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How to live a confident and vital life! By Catherine Calarco

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Women
How to live a confident and vital life!  By Catherine Calarco

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Interested in learning how to transform yourself at the speed of thought?  It takes only 90 Seconds!  What often blocks people from feeling capable in life and from having greater success with finances, health or relationships is how they handle unpleasant feelings. Psychologist Joan Rosenberg unveils the innovative strategy and surprising keys for experiencing the challenging emotions that lie at the heart of confidence, emotional strength, and resilience.
On Humanity Evolve!, we Explore the link between confidence and dealing with negative emotions to live a full and vital life. The idea for Emotional Mastery™ emerged out of Dr Joan Rosenberg’s personal and professional desires to understand what makes people do the things they do – a question that dates back to her childhood days, watching and wondering why people treat each other in harsh and unpleasant ways. Out of her psychological work with women over the last 20yrs, Dr Joan began developing the foundational ideas for Emotional Mastery™. Three decades, tens of thousands of hours of clinical practice and the past ten years of neuroscience research have been distilled into an approach that radically changes people’s lives. Neuroscience concepts explain why this approach to change works. Health and well-being involve daily choices and daily actions and efforts. So for the rest of today and for tomorrow too, just start by being aware of your choices.  What choice will you make that supports your physical health?  What choice will you make that supports your mental and emotional well-being?  Now, Emotional Mastery™ can help you live a confident and vital life!
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Digital Download/Bonus: To download an excerpt from Ease Your Anxiety – “What You Say to Yourself, Matters: How to Change What You Say to Relieve Anxiety, Diminish Doubt and Experience Confidence and Inner Peace”, visit http://DrJoanRosenberg.com/anxiety-reset/

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Breaking the Cycle

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7th Wave
Breaking the Cycle

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Abuse impacts all of us. Mostly we know about physical and sexual abuse. Although emotional abuse has reached epidemic proportions, most of us have no idea what it is or how to Abuse impacts all of us. Mostly we know about physical and sexual abuse. Although emotional abuse has reached epidemic proportions, most of us have no idea what it is or how to identify it. It’s what I call the Silent Killer. All of the various forms of abuse destroy a person’s self-esteem and health. We all know someone who is in an abusive relationship and that person may even be you. Learn what it is and what you can do to prevent it and to heal from it.

Ways to Clear Fear

Begin by using the following 3 techniques to help clear yourself and the earth of fear and other painful emotions, like anger and sadness. Please do them with me. The first one is an affirmation. “I am love as I am loved; you are love as you are loved; all is love as all is loved.” The second one is a visualization. If you have trouble visualizing, then just think the words in your mind: close your eyes and think or see a beautiful pink heart full of love shining pink light down on you. See and feel the pink light going through your body, down to your feet and into the ground where the pink light is filling and healing all of the fault lines in the earth, the oceans and the atmosphere. The last technique is a chant: om a ha a om am am. Know that as you do these three techniques, you are helping to fill yourself and the earth with pink healing love energy which is balancing all energies and helping to create calm and peace within yourself and the earth.

People who have been abused collect more than the normal number of fears and their response to fear is more intense and pervasive. Many develop strategies to manage their fears and/or to avoid feeling. These strategies can look like mental illness or disorders, but they are really coping devices. I’ve noticed that as my clients remove abuse and abusers from their life, the symptoms diminish until they disappear. These coping mechanisms often develop as a means of avoiding feeling or avoiding facing the reality of their situation. They can include hypochondria, OCD behaviors, paranoia and depression to name a few. I find that my clients don’t need medication. They just need help in understanding what is happening in their lives and then in changing it.

Feeling is Essential

Often a client is concerned that they will be overwhelmed with emotion to the point of not being able to handle it. When we have bottled up our emotions for long periods of time, it is difficult to begin to allow ourselves to feel without getting overtaken with sadness, anger or grief. As Mark Twain said, “The only way around it, is through it.” The pain is eating away below the surface at our physical and mental health. It is hurting us and will continue to do so until we let it surface so we can feel it and let it go. The pain and damage is prolonged when we don’t let it go. The key is to stop hanging on to the harmful emotions. Using color and tone can provide a gentler way of releasing the fear, anger and pain.

