Home > Uncategorized > Empathy Proven to Increase Generosity

Empathy Proven to Increase Generosity

Be proud of yourself, America.  Your tendency to actually give to others has risen 187% since 1954.  In 2005, over 65 million Americans volunteered to help charities. Many factors have been sited as to the reason for this trend, but 96% percent of volunteers said that one of their motivations was “feeling compassion toward other people”.  Are we actually becoming more empathetic?  A recent study suggests that we are.  On a biological basis, we now know the reason for the “feeling of compassion”: a chemical released in the body known as Oxytocin.  This chemical has been scientifically proven to increase “generous behavior” up to 80% compared to a placebo pill.  What does this tell us?  That we are naturally equipped with mechanisms that spur us to be empathetic.  In further study, scientists found that once empathy was increased in an individual, that individual was now much more likely to move to action, actually helping other people.  This study, provided by Science Daily, highlights the natural inclining in us to help others.  The business world should take note as well.  Creating an environment that produces feelings of compassion and empathy provides the organization with concerned, involved employees that truly care about the well-being of their co-workers.  Does your organization evoke feelings of compassion?  Are employees given the opportunity to act on their natural tendency to help others?  In truth, we all could use a little brushing up on our empathetic tendencies.  Share with us your stories of how helping others resulted in benefit for yourself, the helped person, and the organization.

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