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March 13, 2014
Does Adland's Future Contain Empathy?
 
People are designed to be social creatures. We thrive when we have people around. When people live near other people, amazing things like communities, norms, and cities happen. Commerce happens.

And when there is commerce, there's advertising.

But our youth are experiencing an ever-changing culture in communication where it is easier to be antisocial than social.

And a recent study shows that antisocial behavior can be detrimental to developing parts in the brain that trigger empathy, thinking about how others operate, and the like.

Though the study had participants who were diagnosed with antisocial behavior, previous qualitative studies have shown that people are less caring over social networks and other communication where face-to-face isn't necessary.

As communicators, we all know full well the power and need for empathy. How can we develop and design messages that resonate with our customers if we cannot imagine what they are going through? Sure, research and numbers will get us somewhere, but it is our empathetic faculties that assist in our digestion of that data.

We are sure that an interesting study like that will continue to gather populations from more general markets. Hopefully the flight of empathy is an early call.

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Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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