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Pathological Altruism

Pathological Altruism
 

Pathological Altruism is a groundbreaking new book - the first to explore the negative aspects of altruism and empathy, seemingly uniformly positive traits. In fact, pathological altruism, in the form of an unhealthy focus on others to the detriment of one's own needs, may underp... read full description below.

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Quick Reference

ISBN 9780199738571
Barcode 9780199738571
Published 16 November 2011 by Oxford University Press (S1)
Format Hardback
Author(s) Edited by Oakley, Barbara
Edited by Knafo, Ariel
Edited by Madhavan, Guruprasad
Edited by Wilson, David Sloan
Availability Indent title (internationally sourced), usually ships 4-6 weeks

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780199738571
ISBN-10 0199738572
Stock Available
Status Indent title (internationally sourced), usually ships 4-6 weeks
Publisher Oxford University Press (S1)
Imprint Oxford University Press Inc
Publication Date 16 November 2011
International Publication Date 19 December 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)
Psychology
Social, Group Or Collective Psychology
The Self, Ego, Identity, Personality
Psychiatry
Number of Pages 496
Dimensions Width: 187mm
Height: 255mm
Spine: 30mm
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
Dewey Code 155.232
Catalogue Code Not specified

Description of this Book

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 unhealthy 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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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

NZ Review <br> What a wonderful book! This is one of the few books in evolutionary biology I've read in the past ten years that taught me something completely new. <br>-Edward O. Wilson, Pulitzer Prize Winner and Pellegrino University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University<p><br> Read this book. You will learn much that would be new to you, whatever your expertise or interest. And I would be surprised if you don't enjoy this voyage of discovery. <br>-Francisco J. Ayala, Templeton Prize Laureate and University Professor, University of California, Irvine<p><br> The coverage of topics is breathtaking.... The reader will emerge with a much deeper and nuanced understanding of altruism in reading this book, the best on altruism in the last 15 years. <br>-Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley; author of Born To Be Good: The Science of A Meaningful Life<p><br> This unique volume manages the impressive feat of pulling together the best research from psych

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Author's Bio

Barbara Oakley is an associate professor of engineering at Oakland University in Michigan. Her work focuses on the complex relationship between social behavior and neuroscience. Her books include Cold-Blooded Kindness (Prometheus Books, 2011) and Evil Genes (Prometheus Books, 2007). Ariel Knafo is a senior lecturer in psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research deals with the genetic and environmental contributions to empathy and altruism and how children's genetics affect their behavior and the way parents react to them. Guruprasad Madhavan, a bioengineer, is a program officer in policy and global affairs at the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council - collectively called the National Academies - in Washington, DC. He is senior co-editor of Career Development in Bioengineering and Biotechnology (Springer, 2008). David Sloan Wilson is SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University. His books include The Neighborhood Project (Little, Brown, 2011), Evolution for Everyone (Delacorte, 2007), Darwin's Cathedral (Chicago, 2002), and Unto Others (Harvard,1998).

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