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The Four Immeasurables Program: Training empathy and promoting altruism through meditation. An eight-week randomized controlled pilot study.

Safarzadeh, Kousha LU and Wallmark, Erik LU (2011) PSPT02 20111
Department of Psychology
Abstract (Swedish)
The general purpose of this randomized controlled pilot study was to investigate the potential effects of The Four Immeasurables Program on empathy and measures assumed to be related to the development of empathy and empathic concern for others such as perceived stress, mindfulness, and self-compassion. Of primary interest was to study whether the program can alter the dispositional tendency to feel empathic concern rather than personal distress when perceiving another as in need, termed other-orientation. In a randomized controlled study, an experimental group (n=21) was enrolled in an 8-week Four Immeasurables Program based on the Buddhist meditations of loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity, as well as the practice of Tonglen... (More)
The general purpose of this randomized controlled pilot study was to investigate the potential effects of The Four Immeasurables Program on empathy and measures assumed to be related to the development of empathy and empathic concern for others such as perceived stress, mindfulness, and self-compassion. Of primary interest was to study whether the program can alter the dispositional tendency to feel empathic concern rather than personal distress when perceiving another as in need, termed other-orientation. In a randomized controlled study, an experimental group (n=21) was enrolled in an 8-week Four Immeasurables Program based on the Buddhist meditations of loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity, as well as the practice of Tonglen (“taking and sending”). The control group (n=25) was assigned to a waiting-list condition. After controlling for pre-test scores, post-intervention results showed a trend towards increases in other-orientation in the experimental group - an increase that significantly correlated with meditation time and with decreases in perceived stress as well as increases in self-compassion and mindfulness. Additionally, significant increases in mindfulness and self-compassion and a significant decrease in perceived stress were obtained for the experimental group when compared to the controls. (Less)
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author
Safarzadeh, Kousha LU and Wallmark, Erik LU
supervisor
organization
course
PSPT02 20111
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
compassion, meditation, altruism, empathy, mindfulness, the four immeasurables, loving-kindness, equinimity
language
English
id
1977623
date added to LUP
2011-06-21 14:09:56
date last changed
2011-06-21 14:09:56
@misc{1977623,
  abstract     = {The general purpose of this randomized controlled pilot study was to investigate the potential effects of The Four Immeasurables Program on empathy and measures assumed to be related to the development of empathy and empathic concern for others such as perceived stress, mindfulness, and self-compassion. Of primary interest was to study whether the program can alter the dispositional tendency to feel empathic concern rather than personal distress when perceiving another as in need, termed other-orientation. In a randomized controlled study, an experimental group (n=21) was enrolled in an 8-week Four Immeasurables Program based on the Buddhist meditations of loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity, as well as the practice of Tonglen (“taking and sending”). The control group (n=25) was assigned to a waiting-list condition. After controlling for pre-test scores, post-intervention results showed a trend towards increases in other-orientation in the experimental group - an increase that significantly correlated with meditation time and with decreases in perceived stress as well as increases in self-compassion and mindfulness. Additionally, significant increases in mindfulness and self-compassion and a significant decrease in perceived stress were obtained for the experimental group when compared to the controls.},
  author       = {Safarzadeh, Kousha and Wallmark, Erik},
  keyword      = {compassion,meditation,altruism,empathy,mindfulness,the four immeasurables,loving-kindness,equinimity},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Four Immeasurables Program: Training empathy and promoting altruism through meditation. An eight-week randomized controlled pilot study.},
  year         = {2011},
}