Research at CSS

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Social sustainability research aims at deepening and making interaction between people more efficient. The CSS is a meeting point for interdisciplinary science in different research areas, which, in one way or another, explore social sustainability from the perspective of each discipline’s expertise. Creating a common platform for researchers from different disciplines will enable CSS to approach the concept of social sustainability from a wider and interdisciplinary perspective.

CSS Research Projects

Here are a few examples of ongoing and planned research projects, that are or will be conducted within the framework of the Research Center, or in collaborations with other research centers:

  • Randomized controlled studies of Compassionate Mind Training (CMT) for relatives of Cancer patients, Students, Cardiac patients, and Employees in Business and Health Care
  • CoPassion – exploring the phenomenon of compassion/copassion in business, health care and education  - Our research collaborator is Helsinki University
  • A research study on writer´s block (related to procrastination, i.e. the inability to finish projects)
  • Cultural activities at primary health care centers.
  • Stress management in burn out and exhaustion syndrome
  • Mind and body medicine and care
  • Thinking Practises - The Artwork Reconstituted as Essay
  • Outdoor office work - The New Black?
  • Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting Education – a randomized controlled trial of effects on parental and child health outcomes
  • The Mindful Click Effect: A Web-based Project on Open Science in Mindfulnes

Publications from CSS

Executive Cognitive Functioning and Cardiovascular Autonomic Regulation in a Population-Based Sample of Working Adults. Stenfors CU, Hanson LM, Theorell T, Osika WS. Front Psychol. 2016 Oct 5;7:1536.

Stress-related exhaustion disorder--clinical manifestation of burnout? A review of assessment methods, sleep impairments, cognitive disturbances, and neuro-biological and physiological changes in clinical burnout. Grossi G, Perski A, Osika W, Savic I. Scand J Psychol. 2015 Dec;56(6):626-36. doi: 10.1111/sjop.12251.

Engagement in dance is associated with emotional competence in interplay with others.
Bojner Horwitz E, Lennartsson AK, Theorell TP, Ullén F. Front Psychol. 2015 Jul 31;6:1096. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01096. eCollection 2015. PMID: 26284016

Stress resilience in adolescence and subsequent antidepressant and anxiolytic medication in middle aged men: Swedish cohort study. Hiyoshi A, Udumyan R, Osika W, Bihagen E, Fall K, Montgomery S. Soc Sci Med. 2015 Jun;134:43-9. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.03.057.

”The Culture palette” – a randomized intervention study for women with burnout symtoms in Sweden. Christina Grape Viding, Walter Osika, Töres Theorell, Jan Kowalski, John Hallqvist and Eva Bojner Horwitz. BJMP 2015;8(2):a813

Self-reported sleep lengths ≥ 9 hours among Swedish patients with stress-related exhaustion: Associations with depression, quality of sleep and levels of fatigue. Grossi G, Jeding K, Söderström M, Osika W, Levander M, Perski A. Nord J Psychiatry. 2015 May;69(4):292-9. doi: 10.3109/08039488.2014.973442.

The influence of work-related chronic stress on the regulation of emotion and on functional connectivity in the brain. Golkar A, Johansson E, Kasahara M, Osika W, Perski A, Savic I. PLoS One. 2014 Sep 3;9(9):e104550. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104550.

Mortality following unemployment during an economic downturn: Swedish register-based cohort study. Montgomery S, Udumyan R, Magnuson A, Osika W, Sundin PO, Blane D. BMJ Open. 2013 Jul 11;3(7). pii: e003031. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003031.

Is cultural activity at work related to mental health in employees? Theorell T, Osika W, Leineweber C, Magnusson Hanson LL, Bojner Horwitz E, Westerlund H. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2013 Apr;86(3):281-8. doi: 10.1007/s00420-012-0762-8.

Contemplative Inquiry in Movement: Managing Writer´s Block in Academic Writing. Bojner Horwitz E, Stenfors C, Osika W. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 32(1), 2013, pp. 16-26.

Books and book chapters

Neuroenhancement: how mental training and meditation can promote epistemic virtue. Fröding B, Osika W. Brief communication, monography. 2015. SpringerBrief, Springer International Publishing AG.

“Ecological Consciousness, Moral Imagination, and The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development”. Baugher J, Osika W, Robèrt K-H. 2016. Ed Goldman Schuyler K. LEADERSHIP FOR A HEALTHY WORLD: CREATIVE SOCIAL CHANGE. ILA Building Leadership Bridges (BLB) Series, Emerald Publishing Group.

Compassionfokuserad terapi (NoK 2013)

Psykosomatik i teori och praktik (Studentlitteratur 2013)

Kulturhälsoboxen (Gothia 2014)

Evidensbaserad elevhälsovård (Studentlitteratur 2014)

Temanummer Socialmedicinsk tidskrift

International publications

Crockett et al., Dissociable Effects of Serotonin and Dopamine on the Valuation of Harm in Moral Decision Making, Current Biology (2015),


An aversion to harming others is a core component of human morality and is disturbed in anti- social behavior. Deficient harm aversion may underlie instrumental and reactive aggression, which both feature in psychopathy . Past work has highlighted monoaminergic influences on aggression, but a mechanistic account of how monoamines regulate antisocial motives remains elusive. We previously observed that most people show a greater aversion to inflicting pain on others than themselves. Here, we investigated whether this hyperaltruistic disposition is susceptible to monoaminergic control. We observed dissociable effects of the serotonin re-uptake inhibitor citalopram and the dopamine precursor levodopa on decisions to inflict pain on oneself and others for financial gain. Computational models of choice behavior showed that citalopram increased harm aversion for both self and others, while levodopa reduced hyperaltruism. The effects of citalopram were stronger than those of levodopa. Crucially, neither drug influenced the physical perception of pain or other components of choice such as motor impulsivity or loss aversion, suggesting a direct and specific influence of serotonin and dopamine on the valuation of harm. We also found evidence for dose dependency of these effects. Finally, the drugs had dissociable effects on response times, with citalopram enhancing behavioral inhibition and levodopa reducing slowing related to being responsible for another’s fate. These distinct roles of serotonin and dopamine in modulating moral behavior have implications for potential treatments of social dysfunction that is a common feature as well as a risk factor for many psychiatric disorders.

CentreSocial sustainability