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Pathological Altruism

Pathological Altruism (Hardback)

Edited by Oakley, Barbara
Edited by Knafo, Ariel
Edited by Madhavan, Guruprasad
Edited by Wilson, David Sloan

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The benefits of altruism and empathy are obvious. These qualities are so highly regarded and embedded in both secular and religious societies that it seems almost heretical to suggest they can cause harm. Like most good things, however, altruism can be distorted or taken to an un...healthy extreme. Pathological Altruism presents a number of new, thought-provoking theses that explore a range of hurtful effects of altruism and empathy. Pathologies of empathy, for example, may trigger depression as well as the burnout seen in healthcare professionals. The selflessness of patients with eating abnormalities forms an important aspect of those disorders. Hyperempathy - an excess of concern for what others think and how they feel - helps explain popular but poorly defined concepts such as codependency. In fact, pathological altruism, in the form of an unhealthy focus on others to the detriment of one's own needs, may underpin some personality disorders. Pathologies of altruism and empathy not only underlie health issues, but also a disparate slew of humankind's most troubled features, including genocide, suicide bombing, self-righteous political partisanship, and ineffective philanthropic and social programs that ultimately worsen the situations they are meant to aid. Pathological Altruism is a groundbreaking new book - the first to explore the negative aspects of altruism and empathy, seemingly uniformly positive traits. The contributing authors provide a scientific, social, and cultural foundation for the subject of pathological altruism, creating a new field of inquiry. Each author's approach points to one disturbing truth: what we value so much, the altruistic good side of human nature, can also have a dark side that we ignore at our peril.
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ISBN 9780199738571
Released NZ 16 Nov 2011
Publisher Oxford University Press (S1)
Format Hardback
Internationally sourced on backorder; allow 4-8 weeks

Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780199738571
Stock Available
Status Internationally sourced on backorder; allow 4-8 weeks
Publisher Oxford University Press (S1)
Imprint Oxford University Press Inc
Released 16 Nov 2011
Publication Country United States United States
Format Hardback
Author(s) Edited by Oakley, Barbara
Edited by Knafo, Ariel
Edited by Madhavan, Guruprasad
Edited by Wilson, David Sloan
Category Non-Fiction (Child / Teen)
Social, Group Or Collective Psychology
The Self, Ego, Identity, Personality
Number of Pages 496
Dimensions Width: 187mm
Height: 255mm
Spine: 30mm
Dewey Code 155.232
Weight 1,026g
Interest Age 19+ years
Reading Age 19+ years
Library of Congress Altruism
NBS Text Psychology: Textbooks & Study Guides
ONIX Text College/higher education