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Does a kindly, charitable interest in others have health benefits for the agent, particularly when coupled with helping behaviours? Although the answer remains unclear, researchers have established that there is an association between generous emotions, helping behaviour, and longevity. Increasingly, emotional states and their related behaviours are being studied by mainstream scientists in relation to health promotion and disease prevention. If helping affect or behaviour can be linked with health and longevity, there are significant implications for how we think about human nature and prosperity. Although studies show that those who are physically or psychologically overwhelmed by the needs of others do experience a stressful burden that can have significant negative health consequences, little attention has been given to whether there are health benefits from helping behaviour that is fulfilling, not overwhelming. In this book, Stephen Post brings together distinguished researchers from basic science to address this question in objective terms. The book provides heuristic models, from evolution and neuroscience, to explain the association between altruism and health, and examines potential public health and practical implications of the existing data.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780195182910
ISBN-10: 019518291X
Format: Hardback
(243mm x 165mm x 25mm)
Pages: 480
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 14-Jun-2007
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Stephen G. Post

Stephen G. Post is a professor in the Department of Bioethics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. President of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, he has studied altruism and unselfish love for three decades at the interface of science, philosophy, and world religions.

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