Motivated Down-Regulation of Emotion and Compassion Collapse Revisited

Frontiers in Psychology 13 (2022)
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Abstract

Compassion collapse is a phenomenon where feelings and helping behavior decrease as the number of needy increases. But what are the underlying mechanisms for compassion collapse? Previous research has attempted to pit two explanations: Limitations of the feeling system vs. motivated down-regulation of emotion, against each other. In this article, we critically reexamine a previous study comparing these two accounts published in 2011 and present new data that contest motivated down-regulation of emotion as the primary explanation for compassion collapse.

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