A decline in empathy in our smartphone world

Yet Konrath’s work is not all doom and gloom, and she doesn’t believe that all technology leads to bad habits. For example, she’s looking for remedies, including the development of a smartphone app (the Random App of Kindness) designed to help teens build empathy.

But Konrath offers an even simpler discipline to boost empathy: volunteering. Her research verifies the common sense instinct that serving others can build empathy. It could involve tutoring students who face various challenges, or serving food to the homeless at a rescue mission.

Russ Pulliam