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The relations of emotionality and regulation to dispositional empathy-related responding among volunteers-in-training

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Abstract

Individual differences in emotional intensity and regulation have been postulated to influence vicarious emotional responding, which, in turn, has been posited to affect helping behavior. These relations were investigated in a sample consisting primarily of adults who were training to be volunteers at two sites (N=200). As hypothesized, negative emotional intensity was a positive predictor of dispositional sympathy and personal distress but did not predict perspective taking. Consistent with our expectations, regulation was a positive predictor of dispositional sympathy and perspective taking and was an inverse predictor of personal distress. The relation between negative emotional intensity and dispositional personal distress was moderated by perspective taking; as perspective taking increased, the strength of the positive relation between negative emotional intensity and personal distress decreased. In an exploratory analysis, the likelihood of starting a volunteer position was observed to decrease as negative emotional intensity increased.

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... 3.3). Related to this point, the effortful control processes associated with the middle of the frontal lobe of the cortex (e.g., the abilities to effortfully shift or focus attention and inhibit behavior as needed) have increasingly been viewed as contributing to socioemotional and moral development, including empathy-related responding (Eisenberg 2000;Kochanska et al. 2000;. For example, my colleagues and I (Eisenberg & Fabes 1999;Eisenberg et al. 1994) have argued that effortful, voluntary regulation is associated with sympathy rather than personal distress, and that empathic overarousal in situations involving negative emotion results in an aversive emotional state, which leads to a self-focus (i.e., personal distress). ...
... In addition, my colleagues and I (also see have found different relations between effortful regulation and sympathy versus personal distress. In adults, we have found positive relations between measures of effortful control and sympathy (Eisenberg & Okun 1996), although sometimes only after controlling for individual differences in negative emotional intensity (see Eisenberg et al. 1994;Okun et al. 2000). In contrast, selfreported dispositional personal distress has been related to low levels of both self-reported regulation and friends' reports of students' coping (Eisenberg et al. 1994;Okun et al. 2000). ...
... In adults, we have found positive relations between measures of effortful control and sympathy (Eisenberg & Okun 1996), although sometimes only after controlling for individual differences in negative emotional intensity (see Eisenberg et al. 1994;Okun et al. 2000). In contrast, selfreported dispositional personal distress has been related to low levels of both self-reported regulation and friends' reports of students' coping (Eisenberg et al. 1994;Okun et al. 2000). In addition, children's effortful control has been positively related to their dispositional sympathy at several ages and across time Murphy et al. 1999). ...
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Within the perception-action framework, the underlying mechanisms of empathy and its related processes of moral behavior need to be investigated. fMRI studies have shown different frontal cortex activation patterns during automatic processing and judgment tasks when stimuli have moral content. Clinical neuropsychological studies reveal different patterns of empathic alterations after dorsolateral versus orbital frontal cortex damage, related to deficient cognitive and emotional processing. These processing streams represent different neural levels and mechanisms underlying empathy.
... 3.3). Related to this point, the effortful control processes associated with the middle of the frontal lobe of the cortex (e.g., the abilities to effortfully shift or focus attention and inhibit behavior as needed) have increasingly been viewed as contributing to socioemotional and moral development, including empathy-related responding (Eisenberg 2000;Kochanska et al. 2000;. For example, my colleagues and I (Eisenberg & Fabes 1999;Eisenberg et al. 1994) have argued that effortful, voluntary regulation is associated with sympathy rather than personal distress, and that empathic overarousal in situations involving negative emotion results in an aversive emotional state, which leads to a self-focus (i.e., personal distress). ...
... In addition, my colleagues and I (also see have found different relations between effortful regulation and sympathy versus personal distress. In adults, we have found positive relations between measures of effortful control and sympathy (Eisenberg & Okun 1996), although sometimes only after controlling for individual differences in negative emotional intensity (see Eisenberg et al. 1994;Okun et al. 2000). In contrast, selfreported dispositional personal distress has been related to low levels of both self-reported regulation and friends' reports of students' coping (Eisenberg et al. 1994;Okun et al. 2000). ...
... In adults, we have found positive relations between measures of effortful control and sympathy (Eisenberg & Okun 1996), although sometimes only after controlling for individual differences in negative emotional intensity (see Eisenberg et al. 1994;Okun et al. 2000). In contrast, selfreported dispositional personal distress has been related to low levels of both self-reported regulation and friends' reports of students' coping (Eisenberg et al. 1994;Okun et al. 2000). In addition, children's effortful control has been positively related to their dispositional sympathy at several ages and across time Murphy et al. 1999). ...
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Preston & de Waal minimized differences among constructs such as empathy, sympathy, and personal distress. However, such distinctions have been shown to relate differently to altruistic behavior. Moreover, although the authors discussed the role of regulation in empathy, they did not consider the possibility that sometimes empathy is not well-regulated and likely leads to personal distress rather than sympathy.
... In contrast, empathic concern is considered to arise out of the more active -and other-focused -process of perspective taking. For example, Okun et al., (2000) showed that active perspective taking is associated with high empathic concern but low personal distress. ...
... For example, a leader might feel empathic concern for a subordinate who is experiencing difficult personal circumstances. Empathic concern is usually assessed by asking the observer how much they are experiencing a range of emotions toward the target such as warmth, concern, and compassion, and has also been labeled as reactive empathy (Stephan & Finlay, 1999) or sympathy (Eisenberg, 2000). It is important to understand that empathic concern is not the same as feeling personal distress, or alarm and discomfort because of the target's suffering. ...
... It is important to understand that empathic concern is not the same as feeling personal distress, or alarm and discomfort because of the target's suffering. It is also not the same as feeling what the other is feeling (e.g., feeling anger because the target is angry) which has been referred to as parallel empathy (Stephan & Finlay, 1999), empathic emotion (Duan, 2000) or pure empathy (Eisenberg, 2000). Personal distress and parallel empathy are considered to be relatively automatic and self-focused responses that arise just by observing another person in need (Eisenberg, 2000; Hoffman, 1982) thus, bypassing perspective taking. ...
Chapter
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What is Perspective Taking?Why is Perspective Taking Important at Work?Overview of Model of the Outcomes of Perspective TakingIntra-Individual Outcomes for the Perspective TakerInterpersonal and Dyadic OutcomesHigher-Level Outcomes and Enduring CapabilitiesPotential Negative OutcomesHow Might Perspective Taking be Enhanced at Work? What Inhibits or Derails Perspective Taking?Enhancing Active Perspective TakingEnhancing Perspective-Taking EffectivenessDiscussionConclusion AcknowledgmentReferences
... There are many definitions related to active perspective taking, which is also sometimes referred to as role taking. Most definitions highlight that perspective taking is a cognitive process that involves focusing on another's view point (e.g., Batson, 1991; Davis, 1983a, Duan, 2000 Eisenberg & Miller, 1987; Hoffman, 1982; Long & Andrews, 1990; Okun, Shepard & Eisenberg, 2000; Settoon & Mossholder, 2002; Stephan & Finlay, 1999). For example, Galinsky, Ku, & Wang (2005, p. 110) defined it as " the process of imagining the world from another's vantage point or imagining oneself in another's shoes " . ...
... For example, a leader might feel empathic concern for a subordinate who is experiencing difficult personal circumstances. Empathic concern is usually assessed by asking the observer how much they are experiencing a range of emotions toward the target such as warmth, concern, and compassion, and has also been labeled as reactive empathy (Stephan & Finlay, 1999) or sympathy (Eisenberg, 2000). It is important to understand that empathic concern is not the same as feeling personal distress, or alarm and discomfort because of the target's suffering. ...
... It is important to understand that empathic concern is not the same as feeling personal distress, or alarm and discomfort because of the target's suffering. It is also not the same as feeling what the other is feeling (e.g., feeling anger because the target is angry) which has been referred to as parallel empathy (Stephan & Finlay, 1999), empathic emotion (Duan, 2000) or pure empathy (Eisenberg, 2000). Personal distress and parallel empathy are considered to be relatively automatic and self-focused responses that arise just by observing another person in need (Eisenberg, 2000; Hoffman, 1982) thus, bypassing perspective taking. ...
... In this study, we aimed to investigate the influence of IS (i.e., heartbeat perception task) on affective and cognitive empathy for someone in pain and on other forms of affective responses. Regarding affective empathy, we focused on compassion, which refers to other-oriented and regulated feelings in response to someone in a negative situation [38]. In terms of affective but not empathic responses, we focused on feelings of distress, which are self-oriented and non-regulated feelings [38]. ...
... Regarding affective empathy, we focused on compassion, which refers to other-oriented and regulated feelings in response to someone in a negative situation [38]. In terms of affective but not empathic responses, we focused on feelings of distress, which are self-oriented and non-regulated feelings [38]. Greater abilities to regulate emotional responses (measured by an index encompassing emotional control, emotional and behavioral inhibition, and attentional focus) are associated with higher ratings of empathic concern, whereas lower scores on this index are associated with higher reports of distress [38,39]. ...
... In terms of affective but not empathic responses, we focused on feelings of distress, which are self-oriented and non-regulated feelings [38]. Greater abilities to regulate emotional responses (measured by an index encompassing emotional control, emotional and behavioral inhibition, and attentional focus) are associated with higher ratings of empathic concern, whereas lower scores on this index are associated with higher reports of distress [38,39]. Therefore, because Fustos et al. [40] showed that higher IS is associated with better regulation strategies, we hypothesized that higher IS is associated with reports of higher compassion and lower feelings of distress for people expressing pain. ...
... Additionally, self-report measures of one's capacity to understand others' mental/emotional states are positively related to the habitual use of reappraisal (Lockwood et al., 2014;Powell, 2018;Thompson et al., 2019). Similarly, the self-reported capacity to take the perspective of others is positively related to dispositional measures of emotion regulation (Contardi et al., 2016;Eisenberg and Okun, 1996;Okun et al., 2000). ...
... This could be conceptualized as modifying the extent to which the other's state is represented in a first-vs a third-person mode of processing (Cheng et al., 2017). Representing another's emotional state from a more detached perspective can be useful in managing the distress that can arise from exposure to another's suffering (Batson et al., 1987(Batson et al., , 1997Eisenberg et al., 2000;Okun et al., 2000). For example, in viewing other individuals experience the application of a painful stimulus, participants instructed to imagine "how they would feel" in the other's place reported greater personal distress (and reduced sympathy/concern for the other) than participants instructed to imagine "how the other feels" (Batson et al., 1997;Lamm et al., 2007). ...
