“One death is a tragedy; 1 million is a statistic,” Joseph Stalin is supposed to have said. The more people we see suffering, the less we care. It’s an unfortunate quirk that psychologists so far have blamed on our brains: Humans are tuned to individuals, the thinking goes; we are just not capable of feeling compassion for whole groups. A new study calls that comfortable conclusion into question. “The collapse of compassion is an active process,” says Daryl Cameron,…

To read this article and start a full year of unlimited online access, subscribe now!

Already a subscriber?

Need to register for your premium online access,
which is included with your paid subscription?