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Columnist Crawford Hollingworth Building a more caring world Eliciting emotion can be an effective mechanism to drive social change 50 H ow might we build and maintain a more caring, responsive world? In her work, researcher Bren Brown shines a light on a powerful behavioural insight how empathy can motivate us to respond to others needs and behave more prosocially. Prosocial behaviour is defined as voluntary behaviour that benefits others and may involve a cost to oneself. If it does involve personal cost, it is more narrowly thought of as altruism. It can range from charitable donations to giving away fruit and vegetables from your garden, lending money, getting your child vaccinated or, during the current era, physical distancing and handwashing. Prosocial behaviour can be driven by various factors, including eliciting empathy, cooperation or moral values. It may even be driven by a sense of social responsibility. Not surprisingly, initiatives to motivate people to go beyond their personal preferences and think more prosocially are currently very topical. Studies on how to encourage behaviour change with broad societal benefits often focus on reducing friction, or communicating social norms or personal benefits, to encourage take-up. For example, efforts to encourage more people to have an annual flu vaccine have focused on making it easy, by opting people into appointments, or by framing the personal benefits. While these types of intervention have had some effect, it is only