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August 23, 2019 at 8:31 am

Mischkowski Interviewed in ‘Tylenol May Make You Less Empathetic to Others’ Happiness’

Dominik Mischkowski, portrait outdoors

Dr. Dominik Mischkowski

Dr. Dominik Mischkowski was featured in an Angle News story about his research headlined “Tylenol may make you less empathetic to others’ happiness.”

Mischkowski is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Ohio University.

Previous research confirmed that when acetaminophen is helping us feel less of our own pain, it makes us less empathetic to the pain of others.

Now, a followup study from Ohio University shows that the drug also makes us feel less empathetic toward the positive, pleasurable experiences of others.

So, it would seem that acetaminophen left cognitive empathy intact, but had the same dulling effect on people’s own emotions – which are key to empathy as a whole – as it did on their experience of pain.

‘I’m still surprised about the striking psychological effects of such a common painkiller such as acetaminophen,’ said Dr Dominik Mischkowski, a professor of psychology at Ohio University.

He also conducted the previous research on negative empathy and acetaminophen, however, and says he suspected the drug would have similar effects on positive emotions.

Dr Mischkowski added: ‘Given that an estimated quarter of all US-American adults consume a drug containing acetaminophen, this research really matters.’

Read more at Angle News.

See the study “A Social Analgesic? Acetaminophen (Paracetamol) Reduces Positive Empathy” in Frontiers in Psychology.

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