Research Shows Why “Learning” Compassion Leads to Altruism

When people teach themselves compassion, altruistic behavior increases.


…For example, new research demonstrates that you can “learn” compassion through specific meditative practices fairly quickly; and, intriguingly, that teaching yourself to become more compassionate directly translates to altruistic behavior. This latest study, conducted at the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, founded by Richard Davidson, the leading researcher in this field, investigated whether you can train adults to become more compassionate; and whether that results in greater altruistic behavior and changes in related brain activity. Well, you can, and it does. 

The lead author of the study, Helen Weng, stated that “Our fundamental question was can we become more caring if we practice that mindset?  Our evidence points to yes.” 


by Douglas LaBier, Ph.D.