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Are Activists Neglecting Themselves While Helping Others? : The Role of Gilbert’s Flows of Compassion in Activists’ Well-being.

Boeckenhoff, H.M. (2021) Are Activists Neglecting Themselves While Helping Others? : The Role of Gilbert’s Flows of Compassion in Activists’ Well-being.

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Abstract:There is no consensus in research on how to measure activism quantitatively and activism is found to have a positive and negative effects on activists’ well being. As activists are situated in a culture of selflessness, discouraging to look after their own well being. Combined with the many factors that direct the attention of activists to the suffering of nature, animals, other people or entire social groups, the pressure on and perceived responsibility of activist is high while the progress towards their goals is slow. Therefore, activists are subject to many unique stressors negatively affecting their well being though activism can have many positive effects on well being when the activist is not overwhelmed by these stressors. But there is promising evidence that the flows of compassion entailing compassion towards others, the self and the ability to receive compassion, strengthens the well being. To add to the understanding of activists, this study explores the measurement of activism in this study consisting of activistic behaviour, social justice intention, environmental beliefs. Besides this study explores whether the flows of compassion mediate the activists’ wellbeing, while expecting that higher levels in the flows of compassion are expected to result in higher activists’ well being. Social justice and environmental activists (N=118) were recruited to answer an online questionnaire to gain insights into activists and the flows of compassion impacting their well being. Correlational and mediation analyses were conducted using the Process-tool. Results show that the flows of compassion mediate the relationship between the level of activism and their well being. Additionally, this sample of activists showed higher levels in the flows of compassion then the norm and an average level of well being. Lacking validation, a measurement of activism including different forms of activism needs further research and as the flows of compassion are promising in neutralizing the impact of activists’ distress, this research should be repeated. Further suggestions include, researching the flows of compassion as one construct.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:10 humanities in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/87525
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