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  Skin conductance response to the pain of others predicts later costly helping

Hein, G., Lamm, C., Brodbeck, C., & Singer, T. (2011). Skin conductance response to the pain of others predicts later costly helping. PLoS One, 6(8): e22759. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022759.

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© 2011 Hein et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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 Creators:
Hein, Grit1, Author
Lamm, Claus1, 2, Author
Brodbeck, Christian3, Author
Singer, Tania1, 4, Author              
Affiliations:
1Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research, Department of Economics, University of Zurich, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
2Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Unit, Faculty of Psychology, University Vienna, Austria, ou_persistent22              
3Department of Psychology, University of Zurich, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
4Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634552              

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 Abstract: People show autonomic responses when they empathize with the suffering of another person. However, little is known about how these autonomic changes are related to prosocial behavior. We measured skin conductance responses (SCRs) and affect ratings in participants while either receiving painful stimulation themselves, or observing pain being inflicted on another person. In a later session, they could prevent the infliction of pain in the other by choosing to endure pain themselves. Our results show that the strength of empathy-related vicarious skin conductance responses predicts later costly helping. Moreover, the higher the match between SCR magnitudes during the observation of pain in others and SCR magnitude during self pain, the more likely a person is to engage in costly helping. We conclude that prosocial motivation is fostered by the strength of the vicarious autonomic response as well as its match with first-hand autonomic experience.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2011-06-292011-08-03
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022759
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Title: PLoS One
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: San Francisco, CA : Public Library of Sciene
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 6 (8) Sequence Number: e22759 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1932-6203
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1000000000277850