→ While empathy involves
experiencing the same
emotion as another,
the brain and body for
caregiving in response to
→ Compassion triggerspositive affect in the faceof suffering and thereforecontributes to resilienceand well-being.
→ Supporting elevation,altruism, and agency indesign are among thosestrategies that can helpfoster compassion.
triggering empathic distress? Drawing
on a combination of new neuroscientific
research and work in the social
sciences, we argue that it is possible
to design for resilience and that the
answer lies in our evolving empirical
understanding of compassion.
A growing number of designersand user experience professionalsare looking at how design canincrease empathy and compassion,for example, in clinical situations, forconflict resolution, or in schools (seeFacebook’s Compassion ResearchDay or Microsoft’s Entendre projectfor examples). A large number ofGames for Change inclusions targetempathy, and the 2013 UX for Good
How is it that some people can spendtheir days making progress on thefront lines of sickness or injustice whileothers can barely handle watching thenightly news? Empathy is critical toour relationships, our societies, andour individual well-being, but it canalso hinder these, leading to avoidance,burnout, and distress. A betterunderstanding of just what makes thisdifference would radically empowerdesign. Design for resilient empathywould benefit everyone, but mostobviously it would benefit care workersat risk of burnout, nonprofits seeking toempower action, and designers of socialtechnologies. Can we design to fosterresilience and understanding without
Dorian Peters and Rafael Calvo,
University of Sydney