Narrator: This is Science Today. Can one learn how to
become more compassionate? Could parents raise levels of empathy in their
children? Or are these all fundamental traits? Psychologist Dacher Keltner, who
directs the University of California, Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center,
says one can build up compassionate tendencies.
Keltner: We know that studying pictures of the human face for an hour builds up your empathy reading skills, or emotion reading skills. That's amazing. Meditation changes brain chemistry toward more compassionate settings. Parents who do the hard work of talking to kids about hurting other feelings and telling stories at bedtime about empathy and compassion raise more compassionate kids. Immersion in nature is, some science shows, a way to build up empathy. So, it's really exciting.