Abstract and Keywords
This chapter explores the empirical roots of compassion science and the schools of thought that gave rise to the idea that compassion may be good for health. We review the evidence that suggests that those who help others are healthier and live longer than those who do not help others, and we highlight stress-buffering and compassionate motivation as mechanisms for this effect. We describe emerging models that connect compassion to physical health using neurobiology, and we review Numan’s (2006) animal model of parental behavior as the basis for predictions about specific areas of the brain, neuropeptides, and hormones that are hypothesized to interact to produce health benefits associated with helping others. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of compassionate neurobiology for medical research, mental health, and behavioral intervention.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.