Chapter
How we understand and respond to others' emotions (i.e., empathy)may be influenced by the regulatory processes that are used to shape which emotions we and others have (i.e., emotion regulation). Empathy and emotion regulation are complex multidimensional constructs and the relationship between their component processes is not well characterized. To enable future work to examine their relationship more closely, this chapter presents an integrative framework of empathy and emotion regulation. We begin by delineating the component processes that underlie empathy and emotion regulation, and the neural underpinnings of these processes. We then present an integrative framework describing the processes of empathy and how these may be acted upon by distinct regulatory strategies. We conclude with a brief consideration of contextual influences on empathy and emotion regulation using a reward-based heuristic.
... It has been proposed that emotion regulation may be one of the core components (together with affective arousal and emotion understanding) of human empathy (Decety, 2010). Furthermore, experimental studies reported that both cognitive and emotional components of empathy are related with emotion regulation (Eisenberg et al., 1994;Okun et al., 2000). ...
... For example, Roll et al. (2012), reviewing longitudinal studies, investigating the relationship between emotion regulation and aggressive behavior in childhood, concluded that emotion dysregulation is an important risk factor for aggressive behaviors (Roll et al., 2012). In line with previous data, our results also showed that empathy dimensions (i.e., personal distress and perspective taking) were related with both difficulties in emotion regulation (Eisenberg et al., 1994;Okun et al., 2000) and hostility (Gini et al., 2007;Fernández et al., 2011; 0.51 * * * 0.07 −0.10 −0.31 * * * 0.17 * * − * p < 0.05; * * p < 0.01; * * * p < 0.001. DERS, Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale; FS, Fantasy; EC, Empathic concern; PT, Perspective taking; PD, Personal distress; BDHI, Buss-Durkee hostility inventory. ...
Article
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The aim of the present study was to assess the role of empathy in mediating the association between difficulties in emotion regulation and hostility. Three hundred and sixty young Italian adults (220 women and 140 men) were enrolled in the study. Psychopathological assessments included the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), the Interpersonal Reactivity Index and the Buss–Durkee Hostility Inventory (BDHI). Perspective taking (PT) and Personal distress (PD) are significantly associated with both DERS total score and BDHI total score. A mediational model analyzing the direct and indirect effects of DERS on BDHI through the mediating role of PT and PD showed that the relation between DERS and BDHI was partially mediated by PT total score (b = 0.16; se = 0.01; p = 0.02). Taken together our findings support the possibility that PT skills could play a crucial role in inhibiting hostility behaviors.
... A close relationship between empathy and emotion regulation has been proposed by previous theoretical accounts, including our own (e.g., Decety, 2010;Schipper & Peterman, 2013;Thompson et al., 2019;Zaki, 2014). Of the handful of empirical studies that have explored this relationship, most have focused on the moderating role of emotion regulation on the association between affective empathy and different 'empathic outcomes', such as empathic concern (i.e., sympathy), personal distress, and prosocial behaviours (e.g., Brethel-Haurwitz et al., 2020;Lockwood et al., 2014;Lopez-Perez & Ambrona, 2015;Okun et al., 2000). While not their primary focus, such studies provide evidence suggestive of a direct relationship between empathy and emotion regulation. ...
... For example, one's self-reported capacity to understand others' emotions is positively related to the habitual use of more adaptive emotion regulation strategies such as reappraisal (Lockwood et al., 2014;Powell, 2018;Tully et al., 2016). Similarly, self-reported perspective-taking ability (a process associated with cognitive empathy) is negatively related to trait measures of emotion dysregulation (Contardi et al., 2016;Eisenberg & Okun, 1996;Okun et al., 2000). Some of this prior work suggests a potential overlap in the cognitive control processes that underlie key abilities associated with these constructs. ...
Article
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The constructs of empathy (i.e., understanding and/or sharing another's emotion) and emotion regulation (i.e., the processes by which one manages emotions) have largely been studied in relative isolation of one another. To better understand the interrelationships between their various component processes, this manuscript reports two studies that examined the relationship between empathy and emotion regulation using a combination of self-report and task measures. In study 1 (N = 137), trait cognitive empathy and affective empathy were found to share divergent relationships with self-reported emotion dysregulation. Trait emotion dysregulation was negatively related to cognitive empathy but did not show a significant relationship with affective empathy. In the second study (N = 92), the magnitude of emotion interference effects (i.e., the extent to which inhibitory control was impacted by emotional relative to neutral stimuli) in variants of a Go/NoGo and Stroop task were used as proxy measures of implicit emotion regulation abilities. Trait cognitive and affective empathy were differentially related to both task metrics. Higher affective empathy was associated with increased emotional interference in the Emotional Go/NoGo task; no such relationship was observed for trait cognitive empathy. In the Emotional Stroop task, higher cognitive empathy was associated with reduced emotional interference; no such relationship was observed for affective empathy. Together, these studies demonstrate that greater cognitive empathy was broadly associated with improved emotion regulation abilities, while greater affective empathy was typically associated with increased difficulties with emotion regulation. These findings point to the need for assessing the different components of empathy in psychopathological conditions marked by difficulties in emotion regulation. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s42761-021-00062-w.
... As Isen [14] has pointed out several studies have shown that positive feelings promote a wide range of helpful and generous behaviors. Moreover, it has been shown that negative affect increases antisocial behavior [5,6] and decreases prosocial behaviors [17]. This body of research suggests that at individual level affective balance, i.e. a globally positive affective state [18] seems to be a reliable predictor of prosocial behavior (H1). ...
... Our data thus supported our first hypothesis, that individuals in a globally positive emotional state would be inclined to behave prosocially towards fellow team members. This result was in line with previous studies showing that positive affect promotes prosocial behavior [3,4], whilst negative affect decreases it [17]. At a practical level, these results suggest that it is important to promote a positive affective balance in the members of teams and small groups. ...
Article
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Little research has focused on how individual- and team-level characteristics jointly influence, via interaction, how prosocially individuals behave in teams and few studies have considered the potential influence of team context on prosocial behavior. Using a multilevel perspective, we examined the relationships between individual (affective balance) and group (team prosocial efficacy and team trust) level variables and prosocial behavior towards team members. The participants were 123 students nested in 45 small teams. A series of multilevel random models was estimated using hierarchical linear and nonlinear modeling. Individuals were more likely to behave prosocially towards in-group members when they were feeling good. Furthermore, the relationship between positive affective balance and prosocial behavior was stronger in teams with higher team prosocial efficacy levels as well as in teams with higher team trust levels. Finally, the relevance of team trust had a stronger influence on behavior than team prosocial efficacy.
... Indeed, emotional dysregulation is observed in clinical syndromes characterised largely by atypical social behaviour, such as autism (Konstantareas & Stewart, 2006), conduct disorder (Davidson, Putnam, & Lawson, 2000), and borderline personality disorder (Fertuck, Lenzenweger, Clarkin, Hoermann, & Stanley, 2006). A number of potential mechanisms appear to underlie this; for example, research demonstrates that the ability to self-regulate emotional states is associated inversely with an individual's general negative affectivity (Eisenberg et al., 1994;Okun, Shepard, & Eisenberg, 2000). ...
... Ratings across both positive and negative adjectives showed acceptable internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.71 and 0.66, respectively), and positive and negative affectivity scores were uncorrelated (r (288) = 0.08). Given its known relationship with the other measures of social cognition (Eisenberg et al., 1994;Okun et al., 2000), we focused our analyses only on scores of negative affectivity (referred to herein as negativity). ...
Article
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This study investigated the structure of social cognition, and how it is influenced by personality; specifically, how various socio-cognitive capabilities, and the pattern of inter-relationships and co-dependencies among them differ between divergent personality styles. To measure social cognition, a large non-clinical sample (n = 290) undertook an extensive battery of self-report and performance-based measures of visual perspective taking, imitative tendencies, affective empathy, interoceptive accuracy, emotion regulation, and state affectivity. These same individuals then completed the Personality Styles and Disorders Inventory. Latent Profile Analysis revealed two dissociable personality profiles that exhibited contrasting cognitive and affective dispositions, and multivariate analyses indicated further that these profiles differed on measures of social cognition; individuals characterised by a flexible and adaptive personality profile expressed higher action orientation (emotion regulation) compared to those showing more inflexible tendencies, along with better visual perspective taking, superior interoceptive accuracy, less imitative tendencies, and lower personal distress and negativity. These characteristics point towards more efficient self-other distinction, and to higher cognitive control more generally. Moreover, low-level cognitive mechanisms served to mediate other higher level socio-emotional capabilities. Together, these findings elucidate the cognitive and affective underpinnings of individual differences in social behaviour, providing a data-driven model that should guide future research in this area.
... http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/611301 doi: bioRxiv preprint first posted online Apr. 18, 2019; Eisenberg, Fabes, Guthrie, & Reiser, 2000;Okun, Shepard, & Eisenberg, 2000;Tully, Ames, Garcia, & Donohue, 2016). Given the lack of convergence between questionnaire and taskbased measures often observed in studies of socio-emotional constructs (Melchers, Montag, Markett, & Reuter, 2015), we decided to explore the relationship between empathy and reappraisal using a multi-method approach combining questionnaire and task-based measures of reappraisal. ...
... Most previous studies have focused upon the moderating effect of regulation on the association between empathy and different behavioural or clinical outcomes, such as sympathy/personal distress (Okun et al., 2000), prosocial behaviours (Lockwood et al., 2014), and depression (Tully et al., 2016). While not the key question addressed by such studies, they have provided some evidence of a direct relationship between component processes of empathy and emotion regulation. ...
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Evidence suggests that empathy and emotion regulation may be related, but few studies have directly investigated this relationship. Here we report two experiments which examined: 1) how different components of empathy (cognitive & affective) relate to the habitual use of cognitive reappraisal to regulate emotions (N=220), and 2) how these components of empathy relate to implicit reappraisal in a context-framing task (N=92). In study 1, a positive correlation between cognitive empathy and reappraisal use was observed. Affective empathy showed no relationship with reappraisal use. In study 2, participants completed an implicit reappraisal task in which previously viewed negative images were paired with either a neutralising (intended to reduce negative emotionality) or descriptive (which simply described the image) framing sentence. Participants then reported how unpleasant/pleasant each image made them feel. In contrast to study 1, a positive correlation between affective empathy and the implicit reappraisal task metric (rating of neutralising minus descriptive framing conditions) was observed. There was no relationship between cognitive empathy and implicit reappraisal. These findings suggest that both components of empathy are related to reappraisal, but in different ways: Cognitive empathy is related to more deliberate use of reappraisal, while affective empathy is associated with more implicit reappraisal processes.
