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The Psychology of Compassion and Cruelty

PDF In an effort to alter behavior, scientists have conducted research to better understand the factors that contribute to both caring and cruel behavior among individuals and groups. This uplifting volume reviews this evidence—from experts across disciplines—and explains how certain psychological, spiritual, and religious factors spur compassion and deter cruelty. The work extols the importance of religion and psychology as a tool to better understand—and influence—behavior.

With deep reflection combined with research-based insights, the book considers the various avenues for creating kinder human beings. Expert contributors examine empirical evidence to learn if engagement in particular activities results in benevolent behavior, while chapters present the many ways in which kindness touches all aspects of life—from racial harmony, to child rearing, to work environments. Topics include exploring the healing effects of prayers and meditation, integrating compassion into higher education, and parenting with greater mindfulness and care.

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