The Science of Compassion

Hanna Barczyk for NPR

Listen to this great podcast from NPR’s Hidden Brain: The Science of Compassion. In it, they discuss how acts of kindness can transform both the giver and the receiver.

This podcast shares the story of Kelly Gillespie:

“Plenty of people learn about ideas in psychology, but Kellie Gillespie, a writer based in London, did something unusual. She took what she had learned in the class, and applied it in her own life.

“My life changed after doing Professor Plous’ course,” Kellie says.

The course was in social psychology, taught by Scott Plous of Wesleyan University. Hundreds of thousands of other people enrolled in the same online course.

Kellie and her virtual classmates were exposed to psychological concepts such as the norm of reciprocity: if you’re nice to someone, or you open up to them, they’re likely to do the same with you. They also learned about the power of empathy: when you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, it profoundly changes the relationship you have with them.”