... By definition, emotional empathy entails cognitive empathy (Oatley, 1999), since one cannot mirror the other's emotion without recognizing what the other is feeling (though the brain areas associated with each SEX DIFFERENCES IN RESPONSE TO THEATRE 6 skill are distinct [Shamay-Tsoory, Aharon-Peretz, & Perry, 2008]). One study showed that dispositional (versus situational) levels of emotional empathy are related to sympathy levels in adults learning to be volunteers for individuals in need (Okun, Shepard & Eisenberg, 2000). However, another study showed that emotional empathy can occur in the absence of sympathy when responding to dramatic commercials (Escalas & Stern, 2003). ...
... This, we can feel distress at watching another person in pain without matching that person's affect (emotional empathy). And personal distress is sometimes inversely related to cognitive empathy: a sociopath knows that his victim is suffering yet may feel unmoved (Okun et al., 2000). Personal distress has been argued to reveal a kind of immaturity or ego-centricism and to reflect the existence of too porous a boundary between self and other (Saarni, 1999). ...
Article
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What causes us to feel sympathy for fictional characters? Using audience members from four theatrical productions we tested the relative strength of three oft-cited predictors: understanding the emotions of another (cognitive empathy), feeling the emotions of another (emotional empathy), and experiencing a negative emotional reaction to another's plight (personal distress). Predictors of sympathy held constant for a wide range of ages but differed for males versus females. Level of sympathy was predicted by emotional empathy in males but by cognitive empathy in females. These findings suggest that when watching theatrical performances, sympathy for characters is more other-directed for females than for males.
... The role of nature is acknowledged but beyond the score of this study.2 For a review of competing conceptualizations of sympathy, PT, and empathy see:;Galinsky et al. (2011);Kohlberg (1969Kohlberg ( , 1986, andOkun et al. (2000); andSkoe (2010).For a review of competing conceptualizations of sympathy, PT, and empathy see:;Galinsky et al. (2011);Kohlberg (1969Kohlberg ( , 1986, andOkun et al. (2000); andSkoe (2010). ...
... The role of nature is acknowledged but beyond the score of this study.2 For a review of competing conceptualizations of sympathy, PT, and empathy see:;Galinsky et al. (2011);Kohlberg (1969Kohlberg ( , 1986, andOkun et al. (2000); andSkoe (2010).For a review of competing conceptualizations of sympathy, PT, and empathy see:;Galinsky et al. (2011);Kohlberg (1969Kohlberg ( , 1986, andOkun et al. (2000); andSkoe (2010). ...
Article
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This self report online study explored the process of moral reasoning about interpersonal violence by considering the roles of family communication patterns, mediated by sympathy and perspective-taking (PT) in girls ages 6-16 (N = 253). Using structural equation modeling, findings suggest that families where conversation communication plays a central role nurture abilities to sympathize and PT. Further, younger girls tend to be driven by sympathy, which shifts to PT as they age. These abilities positively correlate with thoughts about interpersonal violence as wrong whether “justified” and independent of severity. Error correlations infer that, at some level, “justified” violence is acceptable and, to a lesser degree, the severity of the violence plays a role in moral reasoning about violence, thus suggesting complex thought.
... Since trait personal distress as well as sympathy measure affective responses to the distress of others (Davis, 1983), one possibility is that a disposition to experience and regulate negative emotions underlies this difference in sensitivity to social context. Studies have shown a positive relation between a disposition to experience personal distress and heightened behavioral and physiological responses to social-emotional situations and decreased regulation of these responses (Avenanti et al. 2009;Borgomaneri et al. 2014;Eisenberg & Fabes, 1990;Eisenberg et al. 1994;Ferri et al. 2010;Okun, Shepard, & Eisenberg, 2000). In contrast, trait levels of sympathy have been linked to increased emotion regulation (Eisenberg et al. 1996;Okun et al., 2000). ...
... Studies have shown a positive relation between a disposition to experience personal distress and heightened behavioral and physiological responses to social-emotional situations and decreased regulation of these responses (Avenanti et al. 2009;Borgomaneri et al. 2014;Eisenberg & Fabes, 1990;Eisenberg et al. 1994;Ferri et al. 2010;Okun, Shepard, & Eisenberg, 2000). In contrast, trait levels of sympathy have been linked to increased emotion regulation (Eisenberg et al. 1996;Okun et al., 2000). Using single-pulse TMS, we showed that personal distress but not sympathy predicts the negative influence of bystanders on motor corticospinal excitability levels as indexed by MEPs. ...
Article
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Spontaneous helping behavior during an emergency is influenced by the personality of the onlooker and by social situational factors such as the presence of bystanders. Here, we sought to determine the influences of sympathy, an other-oriented response, and personal distress, a self-oriented response, on the effect of bystanders during an emergency. In four experiments, we investigated whether trait levels of sympathy and personal distress predicted responses to an emergency in the presence of bystanders by using behavioral measures and single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation. Sympathy and personal distress were expected to be associated with faster responses to an emergency without bystanders present, but only personal distress would predict slower responses to an emergency with bystanders present. The results of a cued reaction time task showed that people who reported higher levels of personal distress and sympathy responded faster to an emergency without bystanders (Exp. 1). In contrast to our predictions, perspective taking but not personal distress was associated with slower reaction times as the number of bystanders increased during an emergency (Exp. 2). However, the decrease in motor corticospinal excitability, a direct physiological measure of action preparation, with the increase in the number of bystanders was solely predicted by personal distress (Exp. 3). Incorporating cognitive load manipulations during the observation of an emergency suggested that personal distress is linked to an effect of bystanders on reflexive responding to an emergency (Exp. 4). Taken together, these results indicate that the presence of bystanders during an emergency reduces action preparation in people with a disposition to experience personal distress. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.3758/s13415-016-0423-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
... Similarly, parents' reports (Rothbart, Ahadi, & Hershey, 1994) and self-reports (Sneed, 2002) of children's empathy have been positively related to children's regulation (Rothbart et al., 1994). Dispositional regulation also has been associated with sympathy in adulthood, although sometimes only when individual differences in negative emotionality have been controlled in the analyses Eisenberg & Okun, 1996;Okun, Shepard, & Eisenberg, 2000). The positive association between sympathy and regulation is consistent with data indicating a negative relation between sympathy and the predisposition to anger or intense negative emotions (Carlo et al., 1998;Murphy et al., 1999;Roberts & Strayer, 1996) although empathy/sympathy may be positively related with expressivity or intensity of emotions more generally Roberts & Strayer, 1996; see Eisenberg, Wentzel, & Harris, 1998). ...
... Furthermore, found that heart rate acceleration in response to a distressing film clip was related to self-reports and teachers' reports of low dispositional sympathy for boys (but not girls). When dispositional personal distress has been assessed with questionnaire measures in adulthood, researchers have found consistent and moderately strong negative relations between personal distress and dispositional regulation Eisenberg & Okun, 1996;Okun et al., 2000). Thus, overall, there is some evidence that regulatory processes are involved in whether individuals experience sympathy or personal distress. ...
Article
Major issues in theory and research concerning empathy and sympathy include definitional issues, the early development of empathy and sympathy, measurement issues, and the correlates (especially moral behavior) and origins of individual differences in empathy and sympathy (including factors related to individual differences in empathy and sympathy). Definitional issues have already been reviewed; measurement issues are discussed primarily as they relate to other topics. In the remainder of this chapter, topics covered include the development of empathy and sympathy, their relation to moral behavior, adjustment, and social competence; the potential role of emotion-related regulation in individual differences in empathy; gender differences in empathy; and the socialization of empathy and sympathy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
... First, we sought to determine whether induced sympathy promotes creativity. Second, since a sympathetic response is more likely to be elicited when one's trait level of empathic concern is high ( Davis, 2009;Eisenberg, 2000), we aimed to determine whether individual differences in dispositional empathy would moderate the effect of sympathy on creativity. ...
... Moreover, sympathy may implicate regulatory controls that are conducive to creativity; research has documented a positive association between sympathy and selfregulation. For example, sympathetic reactions are linked to high attentional and emotional regulation and coping behaviors (Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998;Okun, Shepard, & Eisenberg, 2000;Rothbart, Ahadi, & Hershey, 1994). Given the literature that has demonstrated selfregulatory behaviors as resources for achieving creative outcomes (Chiu, 2014;De Stobbeleir, Ashford, & Buyens, 2011), it is possible that sympathy facilitates creativity through its regulatory mechanisms, which help to guide and monitor goal-directed activities. ...
Article
Sympathy is usually evoked by heightened awareness of and concern for others’ suffering by perceiving or reacting to their distress or need. Sympathetic contexts appear to spur creative solutions, because those who react sympathetically to others’ suffering tend to seek novel, desirable, and prosocial solutions that alleviate suffering and promote well-being. We conducted two studies to investigate whether sympathy enhances creativity. Study 1 tested the feasibility of using images of distressed elderly as an unobtrusive method to induce sympathy. Study 2 sought to determine whether induced sympathy promotes creativity, and whether individual differences in trait empathy moderate this effect. Results demonstrate that sympathy fosters creative originality—but not creative fluency or flexibility—as assessed by either content-general or content-specific creativity measures. In addition, the beneficial effect of sympathy on originality is moderated by individual differences in trait empathy. The potential mechanisms that underlie these effects are discussed.
... Sympati definieras som ett emotionellt svar på en annan människas tillstånd eller situation och kan komma till uttryck genom känslor av omtanke eller bekymmer för någon annan. I motsats till detta är den andra typen av reaktion, oro, mer en självfokuserad känsla där en annan människas bekymmer skapar en känsla av obehag för den som ger empati (Okun, Shephard, & Eisenberg, 2000). ...
... Emotional intensity appears to be a stable individual characteristic, with individuals varying in how strongly they experience emotions (Larsen & Diener, 1987). Higher levels of emotional intensity are associated with problem behaviors, such as aggression (Eigenberg et al., 2001) and with a greater empathy toward others (Okun, Sheperd, & Eisenberg, 2000), suggesting that both positive and negative directions of influence are possible. ...
Article
This study examined the role of emotion regulation (ER) strategies and emotional disposition in problem drinking of adolescent offenders (n = 303) and non-offending peers (n = 287) from South Korea. The participants completed a questionnaire assessing problem drinking, positive and negative emotion, emotional intensity, and use of problem solving, support seeking, and avoidant ER strategies. Problem drinking was positively associated with negative emotion, emotional intensity, and support-seeking ER in both groups, and avoidant ER among offenders only. Support-seeking ER accounted for the association between positive emotion and drinking in both groups, and avoidant ER further accounted for the association between positive emotion and drinking among offenders. Only among female offenders was the association between emotional intensity and drinking explained by support-seeking ER. The results imply that intervention to improve ER effectiveness, taking into account emotional disposition, delinquency differences, and gender, may help lessen problem drinking among adolescents.
