Filomena Milena Marzano, Carmençita Serino, Graziana Epifani

Empathy and Membership: Intergroup processes when comparing with a person in need

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: perspective taking, empathy, intergroup relations, social categorization

Empathy is a multifaceted experience, a cognitive-affective state with a complex structure. The present contribution is focussed on the role of perspective taking and of target membership on self-reported empathy, analysing two different components of the empathic response, that is pure empathy and parallel empathy. Participants confronted with a "victim" belonging to the ingroup or the outgroup, in high vs. low empathy conditions. We found more marked emotional responses in the high empathy condition, but we also registered an unexpected significant interaction between empathy and target group membership, showing that perspective taking instructions produce stronger effects when the "victim" belongs to the outgroup.

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