This project aims to test a new pragmatic decision-making model of compassionate action to uncover the key mechanisms that lead compassionate intent into prosocial behavior. The project is significant because despite the investment in developing and evaluating compassion-based programs, their impact is not reliably translating into increased compassionate behavior. In addition, when compassion interventions do increase compassionate behavior we remain uncertain how this happens. My proposed project will examine this model across 2 studies. Study 1 will integrate a multi-modal assessment process using new and extended measures (experience sampling and physiology) to identify the factors that predict compassionate action. In Study 2 I will target proposed mechanisms using a tailored Compassionate Mind Training intervention to determine whether such factors causally reduce or eliminate the compassionate intention-act divide, in both the short- and long-term. By testing a clear decision-making model of compassionate action, the key mechanisms in the translation from intent to action can be identified and then targeted in next generation of compassion interventions. Such a breakthrough offers genuine hope that we can see reliable increased compassionate behavior in everyday life through compassion intervention training programs.

James Kirby, PhD

The University of Queensland

Convening Faculty, Fellow, Grantee