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Revista Brasileira de Terapias Cognitivas

versão impressa ISSN 1808-5687versão On-line ISSN 1982-3746


KRIEGER, Stèphanie  e  FALCONE, Eliane Mary de Oliveira. The influence of cognitive distortions on altruistic behavior. Rev. bras.ter. cogn. [online]. 2017, vol.13, n.2, pp. 76-83. ISSN 1808-5687.

This is a narrative review aimed at describing the concept of pathological altruism and discussing the influence of cognitive distortions on its manifestation. Altruism is a voluntary behavior directed toward helping someone in which the altruist incurs in risk or cost and does not seek external rewards. The altruistic motivation for help comes from empathy, an ability that requires an adequate assessment of the other's situation, as well as emotional sharing and behavioral expression, verbal or non-verbal. Distorted perceptions can trigger a dysfunctional form of altruism, which, while aiming to increase the well-being of the other, ends up being harming or unhelpful. In this way, none of those involved are benefited. Distorted beliefs that give rise to guilt, a sense of responsibility for the good of the other, difficulties in perceiving social cues, and difficulty in emotional regulation seem to be the main factors related to this behavior, which can generate a compulsive pattern. Thus, interventions with end of treatment and / or prevention could be designed for people with this functioning, benefiting the individual and their interpersonal relationships.

Palavras-chave : Altruism; Pathological Altruism; Cognitive Distortions.

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