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ERIC Number: ED184728
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Charitable Behavior: An Examination of the Transfer of Empathy.
Barnett, Mark A.; And Others
High school students who had been pretested on the Mehrabian and Epstein (1972) measure of empathy were shown a brief videotaped presentation designed to elicit empathic arousal for a particular group of children (mentally retarded or crippled). Each individual was subsequently given an opportunity to act charitably for a recipient group which was identified as either (1) the same group of children who had been previously described in the presentation or (2) a different group. Individuals in the control group were shown a presentation of an affectively-neutral topic prior to the opportunity to help. Highly empathic adolescents were found to be more charitable than their relatively less empathic counterparts. Moreover, the findings indicated that empathy for a particular target, once aroused, may "transfer" and subsequently enhance charitable behaviors towards recipients who did not serve as the original source of the individual's concern. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the meeting of the Southwestern Society for Research in Human Development (Lawrence, KS, March 27-29, 1980).