- Oxford Library of Psychology
- Oxford Library of Psychology
- About the Editors
- The Landscape of Compassion: Definitions and Scientific Approaches
- Compassion in Context: Tracing the Buddhist Roots of Secular, Compassion-Based Contemplative Programs
- The Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis: What and So What?
- Is Global Compassion Achievable?
- Compassion in Children
- Parental Brain: The Crucible of Compassion
- Adult Attachment and Compassion: Normative and Individual Difference Components
- Compassion-Focused Parenting
- The Compassionate Brain
- Two Factors That Fuel Compassion: The Oxytocin System and the Social Experience of Moral Elevation
- The Impact of Compassion Meditation Training on the Brain and Prosocial Behavior
- Cultural Neuroscience of Compassion and Empathy
- Compassionate Neurobiology and Health
- The Roots of Compassion: An Evolutionary and Neurobiological Perspective
- Vagal Pathways: Portals to Compassion
- Empathy-Building Interventions: A Review of Existing Work and Suggestions for Future Directions
- Studies of Training Compassion: What Have We Learned; What Remains Unknown?
- The Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) Program
- Cognitively Based Compassion Training: Gleaning Generalities from Specific Biological Effects
- Compassion Collapse: Why We Are Numb to Numbers
- The Cultural Shaping of Compassion
- Enhancing Compassion: Social Psychological Perspectives
- Empathy, Compassion, and Social Relationships
- The Class–Compassion Gap: How Socioeconomic Factors Influence Compassion
- Changes Over Time in Compassion-Related Variables in the United States
- To Help or Not to Help: Goal Commitment and the Goodness of Compassion
- Self-Compassion and Psychological Well-being
- Compassion Fatigue Resilience
- Compassion Fears, Blocks and Resistances: An Evolutionary Investigation
- Organizational Compassion: Manifestations Through Organizations
- How Leaders Shape Compassion Processes in Organizations
- The Call for Compassion in Health Care
- A Call for Compassion and Care in Education: Toward a More Comprehensive Prosocial Framework for the Field
- Heroism: Social Transformation Through Compassion in Action
- Social Dominance and Leadership: The Mediational Effect of Compassion
Abstract and Keywords
Historically, social psychologists are known for demonstrating the power of situations to reduce compassionate impulses and prosocial behavior. The simple presence of other people, for example, can decrease the rates at which people act to help others. Yet more recent findings also point to the power of situations to evoke other-oriented emotional states that increase intentions and actions to help others and build relationships. In this chapter, we review the current social psychological literature on compassion and its role in shaping moral decision-making and relationship formation. We then turn to the burgeoning field of contemplative science and demonstrate the role of meditation practices in shaping prosocial character. In the end, this literature suggests that humans are amenable to situational forces that tip the scales in favor of compassionate responding. Moreover, such behaviors can be increased through simple, readily available meditation-based exercises.
Paul Condon, Department of Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
David DeSteno, Department of Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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