Escaping affect: how motivated emotion regulation creates insensitivity to mass suffering.

@article{Cameron2011EscapingAH,
  title={Escaping affect: how motivated emotion regulation creates insensitivity to mass suffering.},
  author={C. Daryl Cameron and Brian K. Payne},
  journal={Journal of personality and social psychology},
  year={2011},
  volume={100 1},
  pages={
          1-15
        }
}
As the number of people in need of help increases, the degree of compassion people feel for them ironically tends to decrease. This phenomenon is termed the collapse of compassion. Some researchers have suggested that this effect happens because emotions are not triggered by aggregates. We provide evidence for an alternative account. People expect the needs of large groups to be potentially overwhelming, and, as a result, they engage in emotion regulation to prevent themselves from experiencing… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

EXPLORING EMOTION REGULATION AND ALTRUISM WHEN EXPERIENCING COMPASSION FATIGUE FROM HUMANITARIAN CRISES, INCLUDING COVID- 19
Despite knowledge of devastating statistics, it has been observed that when hundreds, or even millions are suffering in large-scale crises, including genocides, refugee crises, and more recently, the
Implications of emotion regulation strategies for empathic concern, social attitudes, and helping behavior.
TLDR
This research tested whether relying on suppression to regulate one's emotions would lead to decreases in empathic concern-and related downstream variables, such as negative social attitudes and unwillingness to engage in altruistic behavior-when learning about another person's misfortune.
Incidental emotions in moral dilemmas: The influence of emotion regulation
TLDR
It is indicated that negative emotions are commonly experienced during “harm to save” moral dilemmas, and they are associated with a deontological bias, and by efficiently reducing emotional arousal, reappraisal can attenuate the emotion-linked deontology bias in moral choice.
Empathic emotion regulation in prosocial behaviour and altruism
TLDR
The role of empathic emotion regulation in prosocial behaviour is clarified and also independent effects of positive and negative affect are clarified, suggesting that altruists might adopt this strategy by default.
Compassion magnifies third-party punishment.
TLDR
Compassion is argued that when other individuals suffer from unjust actions, compassion for the suffering individuals can foster harmful tendencies toward those who caused the suffering (i.e., third-party punishment).
Emotions, the Inner Lives of Those Who Work Toward Suffering Relief
The alleviation of world suffering requires action on the part of individuals. Yet, for these persons, awareness of and attention to suffering combined with a felt sense of connection may function as
Religiosity and Emotion Regulation
People higher (vs. lower) in religiosity differ in the emotions they typically experience, but do they also differ in how they deal with their emotions? In this investigation, we systematically
Evidence for utilitarian motives in emotion regulation
TLDR
As participants prepared for a negotiation, those who were motivated to confront (vs. collaborate with) another person believed that anger would be more useful to them, demonstrating that emotion regulation can be driven by considerations of utility per se.
Emotion regulation: Cognitive and affective consequences for fund-raising advertisements
Nonprofit organizations are seen as warm, whereas for-profit organizations are perceived as highly competent. This research proposed that inducing people to think about warmth-related stereotypes of
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 94 REFERENCES
Empathy avoidance: Forestalling feeling for another in order to escape the motivational consequences.
Often people fail to respond to these in need. Why? In addition to cognitive and perceptual processes such as oversight and diffusion of responsibility, a motivational process may lead people, at
Regulating the costs of empathy: the price of being human
How Emotion Shapes Behavior: Feedback, Anticipation, and Reflection, Rather Than Direct Causation
TLDR
The authors develop a theory of emotion as a feedback system whose influence on behavior is typically indirect, and justify replacing the direct causation model with the feedback model to justify replacing a large body of empirical findings.
Empathy-based helping: is it selflessly or selfishly motivated?
TLDR
It is hypothesized that an observer's heightened empathy for a sufferer brings with it increased personal sadness in the observer and that it is the egoistic desire to relieve the sadness, rather than the selfless desire to relief the sufferer, that motivates helping.
The Emerging Field of Emotion Regulation: An Integrative Review
The emerging field of emotion regulation studies how individuals influence which emotions they have, when they have them, and how they experience and express them. This review takes an evolutionary
Conflict Monitoring in Cognition-Emotion Competition.
TLDR
It is proposed that conflict may serve as one measure used by the brain to determine when emotion regulation is necessary, paralleling the similar use of conflict signals to signal the need to regulate interference arising from non-emotional processes.
Mispredicting Affective and Behavioral Responses to Racism
TLDR
Although people predicted that they would be very upset by a racist act, when people actually experienced this event they showed relatively little emotional distress, suggesting that racism may persevere in part because people who anticipate feeling upset and believe that they will take action may actually respond with indifference when faced with an act of racism.
Affective Motivations to Help Others: A Two-Stage Model of Donation Decisions
Emotional reactions are an important element in the motivation to help others. Our research examined the role of affective vs. deliberative information processing in the genesis and use of emotional
Emotion, regulation, and moral development.
TLDR
The role of nonmoral emotions (e.g. anger and sadness), including moods and dispositional differences in negative emotionality and its regulation, in morally relevant behavior, is reviewed.
...
...