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Does Feeling Empathy Lead to Compassion Fatigue or Compassion Satisfaction?: The Role of Time Perspective
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4225-8718
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7839-7245
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. Malardalen Univ, Psychol Studies, Vasteras, Sweden..
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2018 (English)In: Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0022-3980, E-ISSN 1940-1019, Vol. 152, no 8, p. 630-645Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research has shown that feeling empathy sometimes leads to compassion fatigue and sometimes to compassion satisfaction. In three studies, participants recalled an instance when they felt empathy in order to assess the role time perspective plays in how empathizers perceive the consequences of empathy. Study 1 revealed that college students perceive empathy as having more negative consequences in the short term, but more positive consequences in the long term. Study 2 showed that service industry professionals perceive the consequences of feeling empathy for customers who felt bad as less negative, and the consequences of feeling empathy for people who felt good as less positive, in the long as opposed to the short term. Because Studies 1 and 2 confounded time perspective with event specificity a third study was conducted in which event specificity was held constant across time perspectives. The same pattern of results emerged. The results of these studies indicate that perceptions of the effects of feeling empathy, whether positive or negative, become less extreme over time. These findings shed light on the relation between empathy and compassion fatigue and satisfaction by suggesting that situations that initially are experienced as stressful can over time make the empathizer stronger.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD , 2018. Vol. 152, no 8, p. 630-645
Keywords [en]
Empathy, compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction, feeling, time
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-42254DOI: 10.1080/00223980.2018.1495170ISI: 000453701800006PubMedID: 30321113Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85055053458OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-42254DiVA, id: diva2:1274912
Available from: 2019-01-03 Created: 2019-01-03 Last updated: 2019-01-04Bibliographically approved

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Hansen, Eric M.Håkansson Eklund, Jakob

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