Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 23–35 | Cite as

A randomized controlled trial of compassion cultivation training: Effects on mindfulness, affect, and emotion regulation

  • Hooria JazaieriEmail author
  • Kelly McGonigal
  • Thupten Jinpa
  • James R. Doty
  • James J. Gross
  • Philippe R. Goldin
Original Paper


Compassion is a positive orientation towards suffering that may be enhanced through compassion training and is thought to influence psychological functioning. However, the effects of compassion training on mindfulness, affect, and emotion regulation are not known. We conducted a randomized controlled trial in which 100 adults from the community were randomly assigned to either a 9-week compassion cultivation training (CCT) or a waitlist (WL) control condition. Participants completed self-report inventories that measured mindfulness, positive and negative affect, and emotion regulation. Compared to WL, CCT resulted in increased mindfulness and happiness, as well as decreased worry and emotional suppression. Within CCT, the amount of formal meditation practiced was related to reductions in worry and emotional suppression. These findings suggest that compassion cultivation training effects cognitive and emotion factors that support psychological flexible and adaptive functioning.


Compassion Mindfulness Affect Emotion Emotion regulation Meditation 



This research was supported by a Fetzer grant awarded to Philippe Goldin and James Gross, and funding from the Stanford University Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE).

Conflict of interest

The authors of this manuscript do not have any direct or indirect conflicts of interest, financial or personal relationships or affiliations to disclose.

Supplementary material

11031_2013_9368_MOESM1_ESM.docx (43 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 43 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hooria Jazaieri
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kelly McGonigal
    • 2
  • Thupten Jinpa
    • 2
  • James R. Doty
    • 2
    • 3
  • James J. Gross
    • 1
  • Philippe R. Goldin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and EducationPalo AltoUSA
  3. 3.School of MedicineStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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