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Project Compassion Stanford
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Project Compassion Stanford is a column brought to you by Stanford University's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE). We support innovative ways to understand the moral, social and neural bases of compassion. Each week we bring to you a selected story or innovative research that highlights the importance of compassion.

Entries by Project Compassion Stanford

The Healing Power of Kindness

(9) Comments | Posted November 16, 2014 | 9:24 AM

By Lloyd Dean & James Doty, M.D.

We've all heard the old adage that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but what about a smile?

An extensive scientific literature review sponsored by Dignity Health and conducted by the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research...

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Amplifiers and Inhibitors of Compassion in Organizations

(2) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 11:46 AM

CompassionLab's Monica Worline, Ph.D., presented a summary of CompassionLab to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in a dialogue devoted to the topic of compassion and ethics in business, co-hosted by Santa Clara University and Stanford's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education on...

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Elevation Mapping: Pro-Social Compassion Maps

(0) Comments | Posted February 14, 2014 | 6:47 PM

A few years back, I was having a conversation with a brilliant Stanford student about crime maps. He suggested that a really cool use of mapping technology would be to map compassion. I thought to myself, that is a crazy idea, how would we do that? I shrugged it off...

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Recruitment, Pre-employment Selection and Compassion

(2) Comments | Posted August 2, 2013 | 8:35 AM

By Daniel Martin and Ulf Alexandersson

How many employees are scared at work? Is it fear of interacting with your boss, the new guy who may replace you, or dreading being laid off as a wonderfully nice but economically redundant employee? There are plenty of daily workplace interpersonal interactions that...

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Asian Students, Plagiarism Stereotypes And Compassion

(0) Comments | Posted May 16, 2013 | 11:24 AM

Written by Daniel E. Martin, Ph.D.

A few years ago, I had an interesting interaction with a colleague. She described the lay of the academic terrain in the following manner: "Asian students are more likely to plagiarize than White students." When asked why, my colleague explained that this was a...

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On Grudges and Forgiveness

(12) Comments | Posted April 26, 2013 | 8:20 AM

Written By Jayanth Narayanan, PhD

One of the most difficult things to do when we feel wronged upon is to forgive those who have inflicted harm on us. Great leaders are able to channel such anger to bring about social change. In fact the very reason why some leaders are...

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Building Trust and Compassion in Banking Through Transparency and Social Capital

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2013 | 6:15 PM

Written by Daniel Martin, Ph.D., and Bruce Cahan, J.D.

The Bank CEO Who Listened

David Brooks recently shared a conversation with a bank CEO. Economists found downside risks to continuing the bank's presence in Italy. The CEO knew staying there would be unprofitable in the...

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Callousness Comes With a Cost

(5) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 12:50 AM

Written by Daryl Cameron

The Dalai Lama once said that "compassion is a necessity, not a luxury ... without it, humanity cannot survive." Compassion is the emotion that we feel in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help. Philosophers, humanists, and theologians have long argued...

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Compassion and Business?

(0) Comments | Posted March 20, 2013 | 6:12 PM

By Scott Kriens

When first asked to speak at the upcoming Compassion and Business conference, I was struck by how seldom we hear those two words in the same sentence. Why? I think it's because we think of compassion too abstractly, and we're probably equally guilty in thinking...

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Even in Business, a Little Forgiveness Can Go a Long Way

(0) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 12:24 PM

It's difficult to avoid conflict at work. Sure, we can try to prevent conflict in the first place, but with so many different personalities, working styles, and stress-inducing responsibilities, the employee that never experiences conflict is more likely to be the exception than the rule. When conflict sneaks its way...

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Hierarchy, CSR, Compassion and Health

(0) Comments | Posted October 11, 2012 | 1:36 PM

Written by Daniel E. Martin, Ph.D., California State University East Bay

Every day we wake up and start making judgments. How does your preference for hierarchy impact those judgments? For example, public opinion polls find most people support equality but see income distribution as being unfair in...

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Taking Time

(1) Comments | Posted September 17, 2012 | 8:00 PM

By Robert Levine, Ph.D.

Time is money in the West. Workers are paid by the hour, lawyers charge by the minute, and advertising is sold by the second ($117,000 per second at this year's Super Bowl). Think about this: The civilized mind has reduced time, the most obscure...

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Compassion Behind Bars

(4) Comments | Posted September 11, 2012 | 7:40 AM

Written by Emma Seppala, Ph.D. and Maaheem Akhtar

A few weeks ago, an unprecedented letter arrived at our office at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. Here is an excerpt:

emma seppala

The purpose of the...

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Brooklynites, Bike Accidents and the Science of Compassion

(1) Comments | Posted August 23, 2012 | 12:00 PM

Written by Cade McCall, Ph.D.

About 11 years ago I was hit by a car while bicycling through Brooklyn, N.Y. When I returned to consciousness I was lying in an intersection, blood streaming from a damaged hand, head, and knee. A small group of people had materialized out of the...

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Feeling Under the Weather? Go Hang Out With Friends

(0) Comments | Posted August 9, 2012 | 7:01 AM

Written by Keryn Breiterman-Loader

During my first quarter at Stanford, I got sick a lot. This was very unusual for me and was a little mysterious, since I was practicing all my healthy behaviors -- eating well, sleeping well, and exercising daily. I blamed my frequent illness on living...

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5 Ways to Do Good and Feel Good -- Fast, Free and From Your Desk

(7) Comments | Posted August 6, 2012 | 8:20 AM

Written by Emma Seppala, Ph.D.

Science tells us compassion is good for our health, and we know that helping others makes us feel good, but sometimes it feels like there just aren't enough hours in the day. There is so much to do, can I possibly find...

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Compassion: Shifting The Balance From Bad to Good Stress

(5) Comments | Posted July 20, 2012 | 8:10 AM

Written by Dr. Firdaus S. Dhabhar: Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Member, Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation, & Infection, Stanford University School of Medicine.

We generally think of stress as a big, bad, disease-causing, killer. Yet mother nature didn't give us the stress response to kill...

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10 (Science-Based) Reasons Why Compassion Is Hot

(17) Comments | Posted July 18, 2012 | 6:48 AM

Written by Emma Seppala, Ph.D.

Science suggests that compassion may well be the most important thing in your life.

An interesting Buddhist myth compares lunch in heaven to lunch in hell. Both places have the same set-up: large dining tables filled with delicious food. However, the forks are...

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The Science of Choosing Compassion

(15) Comments | Posted July 16, 2012 | 6:40 AM

Written by Daryl Cameron

As I walk down bustling Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, I often pass homeless people who ask me for spare change. Sometimes I let myself feel compassion for these individuals. But other times I don't want to get emotionally involved, so I look away...

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Putting Compassion to Work: Google, Gratitude and Getting Canned

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2012 | 9:56 AM

Written by Erika Rosenberg, Ph.D.

In 2009, I taught the Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training Program at Google. My group of Googlers included engineers as well as people from various other technical and non-technical positions. Diverse in temperament and ethnicity, these folks shared a typical Googler profile: They were young, tired,...

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