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EmpathyFrom Bench to Bedside$
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Jean Decety

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016612

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016612.001.0001

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It’s More than Skin Deep: Empathy and Helping Behavior across Social Groups

It’s More than Skin Deep: Empathy and Helping Behavior across Social Groups

Chapter:
(p.55) 4 It’s More than Skin Deep: Empathy and Helping Behavior across Social Groups
Source:
Empathy
Author(s):

Stephanie Echols

Joshua Correll

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262016612.003.0004

This chapter, which focuses on the influence of social groups on the empathic process, the effect the groups have on an individual’s ability to understand the internal experiences of other people and respond accordingly, defines empathic understanding and its role in recognizing the emotions of people in the group. It discusses emotional/affective arousal, which differs depending on the target’s group membership. Studies exploring the difference between affective arousal in in- and out-group members’ pain are presented. The chapter focuses on the importance of similarity and likeability between the target and the perceiver to help explain the emotions of the target more thoroughly. It presents research according to which empathic concern can be a prosocial motivation to help people in pain and distress.

Keywords:   social groups, empathic process, empathic understanding, affective arousal, prosocial motivation

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