The fact is that if we don’t allow ourselves to feel the pain, anger and sadness, it’s going to come out in inappropriate ways. Often the person will have reached their limit and suddenly they explode in anger. Most often the anger is not directed at the person they’re really angry with but rather at someone in the service industry or a child or an employee. We feel frustrated and justified, but really we’re targeting someone who can’t fight back. It’s healthier and wiser to face our feelings and cry when we feel sad or turn our anger into righteous indignation and take action to change our life, the life of others and the world.

Refill with Peace and Love

And as we empty the sadness, anger and pain, are we refilling with gratitude and happiness and peace? I’ve noticed lately that people are often surprised when I thank them for providing help or exceptional service. Even if you’re paying someone or it’s their job to provide a particular service, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t say thank you. Showing gratitude and appreciation for service gives people more personal gratification than money. As long as we have enough money to pay for food, shelter and clothing, our emotional satisfaction comes from our personal relationships. Saying thank you provides a good feeling for everyone involved.

Silver Linings

Yesterday, I was making a deposit at an ATM machine when it malfunctioned, kept my checks and provided no receipt or record of the transaction. The bank was closed so no help was available. This was so important that I didn’t want to wait until the morning to take care of it. Since I have a credit card through the bank, I decided to call the credit card phone number and try to get help through them. I was directed to the wrong number and then disconnected twice and, of course, was on hold for long periods of time. Thirty minutes later, when I got someone for the third time, I began by saying how frustrated I was and that I needed her to get me to someone who could help me. And unlike the previous two people, she actually did find the correct phone number for me. When I got through to that person, she was extremely helpful, sincerely concerned about the malfunctioning machine and my troubling experience. With the check numbers that I provided and detailed information about the deposit, she credited my account and assured me that the machine would be fixed. I felt taken care of and grateful and we ended with kind words to each other.

There were many silver linings for me in this experience. Most importantly, I didn’t get angry with anyone. I kept myself calm by reassuring myself that the bank had to have a way of correcting the problem and by saying a prayer asking for help in getting the matter resolved. I took appropriate action in a pretty calm manner, stated my frustration instead of being angry at someone who did not cause the problem. This allowed her to stay calm and find the right phone number for me. When I did get through to the person who could solve the problem, I realized how much I’ve grown in my ability to handle my financial record keeping. I had check numbers, names and amounts, which made the process go smoothly. I was proud of my own growth and healing and truly grateful for the competent people who helped me. This experience would have been fraught with stress, anger and unpleasant interactions a number of months ago. Having allowed myself to let go of the fears, anger and sadness from the past allowed me to be fully present in the moment. The people helping me were just that, people. They weren’t objects standing between me and what I wanted.

Break the Cycle

The concept of empathy has been a recurring theme in our programs. Without it, people are not able to experience the full range of feelings and don’t care if they cause harm to others. An abuser wouldn’t care if he yelled at or was rude to the service people. All that would matter would be venting anger and getting what he needed. Because I do have empathy, had I been rude to the service people, I would have added guilt, shame and more pain to my already overloaded emotions. Breaking the cycle and releasing myself of the past pain has changed my life. If I can do it, so can you.identify it. It’s what I call the Silent Killer. All of the various forms of abuse destroy a person’s self-esteem and health. We all know someone who is in an abusive relationship and that person may even be you. Learn what it is and what you can do to prevent it and to heal from it.

 

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More About Fear

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Empowerment
More About Fear

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UNDERSTANDING FEAR!
You will always have fear, but fear doesn’t always have to have you!

I can’t begin to tell you how much I am enjoying my show, THE POWER TO BE, on the Empowerment Channel each Thursday at 2:pm EST. Not long ago I did a show on Fear and the response was overwhelming. I wanted to offer you some more insights to understanding and learning to controlling your fear.

So, a question! Do you ever struggle with fear? If you are human, you do. Fear is the second most powerful enemy we face it life. It can:
➢ fill you with fright
➢ emotionally overwhelm you
➢ attack you from several fronts at the same time
➢ rekindle old fears you thought you have worked through

Here is what you have to understand – fear is an emotion that when it takes control of your life, it will paralyze you. Your mind knows no fear! Your mind knows adventure, dreaming, the freedom to soar to the highest aspects of living. Yet, when fear is stronger than desire, you will filter everything through the emotion of fear.

