About this Research Topic
The study of compassion has theoretical paradoxes. Some models emphasize a basic instinct resting on the evolved capacity of humans to empathize and care for one another. Meanwhile, other evolutionary and contemporary brain science models argue that compassion is a value-driven choice evaluated against other self-serving goals.
This special edition will examine the physiological, psychological, and environmental systems that facilitate compassionate responding. We invite papers that are consistent with the possibility this self-transcendent motivational system could evolve through intentional, guided effort. The following broad themes will be considered:
1) Definition of compassion and its components, along with clear operationalization of the construct integrating Eastern and Western traditions.
2) Brain-based and peripheral biological systems that support compassion, with an emphasis on information-processing networks.
3) Applications, methods, techniques designed to promote compassionate responding at the individual level. Of special interest is the harnessing of digital technology to promote the greater good.
4) Strategies to help collectives adopt a compassionate stance and shared sense of common humanity among its members.
The contributors are welcome to provide original research and commentaries adding to our understanding of this phenomenon as well as its salutary effects on physiological, psychological, and social functioning. This is particularly relevant and timely in these times throughout the world where human beings need an antidote to their isolation and better ways to reconnect with one another.
Keywords: compassion, helping, prosociality, prosocial behavior, altruism, prosocial action, empathy
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.