustice. These are people with cognitive empathy, based on observations they made of things happening to other people (Decety & Yoder 2016). They measured these people based on tests to provide for hard material evidence on facts which affect the level of empathy people have and their degree and sense of social justice.
It is from this research that the authors of the report found that empathy as an emotional facet is one that is highly related to whether the sense of justice is for oneself or others. People who were emotionally apathetic, meaning people who view themselves as the victims of injustice were bound to develop feelings of distress towards injustice. They are likely to get anxiety or discomfort at the sight of someone else getting social injustice. These feelings are aversive because they cause the person to want to withdraw from the situation creating an egocentric feeling in the person (Decety & Yoder 2016). It tends to make the person care more for themselves than others as they view themselves as the victims and would like to create separation between them and the crime being perpetrated. It is people who have a self-oriented sense of justice that are likely to be permissive of social behaviour that might otherwise be deemed immoral or inappropriate.
However, contrary to what people believe, it is people with an other-oriented sense of justice are generally less permissive of averse social behaviour (Decety & Yoder 2016). The author concludes that people with cognitive empathy are generally more prosocial. They are also likely to contribute towards the social good.
The article talks about how paying 4.3% more for their burger so that the person making the burger can afford to a least feed their family (Chadwick 2017). Paying taxes is a way of ensuring that at least children have access to quality public education. That paying extra in taxes helps to create medical insurance for people. Increasing the minimum wage helps workers do better jobs as they are fairly compensated.
Pathos is an appeal to the emotional side of an argument or discourse. It is getting the reader to understand things from a more emotional side of the debate. Where this article falls short with regards to logos and an appeal to hardcore facts, it more than makes up for in an appeal to pathos. First, the writer makes us understand her emotional state perfectly well so we can be more empathetic to her. She says how she does not know how to explain to someone why they should care for other people. After that, the author goes on to give countless reasons to care for other people. She states that paying more for a burger helps the one who made it afford food for their families. All these are meant to inspire one’s emotions and passions and appeal to pathos.
The first article has a cataclysmic failure in its appeal to pathos. Choosing instead to focus on logos. Within its appeal to logos, the first article makes the use of authoritative sources in making its claims. Throughout the paper, there are various citations and referrals to bodies of work done by other competent authors on the subject in discussion. This is to give the reader more confidence in the work discussed.
Whereas I excelled well is in bringing out the appeal to logos in both of the readings. It was relatively easy to find the appeal to logic in both papers as both of them made an effective utilization of logic in making their claims. It was easy to see how both writers appealed to the basic logic of the reader as a method of captivating their attention. The first article which was more scientific was focused mostly on scientific facts. These are facts that were drawn from actual tests and experiments that were conducted by the authors in a select test group. The authors adopted the use of several authoritative sources in the subject matter to convince the reader that the information was genuine as researched by others within the same field. I, however, struggled to show the use of pathos in the first article. It was a scientific article, therefore, had no room for pathos or any form of emotional appeal. Consequently, I struggled to find any appeal to pathos.