In my working with human behavior I have become aware that from the day a person is born until the day they day, they will wrestle consistently with 6 Fears. Now, the interesting thing is there is not a particular order. These 6 fears “just are” and arrange their place in your life depending on where you are in the situation you are facing. Also, at any given time one of these 6 Fears is the #1 challenge you are facing. When you can understand what the fear is and control it presence in your life, the other five diminish in their emotional ability to control you. If you don’t know your #1 fear, the other five will overwhelm you.

There are a few things I want you to remember:
1. Fear is an emotion your mind doesn’t understand.
2. You can control fear or fear can control you.
3. You can learn to control your fear.

First, Fear Is An Emotion!

This is critical for you to understand. Fear is an emotion that, when given control, can block your emotional path way to your brain. People look at me like I am crazy when I say, “Your mind knows no fear!”

Your mind is about resolving issues. When you are living from your “Mind-down,” you can control what is happening in your life, BUT (and it is a big BUT) when you are living from  your “Emotions-up,) your emotions will block your mind’s ability to handle what you are feeling, which makes it feel like your mind is engaged in the fear. Reality is, what you mind does when the emotion of fear is in control, is to work with you to calm the fear and show you the value in facing what you are feeling.

I met Bill at the conclusion of a presentation I was doing in Kansas City. I was on my way out of the room when I noticed him standing my the door. As I got closer, he stepped toward me and said, “What you said today about fear made sense, but I don’t think it is as easy as you make it sound to overcome fear. I have lived with fear my entire life and even with the help I have had, it still has control and overwhelms my life.”

“What have you done to learn to control your fear?”

“I haven’t been working on controlling it. I have been trying to get rid of it!”

“Bill, that’s your first mistake. Fear is an emotion. It is one of those anchor emotions that is and will always be a part of your life. You can’t get rid of fear! You have to learn to control it.”

“I hear what you are saying, but if I don’t get rid of it, it will always be there and can always come back.”

“Absolutely! The reason is, it is a part of your DNA. Fear will always be present, but it doesn’t always have to be something bad. When you learn to control your fear, you can take something we have always felt was a negative and turn it into a positive!”

I paused for a moment to allow him to catch up with me. I could tell by the look on his face, this was something new for him to hear.

“Bill, fear is an emotion that either controls you or you control it. From what I am hearing, your fear has always controlled you. Am I right?”

There was a long silence combined with a puzzled look on his face. “Yep, you hit the nail on the head. I have and do live in fear, because I am fearful of facing it.”

He paused, looked down and then continued. “If I am hearing your right, I can take this emotion, this fear, and learn to control it, and in doing so learn to control the fear.”

“You got it! The first thing you have to understand is fear is an emotion that is and will always be present in your life.”

Do you get what I’m talking about here? Fear is an emotion! If it stands alone the feelings it brings can overwhelm you and shut down your mind’s ability to show you the positive side of fear. If you understand, fear is an emotion, and if you don’t let the feelings fear travels with (like doubt, worry, uncertainty) you can open allow you mind to show you the value to the fear you are feeling.

Everything that comes to your life enters your life through one of two doorways into your personhood – your emotions or your mind. The entrance point creates the pathway the fear takes in your life. When you are living from your emotions up, you are giving the feelings that go with the situation the right to define what it means to your life. Since all emotions travel in threes, you are never dealing with just what you are feeling at that moment. Those feelings will reach out, grab other feelings and together form your definition of the event.

What do you think happens to you when fear attaches itself to doubt, worry and uncertainty? You are paralyzed and the creative pathway to allowing your mind to help you define how to resolve the event is shut down. That leave you with only your emotions to take control. Now, you are not in an emotionally healthy state.

When you are living from your Mind –down, you don’t see things the same as when you are living from your Emotions Up! When you mind is guiding the process, it is only looking for one thing – how to resolve and continue to move forward.

Is this an Aha moment for you? Can you see why many never get beyond their fear? It gets trapped in their emotional mixing bowl and just continues to spin and spin and spin. With each revolution it gathers a stronger emotional presence in your life. The fear can get so big, you can’t see through it, and the pathway to help, your mind, is completely shut out.

Fear is an emotion that either controls you or you control it! This you must understand and accept.

Second, Learning Your 6 Fears

Ok, from the day you are born until the day you die you will consistently wrestle with 6 Fears. Now, are there more fears than these six? YES, but in my years of working with human behavior, I have found these to be the top fears that shut the pathway to your mind down. These are the 6 that cause you to shut your eyes, react to what you are feelings and give them control of your life.

