Is Empathic Emotion a Source of Altruistic Motivation

  title={Is Empathic Emotion a Source of Altruistic Motivation},
  author={C. Daniel Batson and Bruce D. Duncan and Paula Ackerman and Terese Buckley and K Birch},
  journal={Journal of Personality and Social Psychology},
It has been suggested that empathy leads to altruistic rather than egoistic motivation to help. This hypothesis was tested by having subjects watch another female undergraduate receive electric shocks and then giving them a chance to help her by taking the remaining shocks themselves. In each of two experiments, subjects' level of empathic emotion (low versus high) and their ease of escape from continuing to watch the victim suffer if they did not help (easy versus difficult) were manipulated… Expand

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