Department of Psychology pres.
Social Brown Bag:
Kaidi Wu and Izzy Gainsburg, Social Psychology Graduate Students
Title: Are Social Privileges Invisible to Those Who Have Them?
Abstract: Social privileges are invisible to those who have them. Men, Whites, and the right-handed were hypocognitive, or less schematic, of everyday burdens (e.g., safety precautions, daily hassles) experienced by women, non-Whites, and the left-handed. This hypocognition, in turn, underlay disagreements about social privilege and perceived discrimination across social groups.
Title: Is Compassion Limited or Unlimited? Lay beliefs about compassion and their influence on emotional experience, moral concern, and helping behavior
Abstract: When people witness tragedy or suffering, they often feel compassion--feelings of concern for victims and a desire to help them. However, research also shows that people often feel less compassion as the number of people suffering increases (i.e., compassion fade), and that people's compassion response weakens with repeated exposure to suffering (i.e., compassion fatigue). It is possible, however, that compassion fade and fatigue are influenced a belief that compassion is a limited resource. In other words, it is possible that lay beliefs about compassion as limited and fatiguing result in a self-fulfilling prophecy that reinforces compassion fade and fatigue. If so, then changing people's beliefs that compassion is unlimited and energizing may short-circuit this process and allow people to continue to feel compassion in response to large amounts of suffering. In today's presentation, I review a new investigation into whether beliefs about compassion as limited (vs. unlimited) affect people's experience of compassion fatigue, their moral concern for distant entities, and their helping behavior.
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