... Based on these results, the next step for Eisenberg was to identify factors that might influence whether a person would experience personal distress or sympathy when confronted with a person in need (Eisenberg, 2002). Based on this line of reasoning, in their subsequent studies, Eisenberg and her colleagues demonstrated the influence on empathic responding of the two factors level of emotional intensity and emotion regulation (for instance the ability to experience but not be overwhelmed by affect) (Okun, Shepard, & Eisenberg, 2000; see also Eisenberg, 2002). ...
... Individer med hög EI hade bättre fallenhet för och förståelse av andras emotioner och beteenden, kontexten i miljön samt att anpassa sitt uppträdande till situationen (Schutte, Malouff, Bobik, Coston, Greeson, Jedlicka, et al., 2001). God reglering av emotioner har visats höra samman med en sympatisk läggning och perspektivtagande (Okun, et al., 2000). Att hantera sina emotioner har visats höra samman med flera områden där social förmåga krävs. ...
... The manager might be unsure what to do, generating uncertainty, and she might be fearful of an aggressive reaction by the subordinate. In the absence of a belief that she can cope with all these unpleasant thoughts and feelings, she is less likely to take the subordinate's perspective, feel empathy, or engage in prosocial behavior such as caring and helping (Alessandri, Caprara, Eisenberg, & Steca, 2009; Eisenberg et al., 1994; Eisenberg & Okun, 1996; Okun, Shepard, & Eisenberg, 2000). We propose that repeated experience of acceptance rather than experiential avoidance in the context of unpleasant thoughts and feelings leads to enhanced coping self-efficacy beliefs. ...
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To enhance compassion in organizations, the processes by which compassion can be enhanced in individuals must be understood. We develop an expanded model of the components of compassionate responding that includes noticing, appraising, feeling and acting. Using this model, we propose that psychological flexibility (mindfulness combined with values-directed action) contributes to enhancing the perceptual, cognitive, affective and behavioral aspects of compassion. Specifically mindfulness processes support the capacity to be compassionate while values processes motivate effort to engage in compassionate action. Training in psychological flexibility should be considered as one element of programs designed to increase organizational compassion.
... Personal distress is a self-focused, aversive affective reaction, comprising feelings of anxiety and discomfort, which results from observing another person's negative experience [26,44,45]. Tendencies towards personal distress reactions are related to a variety of psychological problems, including chronic fearfulness [46], depression [47,48,49], neuroticism [50,51], burnout [52] as well as low regulation and coping skills [53,54]. According to Mooradian and colleagues, personal distress is closely related to neuroticism, the tendency to experience negative emotions. ...
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Background: Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that the actual experience of pain and the perception of another person in pain share common neural substrates, including the bilateral anterior insular cortex and the anterior midcingulate cortex. As many fMRI studies include the exposure of participants to repeated, similar stimuli, we examined whether empathic neural responses were affected by habituation and whether the participants' prior pain experience influenced these habituation effects. Method: In 128 trials (four runs), 62 participants (31 women, 23.0 ± 4.2 years) were shown pictures of hands exposed to painful pressure (pain pictures) and unexposed (neutral pictures). After each trial, the participants rated the pain of the model. Prior to the experiment, participants were either exposed to the same pain stimulus (pain exposure group) or not (touch exposure group). In order to assess possible habituation effects, linear changes in the strength of the BOLD response to the pain pictures (relative to the neutral pictures) and in the ratings of the model's pain were evaluated across the four runs. Results: Although the ratings of the model's pain remained constant over time, we found neural habituation in the bilateral anterior/midinsular cortex, the posterior midcingulate extending to dorsal posterior cingulate cortex, the supplementary motor area, the cerebellum, the right inferior parietal lobule, and the left superior frontal gyrus, stretching to the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex. The participant's prior pain experience did neither affect their ratings of the model's pain nor their maintenance of BOLD activity in areas associated with empathy. Interestingly, participants with high trait personal distress and fantasy tended to show less habituation in the anterior insula. Conclusion: Neural structures showed a decrease of the BOLD signal, indicating habituation over the course of 45 minutes. This can be interpreted as a neuronal mechanism responding to the repeated exposure to pain depictions, which may be regarded as functional in a range of contexts.
... It could be, however, that empathy is important to managers' assessments of helping behaviour, but that the subsample size was too small to detect an effect. The current study also builds on previous work on perspective taking within organizations (e.g., Okun et al., 2000; Parker & Axtell, 2001) by exploring the relative impact of situational and individual antecedents that have not been tested together in such contexts before. For instance, we found that perspective taking and empathy were associated with perceptions of the exchange-related behaviour of customers (the degree to which they are perceived to reciprocate). ...
Article
We propose that an important prerequisite of helping customers is the capacity to take the customer's perspective. If this is the case, then it is also important to consider the factors that might facilitate perspective taking. To investigate this, 347 customer service agents in a UK call centre were surveyed on the antecedents and outcomes of customer-oriented perspective taking. Managers also supplied ratings of helping behaviour for 141 of the service agents. Structural equation modelling showed a positive relationship between perspective taking and self-reported helping, and this relationship was partially mediated by empathy. Perspective taking was also positively related to managers' ratings of helping but this relationship was not mediated by empathy. In turn, service agents' perspective taking was predicted by the perceived reciprocity of customers and by having a positive customer role orientation (which was itself predicted by job enrichment). Predictors of helping customers included perspective taking, empathy, and having an integrated understanding of the call centre's services. Enhancing employees' perspective taking and their integrated understanding of the organization's services might thus be hitherto neglected avenues for enhancing the quality of customer service.
... Thus we suggest that prosocial tendencies or a considerate social style usually linked to empathic concern and perspective taking (Batson, 2014;Davis, 2015) were reflected in observed higher responsive reactions towards the doll. Effective regulation of affect and shifting focus to others, as related to other-oriented empathy (Eisenberg et al., 1994;Okun et al., 2000), might be supportive of individual sensitive responsiveness. Earlier research indicated that the recorded infant crying itself was such a strong stimulus that it elicited similar responses regardless of individual differences in empathy (Barr et al., 2014). ...
Article
Infant crying is a strong emotional stimulus that elicits caregiving responses in adults. Here we examine the role of empathy (measured with the Polish version of Interpersonal Reactivity Index) and salivary oxytocin in modulating sensitive responsiveness to a crying infant simulator in two groups of heterosexual couples: 111 expecting or 110 not expecting a baby. Sensitive responsiveness was observed during a standardized procedure using the Ainsworth Sensitivity Scale while participants took care of the infant simulator, both individually and as a couple. Other-oriented empathy predicted elevated levels of individual but not couple sensitive responsiveness. More OT reactivity to crying predicted less responsiveness in non-expecting couples, which might be explained by their stronger focus on task performance. This study uniquely combined hormonal, observational and self-report measures in couples, and showed that personality and hormonal correlates of sensitive responsiveness might be studied before the child's birth with the use of infant simulators.
... Similarly, evidence shows that the ability to regulate one's emotions is associated with increased perspectivetaking (Eisenberg, 2000;Eisenberg et al., 1994;Eisenberg & Okun, 1996;Okun, Shepard, & Eisenberg, 2000); that is, individuals who are able to regulate their emotional responses to another's plight have the cognitive capacity to put themselves in that individual's situation. These findings are consistent with research demonstrating that anxiety decreases individuals' ability to take others' perspectives, presumably because anxious individuals are too preoccupied with their own egocentric perspectives (Todd, Forstmann, Burgmer, Brooks, & Galinsky, 2015). ...
... Thus we suggest that prosocial tendencies or a considerate social style usually linked to empathic concern and perspective taking (Batson, 2014;Davis, 2015) were reflected in observed higher responsive reactions towards the doll. Effective regulation of affect and shifting focus to others, as related to other-oriented empathy (Eisenberg et al., 1994;Okun et al., 2000), might be supportive of individual sensitive responsiveness. Earlier research indicated that the recorded infant crying itself was such a strong stimulus that it elicited similar responses regardless of individual differences in empathy (Barr et al., 2014). ...
Article
Responsiveness, as a central aspect of parenthood, requires mothers and fathers to monitor, interpret, and adequately respond to their child’s cues. This research aimed to determine whether thedimensions of empathy and the attachment styles of parents of young children predicted their parental responsiveness. A first study involved mothers of children up to two years (N= 133). A second study involved 50 pairs of parents of children aged from 6 to 10 months. The tools used were: the Parental Re-sponsiveness Scale, an experimental version, the Empathic Sensitiveness Scale, and the Experience in Close Relationships Scale. We found that the dimensions of empathy directed at others—empathic concern and perspective taking—were predictors of paren-tal responsiveness. Also, the responsiveness ofmothers was negatively associated with an avoidant attachment style. Relations between the responsiveness of mothers and fathers in pairs were also observed.
... Thompson, Uusberg, Gross, and Chakrabarti (2019) suggest that the emotional state elicited in the observer as a function of empathic processes is subject to one's regulatory processes, which explains why a temperate person is more likely to be empathic. This is also evidenced in the positive associations between the self-reported capacity to take the perspective of others and the dispositional measures of regulation (Contardi, Imperatori, Penzo, Del Gatto, & Farina, 2016;Okun, Shepard, & Eisenberg, 2000). Finally, humility is the foundation of real compassion that yields empathy (Batson & Shaw, 1991). ...
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The purpose of the present research was to construct and validate a measure of temperance—one's capability of moderation or voluntary self‐restraint. This research comprised two studies. In Study I, an item pool of 83 items was generated, 75 items were finalized by a committee of experts, and then these items were administered on a purposive sample of university students (n = 250). Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) revealed a four‐factor solution with 24 items and the factors were named as Self‐regulation (α = .72), Prudence (α = .71), Humility (α = .79), and Forgiveness (α = .73). Study II of the present research confirmed the factorial structure of the Temperance Scale in an independent sample of university students (n = 268). The Temperance Scale, Academic Procrastination Scale, and Empathy Quotient Short Form were administered to the participants. Confirmatory factor analysis of the Temperance Scale demonstrated a good model fit to the data with the same four factors as established during the EFA. The Temperance Scale was positively correlated with empathy and it had a nonsignificant relationship with academic procrastination. The results support that the newly developed scale has promising validity.
