Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2011 Mar 9;6(3):e17798. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017798.

Short-term compassion training increases prosocial behavior in a newly developed prosocial game.

Author information

1
Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research, Department of Economics, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. susanne.leiberg@econ.uzh.ch

Abstract

Compassion has been suggested to be a strong motivator for prosocial behavior. While research has demonstrated that compassion training has positive effects on mood and health, we do not know whether it also leads to increases in prosocial behavior. We addressed this question in two experiments. In Experiment 1, we introduce a new prosocial game, the Zurich Prosocial Game (ZPG), which allows for repeated, ecologically valid assessment of prosocial behavior and is sensitive to the influence of reciprocity, helping cost, and distress cues on helping behavior. Experiment 2 shows that helping behavior in the ZPG increased in participants who had received short-term compassion training, but not in participants who had received short-term memory training. Interindividual differences in practice duration were specifically related to changes in the amount of helping under no-reciprocity conditions. Our results provide first evidence for the positive impact of short-term compassion training on prosocial behavior towards strangers in a training-unrelated task.

PMID:
21408020
PMCID:
PMC3052380
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0017798
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center