Compassionate Love for Close Others and Humanity
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2005
Pages: 629 - 651
Source ID: shanti-sources-114311
Collection: Social Connection and Well-being
Abstract: A compassionate love scale was developed that can be used, in alternative forms, to assess compassionate or altruistic love for different targets (e.g., close others and all of humankind). Using three samples (total N= 529), the Compassionate Love scale was developed and piloted. Three studies (total N = 700) were then conducted to provide validation of the scale and to examine correlates of compassionate love. In support of our predictions, compassionate love was found to be associated positively with prosocial behavior, as directed both to close others and to all of humanity. Those who were more religious or spiritual experienced more compassionate love than those who were less religious or spiritual. Evidence was found that compassionate love is distinct from empathy. In the final study, we introduced a relationship-specific version of the Compassionate Love scale, and found that compassionate love for a specific close other was associated with the provision of social support for that person.