- 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
According to attachment theory (Bowlby, 1973, 1982), the optimal functioning of the attachment behavioral system and the resulting sense of security in dealing with life’s challenges and difficulties facilitate the functioning of other behavioral systems, including the caregiving system that governs the activation of prosocial behavior and compassionate acts of helping needy others. In this chapter, we focus on what we have learned about the interplay of the attachment and caregiving systems and their effects on compassion and altruism. We begin by explaining the behavioral system construct in more detail and show how individual differences in a person’s attachment system affect the functioning of the caregiving system. We review examples from the literature on attachment, focusing on what attachment theorists call providing a “safe haven” for needy others. We then review studies that have shown how individual differences in attachment affect empathy, compassion, and support provision.
Mario Mikulincer Ivcher School of Psychology Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya Herzliya, Israel
Phillip R. Shaver Department of Psychology University of California–Davis Davis, California, USA
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