What Are These 6 Fears? In the following Chapters we are going to expose and examine these 6 Fears. Now, here is what you must understand. You have all 6 Fears! One of these 6 is your #1 Fear! When you find your #1 Fear and learn to control it, the other 5 will diminish. If you never confront your #1 Fear, the other 5 will nibble at your spirit and over a period of time destroy your desire to improve and leave you and emotional slave to Fear.

Ok, you ready? Let’s examine your 6 Fears and see what they are doing to your life!

Chapter 2:
THE FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
If I do what I know I should do, it might take me out of my safe zone and put me somewhere I can’t control.

Most people want to feel two things in their life – stable and safe. This is why they create routines for their life. It makes things predictable and in that they feel safe, and with that comes the feeling of stability. Hey, they look at their life, don’t like what they see, but what they are seeing is more acceptable than steeping out of their secure zone and reach into a world filled with the unknown.

This routine is about sameness; it is about getting up and staying in familiar territory. For most this is how they define stability.

This is what makes the Fear of the Unknown so frightening. It means you have to leave your comfort zone, your safe ground. The challenge here is most don’t have the self-trust to step into the unknown. Without a strong foundation of self-trust, taking a risk is too big a gamble.

This is the person who lives with good intentions, writes goals they never achieve, have conversations about what they want their life to look like in 5 years. The truth is, they are all words! They would rather miss what their life could be, than step outside their secure prison.

Interesting, as I was writing this I got an email from Matthew. I have known Matt for almost 10 years. I met him at a program I was doing, have done mentoring with him and had him at my summer StarMaker Conference. When I first met him, it didn’t take long to figure out, “Matt was a person who lived in a little world, but talked about having a big space.” Watching his behavior (if you know me, you know my three little words that form my #1 human philosophy – Behavior Never Lies!), sent a clear message – Matt was all chatter and no forward action.”

Have you ever known a Matt?

His emails said, “I am setting here working on my goals for 2013, and as I was writing them, I realized something. These were the same goals I wrote for 2012 and 2011. I couldn’t believe I was simply rehashing what I had already talked about wanting to do with my life. What is wrong with me?”

Knowing Matt, I understood his struggle – Matt wanted something new while staying the same. His great fear is stepping out of his self destructive world into a world he can’t predict. He is trapped in his Circle of Sameness by his Fear of the Unknown! Can you relate to this?

Chapter 3:
THE FEAR OF ABANDONMENT
If I do what I feel I should do, I might be left alone. I can’t be by myself.

How many people do you know who have stayed in an unhealthy relationship for the fear of not having anyone in their life. Sure they are no happy or feel loved or feel the relationship adds to their life, BUT they have someone there in their life. They exist in a pretend world and don’t deal with the reality the other person is just filling space, not a place in their life. The Fear of Being All Alone makes this an acceptable existence.

I wish you could have been in my office the day Mary came to see me. This was her third counseling visit, and she looked the same as on her last visit. Her eye was black; you could see the finger prints on her face where she had been slapped. Mary lived with a very abusive male. She walked in with her head down, and I knew she didn’t want me to see her face. When she looked up at me, she just started crying.

Chapter 4:
THE FEAR OF FAILURE
If I express what I am feeling, it could expose the fact I don’t know what I am doing. I don’t want to look like a failure.

For most, FAILURE has become one of those nasty words. It is like a permanent scar that never goes away. The challenge is that is the way “failure” has been taught. How many times has the statement been made “You don’t want to fail!” Or the statement, “Just fake it to you make it.” The idea of failing is a concept many can’t handle.

When they are confronted with the possibility of failing, they will either run away, find a reason why they shouldn’t be doing what they are doing or stop and start something else. They don’t understand that “failure” is simply a bridge that connects “success” and “defeat.” Failure is an option that didn’t work. It was a knockdown that you weren’t prepared for. That doesn’t make it a negative. In fact when you get back up, that is success! You fear failure because of your emotional programing.

Chapter 5:
THE FEAR OF REJECTION
If I do what I feel I should do, people may not like me. I need to be liked.

There is a strong need inside each of us to feel liked, feel loved. When that need is not being fed, there is fear. You start wondering, “What is wrong with me?” or “I must not be a loveable person!” or “I must be a bad person.”