... Both characteristics consist of individual differences and situational factors (Galinsky, Maddux, Gilin, & White, 2008;Ku et al., 2015). For instance, the individual differences in cognitive capacity that can affect perspective taking include cognitive complexity and emotion regulation (Eisenberg, 2000;Okun, Shepard, & Eisenberg, 2000); the situational factors include working memory (Lin, Keysar, & Epley, 2010), cognitive load (Davis, Conklin, Smith, & Luce, 1996;Lin et al., 2010), and time pressure (Epley, Keysar, Van Boven, & Gilovich, 2004). Those individual differences and situational forces that enhance the availability of cognitive resources also increase the likelihood that perspective taking occurs. ...
Article
Although the construct of leader humility has received increased attention in organizational scholarship, there are large gaps in the empirical studies of leader humility and employee creativity. In this study, we find that leader humility substantially contributes to organizational effectiveness in both normal and crisis situations. Building on social information processing theory and the process model of emotion regulation, we test a model linking leader humility to employee creativity based on 451 member–leader dyads of 129 emergency medical task forces involved in the Wenchuan earthquake. We find that leader humility is positively related to employees’ perspective taking and creativity. We also find that employees’ cognitive reappraisal moderates the relationship between leader humility and employees’ perspective taking, and employees’ perspective taking mediates the interactive effect of leader humility and employees’ cognitive reappraisal on creativity. We also discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our findings.
... La littérature sur les agents virtuels sociaux compte également de nombreux travaux sur des compétences sociales connexes, tel que le rapport ((Krämer propres schémas d'action (Bickmore et Cassell, 2001). Pour finir, l'empathie est un concept complexe qui fait généralement référence à (1) composante cognitive associée au raisonnement sur l'expérience émotionnelle d'autrui (Hojat, 2007), (2) une composante affective associée à l'expression d'affects en réponse aux émotions d'autrui (Okun et al., 2000) et (3) (Nielsen, 1994). ...
Thesis
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Les Agents Conversationnels Animés (ACAs) sont de plus en plus présents dans notre quotidien et s’insèrent progressivement dans nos habitudes d’usage. Ces systèmes experts disposent de compétences métier dans des domaines variés (banque, assurances, santé, éducation). Cependant, ces systèmes souffrent encore aujourd’hui d’un défaut d’adoption de la part des utilisateurs, qui, s’ils ne refusent pas catégoriquement de les utiliser, s’en lassent très rapidement. Il se pourrait que les compétences métier seules soient insuffisantes pour satisfaire les utilisateurs et que les compétences sociales des ACAs jouent un rôle important dans la relation-client. A la frontière de la psychologie sociale, de l’informatique affective et de l’ergonomie, cette thèse a ainsi pour enjeu d’explorer l’impact des compétences socioémotionnelles des ACAs sur l’expérience utilisateur (UX) et la relation-client. Pour son rôle central dans les relations humaines, mais également pour sa contribution au sentiment de présence sociale et à la construction de la relation-client, nous avons choisi de nous concentrer sur une compétence sociale particulière : l’intimité. Nous avons développé un modèle théorique d’intimité virtuelle dédié aux ACAs, inspiré de la littérature en psychologie humaine. D’une part, nous avons confirmé la validité de ce modèle dans une série d’études interrogeant la perception d’intimité virtuelle d’observateurs à l’égard d’interactions entre une conseillère touristique virtuelle exprimant des comportements multimodaux intimes et une touriste. Nos résultats montrent que notre agent est capable de susciter autant d’intimité qu’un humain et que la perception d’intimité virtuelle est sensible à différents facteurs de régulation (propriétés de l’interaction, caractéristiques individuelles). D’autre part, nous avons exploré les perceptions, les comportements et l’expérience de vrais touristes en situation réelle d’interaction avec une version autonome de notre conseillère virtuelle intime. Nos résultats désignent l’intimité virtuelle comme un candidat potentiel pour favoriser la dimension sociale de l’interaction humain-agent et tendre vers une meilleure UX. Ils ouvrent de nouvelles perspectives dans le but de permettre aux ACAs de devenir de véritables partenaires sociaux.
... In educational psychol-ogy, enthusiasm refers on one hand to a feature of instruction in terms of a motivating, energetic teaching style, and on the other hand to the subjective experience of teachers themselves [29]. Finally, the concept of empathy benefits from a general consensus on three primary components which involves (1) a cognitive reasoning on another person's experience [24], (2) an affective expressive responding to someone else display of emotions [46] and (3) regulation mechanisms based on self and other-feelings [17]. Accordingly, these concepts share, at least partially, common features with intimacy and are, therefore, relevant for our work on intimate ECAs building long term relationships with users. ...
Article
Interacting with an embodied conversational agent (ECA) in a professional context addresses social considerations to satisfy customer-relationship. This paper presents an experimental study about the perception of virtual intimacy in human-ECA interactions. We explore how an ECA’s multimodal communication affects our perception of virtual intimacy. To this end, we developed a virtual Tourism Information counselor capable of exhibiting verbal and nonverbal intimate behaviors according to several modalities (voice, chatbox, both media), and we built a corpus of videos showing interactions between the agent and a human tourist. We interrogated observers about their perception of the agent’s level of intimacy. Our results confirm the human ability to perceive intimacy in an ECA displaying multimodal behaviors, although the contribution of nonverbal communication remains unclear. Our study suggests that using voice channel increases the perception of virtual intimacy and offers further evidence that human-inspired design of ECAs is needed. Finally, we demonstrate that intimate cues do not disturb the comprehension of task-related information and are valuable for an attentional focus on the agent’s animation. We discuss the concept of virtual intimacy in relation to interpersonal intimacy, and we question its perception in terms of attentional mechanisms.
... Indeed, the ability to master one's own emotions and behaviors tends to be related to the ability to empathize with other people (Alessandri, Caprara, Eisenberg, & Steca, 2009). In this regard, studies conducted in the general population have revealed close links between a broad set of prosocial behaviors and higher resistance to interpersonal distress, namely, a self-focused, aversive response to the apprehension of another's need or distress (Batson, 1998;Davis, 1994;Eisenberg et al., 1994), and stronger abilities to regulate emotions such as anger and despondency (Alessandri et al., 2009;Eisenberg & Okun, 1996;Okun, Shepard, & Eisenberg, 2000). As such, P-OCB heavily weights on workers' ability to use personal resources for self-regulating. ...
Article
Despite the relatively intuitive link between working hard and achievements at work, results from empirical studies tend to characterize workaholics more often as hard workers rather than smart workers. Indeed, the link between workaholism and job performance is not obvious. In this paper, we investigated the link between workaholism and a core component of contextual performance, namely, prosocial organizational citizenship behavior (P-OCB). More in detail, we posited a mediational model in which workaholic tendencies negatively predicted P-OCB indirectly through an increased perception of job demands. This model was tested using longitudinal data from a sample of 85 police officers assessed once every two weeks for three months. Results from multilevel structural equation analyses demonstrated the model's good fit and corroborated the mediated effect. All in all, our results point to an organizational cost of workaholism, represented by its aversive impact on P-OCB.
... In the current study, we consider the multidimensional nature of empathy, which is defined as a set of individual differences that allow us to understand another person's experience by imagining oneself in that other person's situation [13] and is analyzed here as a predictor of imagery abilities since imagery implies an embodied cognition grounded in sensorimotor experiences [28]. The most popular view of empathy differentiates three dimensions: (a) compassion towards others, effective regulation of emotions in response to others' reactions (emotional empathy; empathic concern); (b) emotional contagion or feeling the distress of others (emotional empathy; personal distress); and (c) perspectivetaking or adopting others' perspectives in social situations without intensely experiencing others' emotions (cognitive empathy) [13,[29][30][31]. Davis [13] believes that perspectivetaking leads to the experience of empathic concern. ...
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Background Imagery and empathy are both important resources for athletes’ performance. Although the imagery is frequently used in sport psychology, its relationship with dispositional empathy remains largely unexplored. Objectives The aim of this study was to examine the associations between multidimensionally defined empathy and the ability to use the imagery in athletes, and more specifically whether empathy and general imagery ability (and their interaction) can predict the use of situational imagery components. Methods The study’s sample consisted of 279 athletes (including 98 women) with different levels of expertise: regional (n = 94), national (n = 94), and international (n = 91). The average age was approximately 20 years (M = 20.5, SD = 1.02, min. = 18, max. = 26). The Imagination in Sport Questionnaire and the Empathic Sensitiveness Scale were the instruments used in the study. Results The results indicated that there was a repeated interaction between personal distress and general imagery in the complementary impact on situational imagery. Conclusions Our study has applied implications and is relevant for illuminating the link between imagery and empathy.
... Trust means believing one another, feeling confident in his judgments and believing that his actions fit our own schemata of how to act (Bickmore and Cassell, 2001). Empathy is generally understood as a complex concept which is combining cognitive reasoning mechanisms on someone's experience (Hojat, 2007), affective expression mechanisms in response to someone's emotion (Okun et al., 2000), and regulation mechanisms involving the self and others feelings (Decety and Jackson, 2004). As a complement, we proposed a model of virtual intimacy dedicated to virtual agents. ...
Article
Professional embodied conversational agents (ECAs) are increasingly present in society. Beyond these virtual agents’ professional expertise, they must have a social dimension to build long-term relationships with users. Interpersonal intimacy is at the core of the most gratifying social exchanges, and we claim that it could constitute a remarkable means to reinforce the social dimension of ECAs. This paper presents an experimental study that compares the perception of intimacy in human and human-agent interactions. Are nature and social expressiveness critical factors for the perception of intimacy? To answer this question, we created two corpora of videos showing a human or a virtual tourism information (TI) counselor using or not using intimate behaviors in the course of an interaction with a human tourist. Using the Virtual Intimacy Scale (VIS) designed in previous work, we asked observers to judge the intimacy level of the TI counselor during the interaction. We demonstrate that intimate behaviors expressed by the virtual counselor and the human counselor are equally perceived by participants, which supposes a common model of intimacy for human and human-agent dyads. Participants perceive the human counselor less intimate than the virtual counselor when having non intimate behaviors. We posit that humans and agents elicit different expectations regarding social abilities, which directly affect their perceived level of intimacy. Our work raises questions regarding the expression of social behaviors and questions social representations.
... Individuals who lack the ability to regulate their emotions are prone to excessive contagion from others' distress (Eisenberg & Okun, 1996;Okun, Shepard, & Eisenberg, 2000). ...
