Tuesday, October 23, 2012

David DeSteno - The Psychology of Compassion and Resilience (via Brain Pickings)


This short but very interesting talk by David DeStano, author of Out of Character: Surprising Truths About the Liar, Cheat, Sinner (and Saint) Lurking in All of Us, comes from Maria Popova and her excellent Brain Pickings blog. Popova also offered a review of the book when it was new in May of 2011, along with another video, which I will include below.

David DeSteno on the Psychology of Compassion and Resilience

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How to use the intricate balance of altruism and self-interest to our collective advantage.

Last week, I journeyed to this year’s PopTech conference, where one of the most compelling talks came from psychologist David DeSteno, director of Northeastern University’s Social Emotions Lab and author of the fascinating Out of Character: Surprising Truths About the Liar, Cheat, Sinner (and Saint) Lurking in All of Us, one of last year’s 11 finest psychology books. DeSteno examines the science of compassion and resilience, and explores emerging ideas for leveraging the mechanisms of the mind that enable them:
"The distress we see someone experiencing — the compassion we feel for them — isn’t determined by the objective facts on the ground; it’s determined by who’s looking. … It’s not the severity or the objective facts of a disaster that motivate us to feel compassion and to help — it’s whether or not we see ourselves in the victims."

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