The Wall Street Journal reports on a new study:

Psychologists at the University of California-Santa Barbara found in two separate tests that young adults who were encouraged to focus on a financial incentive to infer someone’s feelings did so less accurately than their counterparts who either lacked such an incentive or were offered the reward only in the context of a game….for those in the helping professions … focusing on financial aspects of the work “may hinder the empathic processes needed to succeed.”

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