Compassion and altruism

Compassion and altruism


Professor: Rumen Stamatov

The course is part of the Master's program Spiritual Development – Wellness, and will be held from May 14th  to 16th, from 9:00 to 18:00 in the building of St. Trivelius institute, Address: Sofia, 14 Antim Ist Str., floor 6



The course examines the theme of compassion and altruism in the context of spiritual life and spiritual development of the individual. Compassion and altruism are presented in various dimensions - emotional and meaningful, value-cognitive and motivational. Studied is also the link between compassion, love, altruism and spiritual identity.



Subject 1. Dimensions of compassion and altruism. Ideas about compassion and altruism.

Subject 2. Compassion and altruism in the space of spiritual development and identity.

Theme 3. Nature of compassion. Compassion and love.

Subject 4. Emotional and cognitive aspects of compassion. Motivational dimensions of compassion.

Subject 5. Developing compassion.

Subject 6. Nature of altruism. Ideas for altruism.

Subject 7. Dynamics of altruistic behavior. Internal and external determinants.

Subject 8. The debate about altruism and selfishness.

Topic 9. Forms of altruistic behavior. Altruism and spiritual identity.

Subject 10. Altruism and learning.



1. Handbook of positive psychology, Snyder, CR, & Lopez, SJ (Eds.) New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

2. Stamatov R. Empathy. Plovdiv: Macro, 2001.

3. Stamatov R. Sariyska. Guilt. Plovdiv: Macro, 2005.

4. Book chapter: Eisenberg, N .. Empathy-related responding: Links with self-regulation, moral judgment, and moral behavior. Prosocial motives, emotions, and behavior: Herzlyia Symposium on Personality and Social Psychology. American Psychological Association (2010).

5. Book chapter: Eisenberg, N., Eggum, ND, & Edwards, A .. Empathy-related responding and moral development. Emotions, aggression, and moral development. American Psychological Association (2010).

6. Handbook of Moral development. / Eds. M.Killen & J. Smetana /. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2006.

7. Blasi, A. (1983). Moral cognition and moral action: A theoretic perspective. Developmental Review, 3, 179-210.

8. Blasi, A. (1984). Moral identity: Its role in moral functioning. In WM Kurtines & JJ Gewirtz (Eds.), Morality, moral behavior and moral development (pp. 128-139). New York: Wiley.

9. Batson, D., & Coke, J.S. (1981). Empathy: A source of altruistic motivation for helping? In J.P. Rushton & R.M. Sorrentino (Eds.), Altruism and helping behavior. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Associates.

10. Batson, D., Bolen, M., Cross, J., & Neuringer-Benefiel, H. (1986). Where is the altruism in the altruistic personality? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 212-220.

11. Batson, D (1987). Prosocial motivation: is it ever truly altruistic? In L. Berkowitz (Ed.),

12. Advances in experimental social psychology, (vol.20. New York: Academic Press.

13. Batson, D. (1991). The altruism question: Toward a social-psychological answer. Hillsdale, NJ: Laurence Erlbaum Associates.

14. Davis, M, (1994). Empathy. A Social psychological approach. Madison, Wisconsin: Brown & Benchmark.

15. Hoffman, M. (2000). Empathy and moral development. Implications for Caring and Justice.