ERIC Number: ED232781
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-May
Reference Count: 0
Similarity of Experience and Empathy in Preschoolers.
Barnett, Mark A.
The present study examined the role of similarity of experience in young children's affective reactions to others. Some preschoolers played one of two games (Puzzle Board or Buckets) and were informed that they had either failed or succeeded; others merely observed the games being played and were given no evaluative feedback. Subsequently, each child was shown a videotape of another child failing on the Buckets game. Thus, each child observed the confederate as having a similar or dissimilar experience on a familiar or unfamiliar game. The observing child's facial reaction to the saddened confederate was unobtrusively videotaped while he/she watched the videotape presentation. Immediately following the presentation, each child was asked to indicate how he or she felt on a 7-point"smiley face" rating scale. Results were generally consistent with the notion that a young child's empathy with an unhappy agemate will be enhanced when the observing child has had a similar unpleasant experience. Implications of the present findings for prosocial behavior in children are discussed. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Similarity of Experience
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association (45th, Chicago, IL, May 5-7, 1983).