David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 73 (3):481-494 (1997)
Important features of the self-concept can be located outside of the individual and inside close or related others. The authors use this insight to reinterpret data previously said to support the empathy-altruism model of helping, which asserts that empathic concern for another results in selflessness and true altruism. That is, they argue that the conditions that lead to empathic concern also lead to a greater sense of self-other overlap, raising the possibility that helping under these conditions is not selfless but is also directed toward the self. In 3 studies, the impact of empathic concern on willingness to help was eliminated when oneness--a measure of perceived self-other overlap--was considered. Path analyses revealed further that empathic concern increased helping only through its relation to perceived oneness, thereby throwing the empathy-altruism model into question. The authors suggest that empathic concern affects helping primarily as an emotional signal of oneness.
|Keywords||psychological egoism self-other merging|
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Citations of this work BETA
Frederique De Vignemont & Tania Singer (2006). The Empathic Brain: How, When and Why? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10 (10):435-441.
Jesse Prinz (2011). Against Empathy. Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):214-233.
Thomas Szanto & Dermot Moran (2015). Introduction: Empathy and Collective Intentionality—The Social Philosophy of Edith Stein. Human Studies 38 (4):445-461.
Dan Zahavi (2015). Self and Other: From Pure Ego to Co-Constituted We. Continental Philosophy Review 48 (2):143-160.
Christian Miller (2009). Empathy, Social Psychology, and Global Helping Traits. Philosophical Studies 142 (2):247-275.
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