Details of research

Research in the last 20 years has provided good evidence that developing compassion-focused motives for self and others has a range of benefits. However, people can behave in prosocial ways for different reasons, not all of which are genuinely care focused. This paper reports research comparing submissive compassion (being helpful to be liked) to “genuine” compassion in relation to domains of empathy and perspective taking. We developed a new short (5 item) self-report scale (the competitive perspective taking scale) to explore how people might use perspective taking for self-focused reasons. We investigated its association with validated empathy and compassion measures.