Dr. W. David Hoisington’s paper, “Compassion Definition and the Inter-Subjective Experience” has been accepted for presentation at the “Psychology and the Other” conference in early October. David also has another paper, “Measuring Compassion: From Theory to Application,” accepted for presentation at the New England Psychology conference in mid-October.
David has taught at CSJ for many years, mainly in the Psychology & Human Services Division.
David has developed an online compassion score tool, based on his research, where people can get their compassion score. He has also begun “Compassion Chronicles,” a graphic novel designed to explore compassion issues in daily life. David is behind all of the art, layout and text. Two new episodes are added each week.
“Measuring Compassion: From Theory to Application” states compassion is an important characteristic for people in the human service sector; yet measuring it has been a difficult task. Most measurement devices have focused on the self reporting of compassionate feelings and associated attitudes. In addition, these tools start with the premise that compassion is a singular phenomenon. The CMT, Compassion Measurement Tool, is based on the Theory of Compassion Development (Hoisington, 2010) which proposes that there is a spectrum of compassion phenomena.
In “Compassion Definition and the Inter-Subjective Experience,” David puts forward that compassion is a phenomenon that involves entering a relational space. The compassion space can be seen as the inter-subjective experience that sits between self, the other and the search for a sense of well being. Defining how people understand the compassion space is related to how people understand compassion. A survey of 410 respondents reviewed how people define compassion. The analysis led to a better understanding of The Theory of Compassion Development and the spectral nature of compassion phenomena. The research indicates that not only are there different ways that people define compassion, but also different ways that people may practice it.