All of these emotional feeling are there because we don’t have a strong foundation of self-worth. Over the years I have found any person who doesn’t have a strong foundation of self-worth is a candidate for feeling rejected. This fear causes them to give up their individuality and become a puppet others can play with. In that they feel accepted, and as dangerous as that is, it is made ok.

Chapter 6:
THE FEAR OF LOSS
If I do what I feel I should do, it might cost me more than I am willing to pay.

With every thing you want to do with your life, there is price tag. You will only go as far in life as the price tag is acceptable. When the price tag is viewed as too big a cost, you will shut down and walk away. That price tag can be mental, emotional, spiritual, financial or physical. Whatever it is – if the price tag is seen as too big, you will walk away.

Chapter 7:
THE FEAR OF SUCCESS
If I do what I feel I should do, I might get results I am not sure what to do with.

If might sound strange to talk about success being a fear, but it is! Have you ever known someone who got real close to what they said they wanted and implemented behaviors that sabotaged the situation?  That’s the Fear of Success!

Have you ever know someone who tasted success and then, didn’t do the things to keep it going? It wasn’t they didn’t know what to do; they were just fearful of what might happen if the success continued to grow. That’s the Fear of Success!

Chapter 8:
The Process For Controlling Your Fear

Have you ever watched a talented woman put her life on hold because of the fear she felt about what would happen to her relationship IF she really became successful? It wasn’t that she didn’t want the success; she just saw the cost of the success being too great. That is the Fear of Success!

Do any of these 6 Fears sound familiar to you? If you really looked at them, would any of them be a fear you struggle with? As I said earlier, from the day you are born to the day you die, you will struggle with these 6 Fears.

Now hear me say this – there is nothing wrong with fear as long as you own it and it doesn’t own you! Fear is, and that’s a fact. So, what do you need to do to control your fear? Here are 4 Keys To Controlling Your Fear.

Key #1: Face The Fact The Fear Exist
That is the starting point. For anything in life to improve it has to begin with “face what is.” This is where you admit the challenge you are facing. This is more than just admitting you have fear; it is understanding the fact the fear exist and has an emotional grip on your life. Denial doesn’t diminish the fear; in fact it strengthens its grip on your life.

So, start with Facing The Fact The Fear Exist!

Step #2: Examine and Learn Where The Fear Comes From
All the fear you face today comes from your yesterday. There is no fear in today! Why? Because today is just now being created. Your fear comes from a situation in your yesterday that opened the emotion, strengthened it with behavior and was never faced, SO it grew in its emotional size.

Fear is an emotion we attached to situations! The situation may not be the same one that originally created the fear, but something about the situation triggers an emotional surge back to that event. Then, all the emotions that were present then, race forward and connect to the new situation.

Step #3: Address The Situation That Originally Created The Fear
When the emotion of fear takes control, it redefines the landscape. You rewrite the event based on your fear, not necessarily the facts. When this happens, you understanding of the event now has a different hold on your life. You have to go back to the situation, calm yourself down and revisit what happened.

Step #4: Rewrite The Script From A Lesson Viewpoint
This is the turning point! This is where the fear can be repositioned as a positive part of your life. Within every situation your life has been through or been handed, there is a lesson that can turn it from a negative emotionally draining situation to a positive life altering experience where you are better because you have been through it. Anything that brings a lesson to your life becomes a positive part of your journey. When you rewrite the script you repave the emotional highway with insights you can implement into having a better life.

FEAR IS A NATURAL PART OF LIFE, BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A NEGATIVE THAT HOLDS YOU A HOSTAGE IN YOUR OWN SKIN!

A Rumor of Empathy at Affectiva Software

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Empowerment
A Rumor of Empathy at Affectiva Software

LouAgosta

The human face is an emotional “hot spot”. New-born babies seem to gravitate spontaneously towards the face of the caretaker. The human face is an emotionally expressive display that is more than the sum of its parts. The face forms a total configuration that manifests a person’s humanity in a way especially engaging to another person. We humans seem to be hard-wired to interact with faces as the location for emotional expression – and the lack of expression. Freud famously said that “betrayal oozes at every pore.” Though Freud’s quip is not about his patient Dora’s facial expression as such, his slogan applies to the face in ways he would have appreciated and which were being explored by Darwin (1871) when Freud was still only fifteen years old. This is where the game gets interesting.