Article
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This research elucidates when distress appeals can evoke the instinct to help without turning recipients away from uncomfortable situations. Five experiments demonstrated with behavioral evidence that evoking a sense of control by irrelevant causes prior to appeal exposure can increase the likelihood of registering as a volunteer (Studies 1 and 3) and the tendency to donate (Studies 2, 4, and 5) in a subsequent unrelated situation. The authors found that this effect was not evident in the absence of distress and for participants with enhanced distress tolerance. The results further showed that enhanced control increased distress tolerance, which mediated the observed effect on charitable acts but had no impact on self‐efficacy in contributing as a helper. The findings have both theoretical and managerial implications for promoting charitable behaviors.
... Individuals characterized by higher levels of PD report to be shyer and more socially anxious. Also, PD is associated with deficits in self-and emotion regulation abilities [92,93]. Self-regulation is the ability to manage one's behaviour instead of being passively affected by external influences. ...
Article
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The aim of our research was to investigate the predictors of Problematic Video Gaming (PVG) in emerging adulthood. From among the factors which were considered significant in previous studies, we decided to include the following in our research: empathy, self-esteem, self-efficacy and loneliness. Additionally, we wanted to examine which predictors have a direct or indirect effect on PVG in female and male emerging adult gamers group. Including a sample of 370 video game players (201 female gamers) aged 18–30 years (M = 21.66 years, SD = 2.83) participated in this study and were asked to complete self-report measures. The questionnaires included: Problem Videogame Playing Questionnaire, The Interpersonal Reactivity Index, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale, General Self-Efficacy Scale. Our results indicate that empathy dimension associated with personal distress, the time spent playing computer games per week is directly associated with PVG. Also, there were found full mediation between self-esteem, loneliness, self-efficacy and PVG via personal distress in emerging adult male gamers group. In emerging adult female gamers group personal distress fully mediated relation between self-esteem, self-efficacy and PVG. Our findings indicate that the time spent playing video games, as well as personal distress as a function of self-esteem, loneliness and self-efficacy, are predictors of problematic video gaming. Additionally, our results may lead to a better understanding of PVG among emerging adults. In particular, they may point to the importance of personal distress in relation to PVG during emerging adulthood, which is a developmental stage of many changes in social and professional life.
... 20 Several factors may play a role in personal distress. In addition to inter-individual differences (such as poor self- regulation and coping strategies), 21 environmental and stress- related factors (including time constraints and workload) 12,22 have been shown to impact personal distress, resulting in a decline in empathy among medical staff up to 50%. 23 It has also been shown that empathic concern and personal distress are inversely associated with prosocial and helping behaviors. ...
Article
Background: Empathic care is fundamental in healthcare settings and is associated to several positive outcomes for care workers (i.e. burnout, compassion satisfaction) and patients (i.e. therapeutic alliance, trust, wellbeing). Yet, studies showed a decrease in empathy in care workers, which is argued to be a product of personal distress. Thus, interventions should aim at enhancing empathy in care workers working for vulnerable populations to ensure optimal client-carer relationships. Objectives: The current study investigates the effectiveness of the serious game "The world of EMPA" in enhancing empathy in care workers for people with disabilities, and tests the effect of personal distress on empathy change post intervention. Methods: We conducted a superiority parallel randomized controlled trial (RCT) and tested 224 participants in two conditions: the experimental group (n = 111) played a serious game and the control group (n = 113) read a digital information package about disabilities. Participants were assessed on empathy and personal distress prior to and after the intervention. Results: Main results showed that the serious game did not significantly enhance empathy in care workers, whereas reading a digital information package yield a significant decrease in empathy. Exploratory analysis showed that the serious game decreased significantly personal distress in care-workers. Conclusions: This study showed that while the serious game "The world of EMPA" did not enhance empathy, it resulted in a decrease in personal distress in care workers for people with disabilities. Further evidence should corroborate these findings to unveil the mechanisms of this intervention and the long-term effects on personal distress.
... In line with previous data, our results show that ER difficulties were differently associated to empathy dimensions (Okun et al., 2000). The difficulty in attending to and in acknowledging emotions was the main negative predictor of the tendency to feel Note 1: Non-accept = non-acceptance of emotional responses; Goals = difficulties engaging in goal-directed behavior; Strategies = limited access to emotion regulation strategies; Impulse = impulse control difficulties; Clarity = lack of emotional clarity; Awareness = lack of emotional awareness; EC = Empathic Concern; PD = Personal Distress; PT = Perspective Taking Note 2: Significant statistics were reported in bold Table 2. Descriptive statistics and zero-order correlations among DERS, IRI and PPOS-8-IT scores. ...
Article
While empathy and patient-centeredness (PC) are considered core variables in high-quality healthcare education and care, research suggests that empathy and PC decrease during the clinical years of study and that impairments in empathy and PC may be related to difficulties in emotion regulation. There is a growing interest in identifying the psycho-social variables that sustain and foster empathy and PC in medical students throughout their education. This study explored whether and to what extent emotion dysregulation predicted empathy and PC in medical students controlling for gender. Three hundred ninety-eight pre-clinical medical students enrolled at a university in northern Italy completed the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) and the Patient-Practitioner Orientation Scale-8 Items-Italian version (PPOS-8-IT). All statistically significant correlation coefficients between DERS, IRI and PPOS-8-IT scores were negative (rs from −.130 to −.336, ps ≤ 01), except for IRI Personal Distress and IRI Fantasy Scale that were mainly positively related to DERS scores (rs from .130 to .305, ps ≤ .01). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that DERS scores accounted for a significant amount of additional variance in both IRI and PPOS-8-IT components above and beyond gender. Emotion dysregulation was positively associated with Personal Distress (βs from .135 to .250, ps ≤ .007), whereas Empathic Concern, Perspective Taking, and the PC components were negatively predicted by emotion regulation difficulties (βs from −.131 to −.309, ps ≤ .005). Female students showed higher levels of all empathy and PC measures than males (ts from −3.49 to −5.54, ps ≤ 001) except for Perspective Taking. Tailored educational approaches that provide medical students with emotion regulation strategies implemented along the pre-clinical curriculum may sustain empathy and PC and equip students to appropriately and functionally face the emotional and interpersonal aspects of the clinical internship experience.
... There is also evidence for the link between emotion dysregulation and personal distress in other populations. Eisenberg and colleagues demonstrated an association between increased personal distress and decreased emotion regulation in samples of college students, adult volunteers-in-training, and elderly volunteers (Eisenberg et al., 1994; Eisenberg and Okun, 1996; Okun et al., 2000). More recent research has supported this finding in young adults (Contardi et al., 2016). ...
Article
Empathy is a complex construct, thought to contain multiple components. One popular measurement paradigm, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), has been used extensively to measure empathic tendencies in schizophrenia research across four domains: empathic concern, perspective-taking, personal distress, and fantasy. However, no recent meta-analysis has been conducted for all four factors of this scale. The goal of this meta-analysis was to examine self-reported empathic tendencies for each factor of the IRI in people with schizophrenia as compared to healthy controls. A literature search revealed 32 eligible schizophrenia studies. The Hedges’ g standardized difference effect size was calculated for each component using a random effects meta-analytic model. Compared to healthy controls, schizophrenia samples reported significantly reduced tendencies for empathic concern, perspective-taking, and fantasy, but significantly greater tendencies for personal distress. Duration of illness significantly moderated the results for perspective-taking such that those with a longer duration exhibited greater deficits; percent female significantly moderated the results for personal distress such that samples with more females exhibited reduced effect sizes. Future work is needed to examine the impact of heightened personal distress on the empathic tendencies and abilities of those with schizophrenia, including the possible role of emotion regulation.
Article
We question whether empathy is mediated by a unitary circuit. We argue that recent neuroimaging data indicate dissociable neural responses for different facial expressions as well as for representing others' mental states (Theory of Mind, TOM). We also argue that the general empathy disorder considered characteristic of autism and psychopathy is not general but specific for each disorder.
Article
Four studies explored whether perspective-taking and empathy would be differentially effective in mixed-motive competitions depending on whether the critical skills for success were more cognitively or emotionally based. Study 1 demonstrated that individual differences in perspective-taking, but not empathy, predicted increased distributive and integrative performance in a multiple-round war game that required a clear understanding of an opponent's strategic intentions. Conversely, both measures and manipulations of empathy proved more advantageous than perspective-taking in a relationship-based coalition game that required identifying the strength of interpersonal connections (Studies 2-3). Study 4 established a key process: perspective-takers were more accurate in cognitive understanding of others, whereas empathy produced stronger accuracy in emotional understanding. Perspective-taking and empathy were each useful but in different types of competitive, mixed-motive situations-their success depended on the task-competency match. These results demonstrate when to use your head versus your heart to achieve the best outcomes for oneself.
Article
Only a broad theory that looks across levels of analysis can encompass the many perspectives on the phenomenon of empathy. We address the major points of our commentators by emphasizing that the basic perception-action process, while automatic, is subject to control and modulation, and is greatly affected by experience and context because of the role of representations. The model can explain why empathy seems phenomenologically more effortful than reflexive, and why there are different levels of empathy across individuals, ages, and species.
Article
Empathy has for a long time, since at least the seminal work of David Hume and Adam Smith, been seen as centrally important in relation to our capacity to gain a grasp of the content of other people's minds, and to predict and explain what they will think, feel, and do, and in relation to our capacity to respond to others ethically. In addition, empathy is now reinstated as being centrally important in aesthetics, in relation to our engagement with works of art and with fictional characters. This collection draws together nineteen original chapters on empathy in each of these areas, written by leading researchers across a wide range of disciplines, together with an extensive Introduction by the editors. The individual chapters reveal how important it is, in a wide range of fields of enquiry, to bring to bear an understanding of the role of empathy in its various guises. This volume will make a helpful and lasting contribution to the continuing debate, in philosophy, in psychology, and elsewhere.
Article
Using a social cognition framework and based on leadership style theory, the current research examines whether principals’ perspective taking as a complex cognitive process (consisting of two dimensions—empathy and positive attribution) toward main stakeholders affects teachers’ assessment of their leadership style, which in turn may affect an individual teacher’s perspective taking. I further examine the indirect effects of principals’ perspective taking on a teacher’s perspective taking through the effect of transformational leadership style. Participants were 1315 teachers and 105 principals from 105 Israeli elementary schools. Using multilevel structural equation modeling and different data sources, it was found that principals’ perspective taking only promotes a teacher’s perspective taking through the effect of transformational leadership style. Furthermore, only the dimension of principals’ positive attribution was related to transactional leadership style, while the latter was not related to a teacher’s perspective taking. Theoretical and practical implications for the effects of leaders’ cognitive attributes on an individual teacher are discussed.
