TUCSON, AZ—A University of Arizona study published this week in the American Journal Of Sociology suggests that some adult humans may occasionally feel compassion, a trait scientists have long considered beyond the capacity of the species. "A small percentage of the roughly 900 subjects we observed seemed at times to exhibit genuine empathy toward another person experiencing either psychological or physical pain," said the study's lead author, Dr. Benjamin Trumble, who later added that these individuals did not appear as though they were looking to gain anything from their compassionate reactions, but, to the surprise of researchers, were simply concerned about another person's well-being. "Of course, we'll need to conduct further tests to rule out the possibility that these demonstrations weren't the result of statistical noise or the expression of some sort of very, very rare genetic mutation." The study also reaffirmed previous research indicating that 95 percent of individuals are capable of convincingly feigning compassion.
We may earn a commission from links on this page.