Author(s): Oswald PA
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Abstract The impact of cognitive and affective perspective taking on empathic arousal and altruistic responding was investigated in an American, working adult, ethnically diverse population. Altruistic helping, operationalized as the number of hours a participant volunteered to help counsel other adult students, depended on the type of perspective induced. Cognitive and affective perspectives were induced by instructing participants to pay attention to and discern (a) the thoughts of the stimulus person, (b) the feelings of the stimulus person, or (c) distracting, irrelevant details that provided a comparison condition. Participants in the affective perspective-taking condition reported greater empathic arousal than control participants. Participants in the affective perspective-taking condition also offered more help than did those in the cognitive perspective-taking condition or in the control condition.
This article was published in J Soc Psychol
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research