Article
Executive Summary Mentoring has been identified as an effective means of leadership development in organizations. This paper presents a theory of mentoring that proposes that effective mentorship fundamentally depends on the mentor's ability to help solve various complex social problems that arise in the protégé's career. The social judgment capacities (e.g., wisdom, social perceptiveness, moral and social reasoning) that enable complex social problem solving in a mentoring context are discussed. A framework of relationships between social judgment capacity, mentoring functions and protégé outcomes is presented along with implications of these observations for mentoring research and for development of human potential in organizations.
Article
Research has shown that the presence of bystanders during an emergency reduces helping behavior, whereas sympathy and personal distress have been suggested to promote helping behavior. Here, we sought to determine the influences of sympathy, an other-oriented response, and personal distress, a self-oriented response, on the effect of group size during an emergency. In three experiments, we investigated whether trait levels of sympathy and personal distress predicted responses to an emergency with different group sizes. Reaction times in a cued reaction time task and motor corticospinal excitability levels, as assessed by single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation, were used to obtain measures of action preparation during an emergency. The results showed that people who reported higher levels of personal distress and sympathy responded faster to an emergency without bystanders in a cued reaction time task (Exp. 1). However, only trait personal distress predicted the slowing of reaction times when group size increases during an emergency (Exp. 2). Reductions in motor corticospinal excitability with increasing group size were found to be predicted by personal distress (Exp. 3). These results indicate that group size reduces action preparation, and this effect is enhanced in people with a disposition to experience self-centered emotional reactions to emergency situations.
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In light of the current relevance of analyzing the motivational determinants of prosocial behaviors, an experimental design was applied to examine the influence of rejection sensitivity, affective states, and trust on prosocial behavior in the included versus excluded context. The research was performed at a Spanish university with a sample of 118 students. The results confirm that excluded individuals are more prosocial than included individuals only when they see reconnection as possible (hopeful excluded individuals). The inclusion/exclusion experience moderated (1) the links between rejection sensitivity and both affective states and prosocial behavior, and (2) the mediation of trust between affective states and prosocial behavior. Finally, a predictive model of prosocial behavior moderated by the type of inclusion or exclusion was partially supported. Results indicate the relevance of promoting different variables in included individuals, hopeful excluded individuals, and hopeless excluded individuals for prosocial behavior.
Article
Perceiving another in need may provoke two possible emotional responses: empathic concern and personal distress. This research aims to test whether different emotion regulation strategies (i.e., reappraisal and rumination) may lead to different vicarious emotional responses (i.e., empathic concern and personal distress). In this sense, we hypothesized that reappraisal may lead to a greater feeling of empathic concern, whereas rumination may lead to a higher feeling of personal distress. To test the hypotheses we used experimental instructions (Study 1) and a priming procedure (Study 2) to manipulate the emotion regulation strategies. The results supported our hypotheses. Furthermore in the rumination condition the emotional experience was described as being more negative and more highly arousing than in the reappraisal condition. We discuss the effect of these two forms of cognitive emotion regulation on empathic concern and personal distress.
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Previous research has linked the use of certain emotion regulation strategies to the vicarious experience of personal distress (PD) and empathic concern (EC). However, it has not yet been tested whether (1) vicarious PD is positively associated with maladaptive emotion regulation strategies, (2) vicarious EC is positively associated with adaptive emotion regulation strategies or whether (3) PD and EC mediate the link between emotion regulation and reports of approach/avoidance in response to a person in distress. To that end, we assessed people’s reports of PD (i.e., anxious, troubled and upset) and EC (i.e., concerned, sympathetic and soft-hearted) in response to a video depicting a person in a threatening situation (n = 78). Afterwards, we assessed participants’ reports of avoidance and approach with regard to the character and their disposition to use maladaptive and adaptive emotion regulation strategies. Results showed that both PD and EC were positively related to maladaptive strategies and negatively related to adaptive strategies, and that the association between maladaptive regulation strategies (i.e., rumination) and the willingness to avoid the person in distress was mediated by reports of greater PD. This study thus expands previous evidence on the relationship between maladaptive regulation strategies and affective empathy and provides novel insights into the main role that PD plays in the association between maladaptive strategies and social avoidance.
Article
Objective Evidence suggests that impairments in social cognition are associated with the occurrence of NES. Our aim was to investigate impairments in social cognition in the form of emotional and cognitive empathy in patients with NES compared to healthy controls. Methods For this purpose, we recruited 41 patients with video-EEG secured NES and compared them to 41 healthy controls matched by age, gender and educational level. Emotional and cognitive empathy were assessed using the Multifaceted Empathy Task (MET) and the Read the Mind in the Eye Test (RMET). Self-assessment questionnaires were used to record psychopathology in both groups. Results Patients with NES showed no differences in cognitive empathy compared to the healthy controls. Additionall, they seem to have less emotional empathy specifically towards positive emotions, compared to healthy controls. Discussion Our results are an indication of possible emotional empathy abnormalities in patients with NES. Those deviations, if replicated in large sample sizes, could implicate, that interventions for patients with NES should focus on improving empathy skills.
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The relations of kindergartners' to 2nd graders' dispositional sympathy to individual differences in emotionality, regulation, and social functioning were examined. Sympathy was assessed with teacher- and self-reports; contemporaneously and 2 years earlier, parents and teachers reported on children's emotionality, regulation, and social functioning. Social functioning also was assessed with peer evaluations and children's enacted puppet behavior, and negative arousability-personal distress was assessed with physiological responses. In general, sympathy was associated with relatively high levels of regulation, teacher-reported positive emotionality and general emotional intensity, and especially for boys, high social functioning and low levels of negative emotionality, including physiological reactivity to a distress stimulus. Vagal tone was positively related to boys' self-reported sympathy, whereas the pattern was reversed for girls. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Empathy, sympathy, and related vicarious emotional responses are important concepts in developmental, social, and clinical psychology. The purpose of this paper is to examine conceptual and methodological issues concerning the assessment of vicarious emotional responding and to present data from a series of multimethod studies on the assessment of empathy-related reactions and their association with prosocial behavior. The findings presented are consistent with several conclusions: (a) In some contexts, physiological, facial, and self-report indexes can be useful markers of vicarious emotional responses, (b) other-oriented sympathetic responding is positively related to prosocial behavior (particularly altruism) whereas personal distress reactions sometimes are associated with low levels of helping, and (c) physiological arousal is higher for personal distress than sympathetic reactions.
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Describes the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) and its relationships with measures of social functioning, self-esteem, emotionality, and sensitivity to others. 677 male and 667 female undergraduates served as Ss. Each of the 4 IRI subscales displayed a distinctive and predictable pattern of relationships with these measures, as well as with previous unidimensional empathy measures. Findings provide evidence for a multidimensional approach to empathy. (29 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
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Numerous researchers have compared older adults who volunteer with those who do not volunteer on several demographic variables. In contrast, in the present study we compared older adults (minimum age = 55 years old) who volunteered to work for a community organization at an office or in a day care center on social-psychological and demographic predictors. It was hypothesized that day care center volunteers would have higher scores than office volunteers on sympathy, role taking, and self-based salience of volunteer role (i.e., personal identity). In addition, office volunteers were expected to have higher scores than day care center volunteers on other-based salience of volunteer role (i.e., social identity). Discriminant function analysis indicated that day care center volunteers were higher than office volunteers on sympathy whereas office volunteers were higher than day care center volunteers on educational attainment, involvement in clubs and organizations, and role taking.
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Contemporary models of human temperament have been based on the general constructs of arousal, emotion, and self-regulation. In order to more precisely investigate these constructs, they were theoretically decomposed into 19 subconstructs, and homogeneous scales were developed to assess them. The scales were constructed through an item-selection technique that maximized internal consistency and minimized conceptual overlap. Correlational and factor analyses suggested that arousal can be usefully assessed in terms of its central, autonomic, and motor components. The emotions of sadness, relief, and low-intensity pleasure were most closely related to the measures of central arousal. Emotions of fear, frustration, discomfort, and high-intensity pleasure were more closely related to measures of attentional control. We discuss these findings in terms of the functional relations between arousal, emotion, and attention.
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The purpose of the present study was to examine the prediction of adults' situational and dispositional empathy-related responses from measures of emotionality (emotional intensity and positive and negative affect) and regulation. A multimethod approach including self-reported, facial, and heart rate (HR) responses was used to assess situational vicarious emotional responding; Ss' (and sometimes friends') reports were used to assess the dispositional characteristics. In general, dispositional sympathy, personal distress, and perspective taking exhibited different, conceptually logical patterns of association with indexes of emotionality and regulation. The relations of situational measures of vicarious emotional responding to dispositional emotionality and regulation varied somewhat by type of measure and gender. Findings for facial and HR (for men) measures were primarily for the more evocative empathy-inducing stimulus. In general, the findings provided support for the role of individual differences in emotionality and regulation in empathy-related responding.
Article
To facilitate a multidimensional approach to empathy the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) includes 4 subscales: Perspective-Taking (PT) Fantasy (FS) Empathic Concern (EC) and Personal Distress (PD). The aim of the present study was to establish the convergent and discriminant validity of these 4 subscales. Hypothesized relationships among the IRI subscales between the subscales and measures of other psychological constructs (social functioning self-esteem emotionality and sensitivity to others) and between the subscales and extant empathy measures were examined. Study subjects included 677 male and 667 female students enrolled in undergraduate psychology classes at the University of Texas. The IRI scales not only exhibited the predicted relationships among themselves but also were related in the expected manner to other measures. Higher PT scores were consistently associated with better social functioning and higher self-esteem; in contrast Fantasy scores were unrelated to these 2 characteristics. High EC scores were positively associated with shyness and anxiety but negatively linked to egotism. The most substantial relationships in the study involved the PD scale. PD scores were strongly linked with low self-esteem and poor interpersonal functioning as well as a constellation of vulnerability uncertainty and fearfulness. These findings support a multidimensional approach to empathy by providing evidence that the 4 qualities tapped by the IRI are indeed separate constructs each related in specific ways to other psychological measures.
Article
Examined the prediction of adults' situational and dispositional empathy-related responses from measures of emotionality (emotional intensity and positive and negative affect) and regulation. A multimethod approach including self-reported, facial, and heart rate (HR) responses was used to assess situational vicarious emotional responding; Ss' (and sometimes friends') reports were used to assess the dispositional characteristics. In general, dispositional sympathy, personal distress, and perspective taking exhibited different, conceptually logical patterns of association with indexes of emotionality and regulation. The relations of situational measures of vicarious emotional responding to dispositional emotionality and regulation varied somewhat by type of measure and gender. Findings for facial and HR (for men) measures were primarily for the more evocative empathy-inducing stimulus. In general, the findings provided support for the role of individual differences in emotionality and regulation in empathy-related responding.
