From: NPR

The Science of Compassion


Kellie Gillespie is in her early 40s. She lives in London. And until a couple of years ago, she was basically an ordinary person.

That was before she took a psychology class with Scott Plous of Wesleyan University.

“My life changed after doing Professor Plous’ course,” Kellie says. “And now I’m studying to be a psychotherapist and counselor.”

Plous’ course was offered online, hosted by the educational platform Coursera. Kellie learned several psychological concepts in the class. One is the norm of reciprocity: if you’re nice to someone, or you open up to them, they’re likely to do the same with you. She also learned about the power of empathy: when you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, it profoundly changes the relationship you have with them.

Now, lots of people learn about ideas in psychology, but Kellie Gillespie did something unusual. She took what she had learned in the class, and applied it in her own life.

Read the whole story: NPR

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