Concern (but not empathy) Motivates Prosocial Behavior


A recent article by Psychology graduate student Matthew Jordan, Anthropology graduate student Dorsa Amir, and Psychology professor emeritus Paul Bloom shows that empathy and concern load on different statistical factors and motivate different behaviors: concern for others is a uniquely positive predictor of prosocial action, whereas empathy is either not predictive or negatively predictive of prosocial actions. Together these studies suggest that empathy and concern are psychologically distinct and that empathy plays a more limited role in our moral lives than many believe. (link to the article in Emotion)