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Melissa Karnaze is associate director of measures and methods at the T. Denny Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion. She earned her Ph.D. in psychological science from University of California, Irvine. She has more than 10 years of experience conducting research with a focus on emotional experience and regulation, and beliefs about emotion. She is interested in how emotional experiences, such as empathy and compassion, can foster social connections and wellbeing. She is also interested in physiological correlates of reactivity to, and recovery from, stressful life events. 

Karnaze is working on projects that investigate how dispositional empathy and compassion relate to wellbeing and prosociality, including feelings of allyship with minoritized groups, loneliness, and compassionate as well as uncompassionate responding to one's unpleasant emotional experiences. Her qualitative research project assesses facilitators and barriers to compassion, which includes interviews with UC San Diego faculty, staff, and trainees about their experiences in a compassion cultivation training. 


Self-Compassion and Wellbeing in a Digital Age 

Researchers from The Center for Empathy and Technology at UC San Diego will discuss recent findings about how health professionals think about self-compassion, and how self-compassion was related to better wellbeing outcomes early during the COVID pandemic. Join us also to explore factors related to self-compassion across the lifespan and discuss challenges and opportunities for self-compassion in this digital age.