Article
A Longitudinal Study. CHILD DEVELOPMENT, 1995, 66,1360-1384. Multiple measures of children's emotionality (emotional intensity and negative affectivity), regulation (including attentional and behavioral regulation and coping), and social functioning (teachers' reports of nonaggressive/ socially appropriate behavior and prosocial/socially competent behavior; and parents' reports of problem behavior) were obtained for 6—8-year-olds. In addition, emotionality, attentional regulation, and coping were assessed 2 years previously. Social functioning was expected to be predicted by low negative emotionality and high levels of regulation. In general, the data supported the predictions, although the findings for parent reports of problem behavior were primarily for boys. Prediction of social functioning from measures of regulation and emotionality occurred primarily within a given context (school vs. home) rather than across contexts, even though there were relations across reporters within the school or home context. In addition, vagal tone, a marker of physiological regulation, was positively related to competent social functioning and emotionality/regulation for boys, but inversely related for girls.
Article
A prospective study examined the influence of helpers' motives and abilities on the amount and effectiveness of a long-term altruistic activity. Crisis-counseling volunteers completed measures of altruistic motivation and perspective taking (a task-relevant ability), and their participation was followed: Volunteers either fulfilled their 9-month service commitment, terminated their participation (of their own volition) early, or were screened out because of inability to perform the work. Two predictions were tested and supported: (a) altruistic motives were related to the amount of help, early-terminating volunteers exhibiting less altruistic motivation than screened or completed service volunteers; and (b) volunteers' skills and abilities were related to the effectiveness of help, screened volunteers reporting less perspective-taking ability than early-terminating and completed-service volunteers. These findings suggest the need to consider the effectiveness of help, and helpers' task-relevant skills, in analyses of helping behavior.
Article
In this article, based on the 1992 presidential address to the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the author illustrates how research in personality and social psychology can address problems that confront society. To do so, he draws on a program of research on volunteerism. Every year; millions of people volunteer to devote much time and energy to helping others by volunteering, for example, to provide companionship to the elderly, tutoring to the illiterate, or health care to the sick. Guided by a functional approach to motivation, the author and his colleagues are engaged in a coordinated program of basic and applied investigations, conducted in the field and the laboratory, to examine personal and social motivations that give rise to the sustained, ongoing helping relationships of volunteerism. Then, applying lessons learned from building such bridges between basic research and practical problems, the author examines the practical and theoretical promises of a functionally orient approach to personality, motivation, and social behavior
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This study investigated 3 broad classes of individual-differences variables (job-search motives, competencies, and constraints) as predictors of job-search intensity among 292 unemployed job seekers. Also assessed was the relationship between job-search intensity and reemployment success in a longitudinal context. Results show significant relationships between the predictors employment commitment, financial hardship, job-search self-efficacy, and motivation control and the outcome job-search intensity. Support was not found for a relationship between perceived job-search constraints and job-search intensity. Motivation control was highlighted as the only lagged predictor of job-search intensity over time for those who were continuously unemployed. Job-search intensity predicted Time 2 reemployment status for the sample as a whole, but not reemployment quality for those who found jobs over the study's duration. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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review a great deal of literature dealing with individual differences in experiencing emotion and with individual differences in self-regulation of emotion / present their [the authors'] own new view of how social behavior is likely to be influenced by the interaction of emotional arousability (including reactivity and intensity) and regulatory/coping skills (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Affect intensity is a stable individual difference characteristic defined in terms of the typical strength of an individual's responsiveness. Evidence is reviewed suggesting that the intensity of an individual's affective responsiveness generalizes across specific emotion categories, implying a general temperament dimension of emotional reactivity and variability. Two methods of assessing affect intensity are evaluated and found to exhibit desirable psychometric properties. Substantive research on the validity of the affect intensity construct is reviewed. Affect intensity is related to a variety of specific personality characteristics, has identifiable antecedents in childhood behavior, and relates to a broad range of cognitive, affective, and health-related consequences. An arousal regulation theory is proposed to account for individual differences in affective response intensity. Other plausible theories are mentioned, and directions for future research are discussed.
Article
In an earlier study, Roger and Nesshoever (Person. individ. Diff.8, 527–534, 1987) reported the construction and validation of a scale for measuring emotion control entitled the Emotion Control Questionnaire (ECQ). Factor analysis revealed a 4-factor structure comprising Rehearsal, Emotional Inhibition, Aggression Control and Benign Control, which was replicated on an independent sample of subjects. The earlier study also presented the relationships between the ECQ factors and a variety of other personality scales. Subsequent work has shown that one of the ECQ factors in particular (Rehearsal) is significantly related to both heart-rate recovery and urinary cortisol elevations following stress. However, one of the disadvantages of the ECQ was the brevity of the factors, two of which (Emotional Inhibition and Benign Control) comprised just nine items each, and the present study was aimed at extending the range of behaviour sampled by the scale. Factor analyses of an expanded item pool confirmed the structure of the earlier scale and resulted in a new scale comprising 56 items, fourteen in each of the four factors. Other findings for the new scale (ECQ2) indicate that it is psychometrically equivalent to the original, and further data on the concurrent validation of the emotion control construct are presented.
Article
The purposes of this study were (a) to examine the role of social evaluative concerns in the self-report of sympathy and in the relation of sympathy to helping; and (b) to determine the role of "altruistic personality" traits and situationally induced vicarious emotional responses in the intention to help. Dispositional and situational self-reports of sympathy and other vicarious emotional reactions were obtained for persons who also were given the opportunity to assist a needy other. Moreover, dispositional measures of concern with social evaluation and an altruistic orientation were obtained, and a bogus pipeline manipulation was instituted for half the study participants. Both dispositional and situational self-reported sympathy were positively related to helping, as were other personality indices viewed as reflecting altruistic characteristics. The relations for the dispositional indices of sympathy were not due solely to social evaluative concerns or to other egoistic concerns. The effects on intended helping of dispositional sympathy, perspective taking, and the tendency to ascribe responsibility for others to the self appeared to be both direct and mediated by situational sympathetic responding. Finally, situational sadness did not mediate the effects of sympathetic responsiveness.
Article
Uses a life-span framework to organize and interpret existing theory and data pertaining to the concept of egocentrism. Review indicates that most research and theorization on egocentrism are concerned with only the infancy and childhood periods of life, although some theorization has concerned the adolescent period. Essentially none of the existing literature pertaining to the major portion of the life span, adulthood and senescence, is directly related to the concept of the egocentrism. However, the notions of rigidity and regression and the process of psychosocial disengagement, all of which have been traditionally identified with the aging process, are reinterpreted as either manifestations of or contributors to increasing egocentricity in later life. Several areas of pertinent research are identified. (119 ref.)
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the relations of emotionality (intensity and negative emotion) and regulation (attentional control, mode of coping) to preschoolers' naturally occurring anger reactions. School personnel's ratings of 4-6-year-olds' constructive coping and attentional control were associated with boys' constructive anger reactions whereas their ratings of acting out versus avoidant coping, emotional intensity, and anger intensity generally were correlated with low levels of constructive reactions to anger. Mothers' reports of children's constructive coping and low emotional intensity were associated with children's use of nonabusive language to deal with anger, whereas aggressive coping and negative emotionality were associated with escape behavior when angered. The findings are consistent with the conclusion that individual differences in emotionality and regulatory skills are associated with children's constructive versus nonconstructive anger reactions.
Article
Researchers recently have proposed that various empathy-related reactions are differentially related to individual differences in emotional intensity and regulation. This idea was tested with a sample of elderly hospital volunteers. As predicted, dispositional sympathy was associated with high levels of both dispositional regulation and negative emotional intensity. Personal distress was linked with low regulation and high negative emotional intensity, and cognitive perspective taking was associated with high regulation. Perspective taking moderated the relation of emotional intensity to sympathy and personal distress. In addition, elders' negative affect when volunteering at a hospital was correlated with low regulation and high levels of regulation and dispositional sympathy. The results demonstrate the findings pertaining to vicarious emotional responding are generalizable to nonstudent populations engaged in planned, sustained helping behavior.
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the relations of a measure of children's dispositional prosocial behavior (i.e., peer nominations) to individual differences in children's negative emotionality, regulation, and social functioning. Children with prosocial reputations tended to be high in constructive social skills (i.e., socially appropriate behavior and constructive coping) and attentional regulation, and low in negative emotionality. The relations of children's negative emotionality to prosocial reputation were moderated by level of dispositional attentional regulation. In addition, the relations of prosocial reputation to constructive social skills and parent-reported negative emotionality (for girls) increased with age. Vagal tone, a marker of physiological regulation, was negatively related to girls' prosocial reputation.
Measuring individual di€erences in empathy: evidence for a multidimensional approach Arousal, a€ect, and attention as components of temperament Empathy: conceptualization, assessment, and relation to prosocial behavior
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A comparison of oce and adult day care center older volunteers: social± psychological and demographic di€erences The construction and validation of a new scale for measuring emotion control
  • M A Okun
  • N Eisenberg
Okun, M. A., & Eisenberg, N. (1992). A comparison of oce and adult day care center older volunteers: social± psychological and demographic di€erences. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 35, 219±233. Roger, D., & Najarian, B. (1989). The construction and validation of a new scale for measuring emotion control. Personality and Individual Di€erences, 10, 845±853.
A€ect intensity as an individual di€erence characteristic: a review Egocentrism and social interaction across the life span
  • R J Larsen
  • E Diener
Larsen, R. J., & Diener, E. (1987). A€ect intensity as an individual di€erence characteristic: a review. Journal of Research in Personality, 21, 1±39. Looft, W. R. (1972). Egocentrism and social interaction across the life span. Psychological Bulletin, 78, 73±92.
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Training in volunteer administration
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Manual for physiological reactivity questionnaire (PRQ)
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Grossenbacher P.G., Rothbart M.K., Derryberry D. (1990) Manual for physiological reactivity questionnaire (PRQ). Unpublished manuscript, University of Oregon.
Review of personality and social psychology: emotion and social behavior
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Eisenberg, N., & Fabes, R. A. (1992). Emotion, regulation, and the development of social competence. In M. S. Clark, Review of personality and social psychology: emotion and social behavior, vol. 14 (pp. 119±150). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Development of prosocial motivation: empathy and guilt
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Homan, M. L. (1982). Development of prosocial motivation: empathy and guilt. In N. Eisenberg, The development of prosocial behavior (pp. 281±313). NY: Academic Press.