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Book chapter
English

Empathic Distress Fatigue Rather Than Compassion Fatigue? Integrating Findings from Empathy Research in Psychology and Social Neuroscience

Published inPathological Altruism, Editors B. Oakley, A. Knafo, G. Madhavan & D.S. Wilson
PublisherNew York : Oxford University Press
Publication date2011
Abstract

In this chapter, we discuss the role of empathy as the main precursor for prosocial behavior, taking perspectives that span from social and developmental psychology to social neuroscience. We begin by introducing compassion fatigue in caregivers as a form of pathological altruism. We move on to introduce such relevant concepts as empathy, compassion, empathic concern, and distress; we then review relevant empirical findings from social and developmental psychology and social neuroscience. Finally, we propose a new integrative model that suggests that the term compassion fatigue should be replaced by the term empathic distress fatigue to more accurately account for symptoms of withdrawal and burnout. We conclude by outlining potential ways to circumvent the downside of too much empathy.

Keywords
  • Compassion fatigue
  • Empathic distress
  • Empathy
  • Empathic concern
  • Prosocial behavior
  • Social neuroscience
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
KLIMECKI-LENZ, Olga Maria, SINGER, Tania. Empathic Distress Fatigue Rather Than Compassion Fatigue? Integrating Findings from Empathy Research in Psychology and Social Neuroscience. In: Pathological Altruism. New York : Oxford University Press, 2011. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199738571.003.0253
Main files (1)
Book chapter (Published version)
accessLevelRestricted
Identifiers
ISBN978-0-19-973857-1
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