Innovations in computing hardware power, social networking, neural networks, and pattern recognition, are advancing the automated understanding of the expression of human facial emotions. Enter Affectiva (www.Affectiva.com), which, as the saying goes, is disrupting the disrupters. Affectiva was founded in 2009 by Rana el Kaliouby and Rosalind W. Picard, scientists at the MIT Media Lab. In a conversation with Daniel McDuff, Ph.D., principal scientist at Affectiva (www.affectiva.com), I had an opportunity to learn how innovations in the computer-mediated assessment of the emotions are being implemented and brought to market in a variety of applications in advertising and media measurement (Affectiva’s current chosen market), law enforcement, and engaging diseases of empathy. One innovation that Dr McDuff brought to Affectiva from his work at the MIT Media Lab was the use of webcams to collect facial data from persons providing informed consent. This has enabled Affectiva to build a Big Data database of facial expressions to power the processing of its software algorithms. Simply stated, the output of the software process is as assessment of the individual’s emotional experience along a number of dimensions and variables. The devil is in the details. Layers of technology go into Affectiva’s Affdex system to capture and feed information to its algorithms. The system tracks and processes the texture of the human face, performing a complicated mapping to minute facial muscle movements described by the Facial Action Coding System (FACS), resulting in inferences about the categorization and intensity of emotional engagement, valence, and related nuances of affect. As with any software system, issues of ease of use, accessibility and flexibility of the human-machine interface, scalability, maintainability, and end-to-end system integration are front and center. This is where Affectiva seems to have stolen a march on the competition with the use of small computer-based webcams to capture data that is then stored to a Big Data backend. Webcams are pervasive. The potential amount of data is formidable. I have been known to say: “We don’t need more data; we need expanded empathy.” However, sometimes we need both. This seems to be one of those occasions. The deep background to Affectiva’s work is to be found in Paul Ekman (1992) and his colleague Wallace Friesen, who themselves relied on the researches of Charles Darwin (1871) and Silvan S. Tomkins (1961, 1962, 1992, 1993) and Duchenne de Boulogne (1862). In an enormous research effort lasting some eight years, Ekman led a team that coded some 5000 detailed movements of muscles in the face that are activated, in many cases involuntarily, in the arousal of some seven basic emotions. This Facial Action Coding Scheme becomes the basis for software automation. What’s so innovative about that? Well, anyone can try to fake a smile, pretending to be happy when one is really miserable. But what one cannot fake is activation of the “smile muscles” around one’s eyes, which are only engaged by an authentic and positive emotion that expresses one’s sincere delight and which remain uninvolved in an insincere baring of one’s teeth. Unlike one’s lips, which can be voluntarily displayed in a grimace, the muscles around the eyes are not subject to voluntary control. Hence, the opportunity exists for “betrayal to ooze out at every pore”. Moreover, the activation of such a muscle can occur and vanish in a fraction of a second. It moves rapidly across the face at a speed that lies beneath the threshold of one’s ability to see it without significantly slowing down the digital recording and playing it back. Yet the emotion occurs, however briefly. It lives. Such a detailed, minute muscle activation is called a “micro expression”. Micro expressions are hypothesized to be the basis for the enigmatic smile of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Mona Lisa. In our time, Ekman’s facial action coding scheme of micro expressions becomes the basis for detecting deceit in the marketplace, politics and marriage (which, incidentally, is the subtitle of Ekman’s Telling Lies (1992)). In some cases, the marketplace hype is justified, and, in this case, caused me to chase the “rumor of empathy”. Ekman is on record as saying that he is skeptical about empathy, and I do not aim to change that here. In any case, Ekman identifies “duping delight” as the micro expression of happiness of the liar at having “put one over” on the teacher with the deception of being believed that the “dog really did eat the homework”. Or in law enforcement, the micro expression of contempt on the otherwise emotionless face of the would-be terrorist at striking back at the “running dogs of western imperialism”. What would the detection of such micro expressions be if not a subtle example of empathy or, more precisely, empathic receptivity? Before Ekman – and even before Darwin – the philosopher David Hume wrote of a “delicacy of sympathy” (1741), in detecting an impression of which another person was unaware. The word “empathy” had not yet been invented. Close enough. Take aways include: No market, no mission: Affectiva has traction in the advertising and marketing verticals. While all the usual disclaimers apply, and I have not “test driven” the Affdex system, Affectiva seems to be well on its way to integrating its facial recognition algorithm(s) in a comprehensive end-to-end automated process that incudes a user friendly frontend (webcam) and big data backend. The intellectual property is relevant, and patent the algorithms. But absent an integrated, usable approach, it is going to be an idle wheel that does not move any other part of the business process. While a strong start is no guarantee of long term success, Affectiva has innovative technology and a compelling message that resonates with corporate needs to spend money on advertising that delivers demonstrable bang for the buck.
An implied definition of empathy: An account of empathy exists here based on micro expressions, which is what inspired my interest. Though the debate about the relevance of empathy continues, empathy is hypothesized to be at the basis of the human ability (1) to relate emotionally to other persons like oneself (2) to experience other persons as intentional agents (3) to attribute a mind such as one’s own – as in “mindedness” – to other persons like oneself. Empathy is not reducible to emotional contagion, shared-joint attention or mindedness; but at least the first two are input for further empathic understanding, empathic interpretation, and empathic responsiveness that enriches a person’s relations with other human beings. Absent empathy, people cease to matter to the person lacking empathy, though people may be useful in certain means-ends way of providing services. In disorders of empathy, one or more of these mechanisms has misfired or is hypothesized to be missing. The individual “on the autism spectrum” seems to be unaware of the emotions, intentions or mindedness of other people. The subsequent breakdowns in human development, education, and day-to-day functioning are debilitating in the extreme and can even be life threatening. People and computer systems can produce similar results and output using profoundly different means and methods. Though it is improbable that the Affdex software arrives at its conclusions about what people are experiencing emotionally in the same way that the human brain arrives at its results, the possibilities for comparison are significant. A comparison between the steps of human brain-based empathy and the artificial empath implemented in software may reveal what can go wrong and suggest meaningful interventions. Finally, no substitute exists for an expert clinical differential diagnosis by an informed human – though hope springs eternal in the matter of eliminating focus groups in marketing – but the use of software to detect and analyze micro expressions – or their absence – can be a significant check and balance in the diagnostic process. Empathy is still on the short list of those things where humans enjoy a decisive advantage over automated systems. Still, it is sobering the way the boundary keeps getting pushed around as humans are beaten by computing systems in chess, natural language processing in Jeopardy, and now challenged by decoding facial emotions. In any case, the combination of human judgment and a software system acting as a kind of “co-pilot” to the decision-making human is a compelling partnership. In summary, the rumor of empathy at Affectiva is confirmed. Empathy lives at Affectiva. I hasten to add that “a rumor of empathy” is my turn of phrase – my spin – and not a description employed by Affectiva, though I suggest that the distinction is an apt one.

