ERIC Number: ED226269
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Antecedents of Helping: Assessing the Role of Empathy and Values.
Earle, Walter B.; And Others
Empathy and prosocial moral values are often identified as antecedents of helping behavior, but interest in their relationship and joint operation has only recently emerged. To investigate the relative contribution of empathy and values to helping responses, 87 college students were confronted with a request for help delivered either in person or by written note. The results showed the helping behavior in the "live appeal" condition was a function of students' prosocial value orientation, but not of their level of dispositional empathy. Conversely, dispositional empathy was the sole determinant of helping in the "written appeal" condition. The findings are consistent with a conception of empathic emotion as an "activator" of helping responses and of values as "facilitators" channeling response tendencies triggered by empathic arousal, and suggest that further research is in order to reverify the respective roles of empathy and values in producing prosocial behavior. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (90th, Washington, DC, August 23-27, 1982).