Conceptual synchrony

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Chapter 11 endnote 34, from How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context is:

For [a] juror’s perceptions to be “accurate,” she and the defendant must categorize with similar concepts. This kind of synchrony, with one person feeling remorse and the other perceiving it, even without words ever being spoken, is more likely to occur when two people have similar backgrounds, age, sex, or ethnicity.

For more on conceptual synchrony, see these references.[1][2][3]

Judges are less likely than a jury to react to the offender as a fellow human being and more likely to hand out maximum sentences.[4] Perhaps judges must avoid compassion, the simple caring for a suffering defendant as a fellow human being. Empathy is perspective-taking; compassion is doing something about it. It's debatable whether we would want a judge’s decision to be swayed because he feels more compassion for the perpetrator than for the victim — or vice-versa — rather than just following the rule of law.


Notes on the Notes

  1. Gendron, Maria and Lisa Feldman Barrett. In press. "Conceptual synchrony is key to the communication of emotion." In The Nature of Emotion: Fundamental Questions, second edition, edited by A. Fox, Regina C. Lapate, Alexander J. Shackman, and Richard J. Davidson. Oxford University Press.
  2. Gendron, Maria and Lisa Feldman Barrett. In press. "Emotion perception as conceptual synchrony." Emotion Review.
  3. Stolk, Arjen, Lennart Verhagen, and Ivan Toni. 2016. "Conceptual Alignment: How Brains Achieve Mutual Understanding." Trends in Cognitive Sciences 20 (3): 180-191.
  4. See footnote 155 in Pillsbury, Samuel H. 1989. “Emotional Justice: Moralizing the Passions of Criminal Punishment.” Cornell Law Review 74: 655–710.