September 19, 2012

ONE SUSPECTS...:

Why She Cries at Movies, While He Snores (Tom Jacobs, 9/17/12, Pacific Standard)

Think back to the first time you saw West Side Story. Didn't you feel for Tony and Maria, the racially mixed couple whose poignant love story ends in tragedy?

If your answer is "no," chances are you are a man.

Let us stipulate immediately that this does not prove men are unfeeling pigs. Rather, the impulse to sympathize with a fictional character seems to be triggered in different ways for males and females.

At least, that's the conclusion of a new study by psychologists Thalia Goldstein and Ellen Winner, which tracked reactions to Leonard Bernstein's musical theater masterpiece. It found men tend to sympathize with the people on stage only if they are personally moved by their plight.

For women, merely perceiving a character is in pain is sufficient to elicit feelings of compassion.

...that the major difference is that men, being moral creatures, judge the characters.
Posted by at September 19, 2012 4:59 AM
  

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