Brain and Mind in Intercultural Interactions: Empathy Leads the Way to Communication

By Mariangela Marcello.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

What does the difference between the physical brain and the unknowable mind really represent in our own lives and in social interchanges? Hamlet says: “What is a man, if his chief good and market of his time be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more. Sure, He, that made us with such large discourse, looking before and after, gave us not that capability and god-like reason to fust in us unus’d” (Hamlet, Act IV, Scene IV). How far has man gone in making choices as to his role in society? Do we really know what the world looks like? There are so many ways in which we can fool ourselves and create illusionary perceptions of images. Meaning is not in the reality outside us, in the acts themselves, it is in ourselves. It is the choices we make about who we are in relation to how the others see us, the reactions we have. It has to do with how much we understand of the ‘other’ in society. Empathy is “the ability to recreate another person’s perspective, to experience the world from his or her point of view…it is impossible to achieve total empathy, but with enough effort and skill, we can come closer to this target”(Adler, Rosenfeld, Proctor II, 2001, p.116). To look at an experience from different angles, wondering ‘what else might this mean?’ , ‘what can I learn from this experience’ may mean deleting the word ‘failure’ from the personal dictionary and replacing it with ‘feedback ’. Can this feedback help us exploit the differences existing among Western, Eastern, Latin or other cultures, sometimes so huge and crucial in communication exchanges?

Keywords: Brain, Mind, Perceptions, Interaction, Empathy, Feedback

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.319-324. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 500.477KB).

Mariangela Marcello

Retired Lecturer, Foreign Languages and Psychology, Vitória, Espirito Santo (ES), Brazil

Degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures. Degree in Psychology. Master Practitioner in Neurolinguistic Programming ( University of Kent. Canterbury. England) (Sociedade Brasileira de PNL. São Paulo. Brasil) former University Lecturer, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UFES.Vitória. ES. Brasil – The University of Sydney. Sydney. Australia). Voluntary teacher in Brazilian NGOs working with abandoned or ailing children.

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