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ERIC Number: ED406012
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Emotional and Helping Responses as a Function of Empathy and Affective Cues.
Strayer, Janet; Chang, Anthony
This study examined the theoretically related constructs of children's empathy, affective responsiveness, and altruistic helping. Subjects were 80 nine-year-olds. Empathy was assessed using interviews with children regarding their understanding of the emotion portrayed in, and their own emotional-cognitive responses to, a set of seven videotaped stimulus vignettes of persons in emotional interaction. Responses were scored along an Empathy Continuum (EC). A median split on EC scores assigned children into high or low empathy groups. Second, emotional responsivity was assessed in the Affect Match (AM) Experiment in which children viewed video episodes of four same-sex peers, each responding to a test-game, in which they were happy or sad about winning or losing. AM scores were the degree of affect match reported by the child. Third, altruistic helping was assessed in the Helping Experiment, in which children viewed a same-sex peer (a confederate) who was completing a test-game in another room, visible to the subject via TV monitor. The subject's helping responses over 10 trials were noted. The findings indicated that responses in the Affect Match Experiment were significantly higher for children with high versus low empathy. Responses were significantly greater for congruent than incongruent affect cues (happy/win versus happy/lose). There were no differences between responses to situational (win, lose) versus expressive (happy, sad) cues. Altruistic helping was greater for children with high versus low empathy. (Contains 21 references.) (KDFB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A