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Moving Beyond Self-InterestPerspectives from Evolutionary Biology, Neuroscience, and the Social Sciences$
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Stephanie L. Brown, R. Michael Brown, and Louis A. Penner

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195388107

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388107.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2020

Too Close for Comfort?

Too Close for Comfort?

Lessons from Excesses and Deficits of Compassion in Psychopathology

12 Too Close for Comfort?
Moving Beyond Self-Interest

June Gruber

Dacher Keltner

Oxford University Press

In this essay, we raise an intriguing question not considered explicitly in the literature on compassion: Are there pathological levels of compassion? We provide an overview of the emergent findings related to the experience and expression of compassion in psychopathology. Three conceptual themes are reviewed for considering the empirical relationship between psychopathology and disturbed compassion, including deficits, excesses, and preservations in compassion examined transdiagnostically across disorders ranging from mania to sociopathy. This work provides an important window into addressing the question concerning the boundary conditions of compassion and when it might go awry.

Keywords:   compassion, psychopathology, mania, depression, sociopathy, narcissim, autism

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