, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 223–234 | Cite as

Promoting Altruism Through Meditation: An 8-Week Randomized Controlled Pilot Study

  • Erik Wallmark
  • Kousha Safarzadeh
  • Daiva DaukantaitėEmail author
  • Rachel E. Maddux


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a Buddhist meditation intervention on empathy, perceived stress, mindfulness, self-compassion, and of particular interest, the dispositional tendency to feel empathic concern rather than personal distress when perceiving another as in need, termed altruistic orientation. Participants were randomly assigned to an intervention group (n = 20) or a waiting list control group (n = 22). Results indicated a trend towards increases in altruistic orientation in the intervention group—an increase that significantly correlated with meditation time, decreases in perceived stress, and increases in self-compassion and mindfulness. Additionally, compared to the controls, significant increases in mindfulness and self-compassion and a significant decrease in perceived stress were obtained for the intervention group.


Empathy Altruism Stress Mindfulness Self-compassion Meditation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik Wallmark
    • 1
  • Kousha Safarzadeh
    • 1
  • Daiva Daukantaitė
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rachel E. Maddux
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLund UniversityLundSweden

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