Relevant URLs
www.Affectiva.com

www.Emotient.com

https://angel.co/eyeris

www.empatica.com

The New You Post Divorce By Margaret Jacobson

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Empowerment
The New You Post Divorce By Margaret Jacobson

Dating

Rediscovering yourself post-divorce can be incredibly challenging and overwhelming.  The Mother Rising’s show on The Empowerment Channel has not only taken on recreating yourself anew through out the month of June but will be spending the rest of July on Dating After Divorce.

The show’s host, Margaret Jacobson, Divorce Wellness coach has recruited fellow experts from the love and relationship site YourTango to join in on Preparing for Your First Date on 7/10/14, as well as Reframing Dating Fears and Understanding Dating as Self-Discovery on 7/17/14.

Then on July 24th, The Mother Rising tackles Sexual Play, Pleasure and Preventions as she brings on SexGeekdom guru, Kate McCombs, and wrapping up July, Margaret has The Real Matchmaker of San Francisco, Anni Powers with your inside scoop on Finding an Authentic Match.

Striving to provide listeners with access to everything they need to make clear choices as they journey through the fog of divorce, a health challenge, loss of loved one, infidelity and more. The Mother Rising will feature experts on Self-Care in August, Relationship Reflection in September, and Parenting Through Divorce in October. The Mother Rising hosts authors, coaches, parenting experts, and more.

Embrace your challenging circumstance in its entirety: mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually and be inspired to create the life you know that is authentically your own. Receive heart felt wisdom that will inspire and empower you to nurture the fire within that has been nearly put out.  Witness yourself employing simple tools and strategies that allow you to thrive in joy, love and freedom with your host Margaret Jacobson every Thursday.

 

 

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