View Full Version : Acetaminophen Makes You Less Capable Of Empathy

07-14-17, 06:13 AM
Becky Striepe
July 10 2017

A new study (https://academic.oup.com/scan/article/11/9/1345/2224135/From-painkiller-to-empathy-killer-acetaminophen) found that people who are taking acetaminophen are less able to experience empathy.
There’s a theory about empathy called the Simulation Theory. The Simulation Theory of Empathy (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-social-brains/201007/empathy-101) suggests that we experience empathy by thinking about how a situation would make us feel, then projecting that feeling onto the other person. A 2004 study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14976305) even showed that the part of our brain that experiences pain also plays an important role in empathy.
This is the theory that led researchers at Ohio State University to look at how over-the-counter pain medication can impact our ability to empathize with other people. Their thinking is that when we are under the influence of painkillers, we are less able to experience pain ourselves, which makes us less able to understand others’ pain.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/acetaminophen-makes-you-less-capable-of-empathy.html

07-15-17, 03:51 PM
Not only does that make sense, but I'm sure I read the same thing somewhere. I did a quick site search and couldn't find another article like that, so it must have been something I saw but failed to post here.

07-15-17, 04:15 PM
I've seen this before also Islander, probably a different article based on the same study. The conclusion is completely logical. It makes me wonder what similar affects anti depressant medications can have on people, making them less compassionate towards others in general.

07-15-17, 10:33 PM
It would explain a lot, wouldn't it, bmc?

07-17-17, 09:17 AM
Indeed. There must be innumerable untold side effects from even the simplest, most seemingly benign, of medications, including OTC. That's one reason why I do my very best to avoid them all.