Self-report measures, facial response, and personality differences (BEES) in cooperative vs. non cooperative situations: contribution of the autonomic system to the sense of empathy

Michela Balconi, Adriana Bortolotti

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

Abstract

Objective: The empathy, represented as the capacity to understand and respond to the affective experience of another person, is elicited by social and emotional situations (Decety & Jackson, 2006). Empathy involves a wide range of involuntary response to the affective cues from others and an intentional role-taking ability. Indeed, people are predisposed to react differently to emotional empathic situations, using a large spectrum of autonomic measures, as facial expressions of emotion. Participants and Methods: The present study integrated three different measures of empathic behavior in different social contexts: verbal self-report measures (empathic response, emotional involvement and emotional significance, and valence), facial expression (activity of corrugator supercilii muscle and of zygomaticus major muscle), and personal response to empathic scale (BEES). Different interpersonal scene types (cooperation, non-cooperation, conflict, indifference) were presented to participants. Results: First, these interpersonal contexts revealed changes into empathic sensitivity, showing a difference for self-rating on empathy, emotional involvement and valence. Secondly, subjective empathic response and emotional involvement were found to be dissociated, whereas selfreport measures of empathy and facial mimicry were found to be related. In fact, one’s own perception of interpersonal situations evoked distinct facial EMG response patterns in relationship with empathic self-rating. Third, the level derived from the BEES scale was correlated with subjective ratings and physiological measures, since subjects showed different empathic behaviour as a function of BEES. High empathic subjects (hBEES) were more responsive (on both self-report and facial response) to empathy-related situations than low empathic subjects (lBEES). Conclusions: The convergence of these multidimensional measures was discussed.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)33-33
Numero di pagine1
RivistaJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Volume16
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2010

Keywords

  • autonomic indexes
  • empathy

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