Chapter

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

Stephanie Echols and Joshua Correll

in Empathy

Published by The MIT Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780262016612
Published online August 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780262298612 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/9780262016612.003.0004
It’s More than Skin Deep: Empathy and Helping Behavior across Social Groups

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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

Chapter.  7161 words. 

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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