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  Investigating adult age differences in real-life empathy, prosociality, and well-being using experience sampling

Pollerhoff, L., Stietz, J., Depow, G. J., Inzlicht, M., Kanske, P., Li, S.-C., et al. (2022). Investigating adult age differences in real-life empathy, prosociality, and well-being using experience sampling. Scientific Reports, 12(1): 3450. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-06620-x.

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 Creators:
Pollerhoff, Lena1, Author
Stietz, Julia2, Author
Depow, Gregory John3, Author
Inzlicht, Michael3, 4, Author
Kanske, Philipp2, 5, Author              
Li, Shu-Chen1, 6, Author
Reiter, Andrea M. F.1, 7, 8, Author
Affiliations:
1Lifespan Developmental Neuroscience, Department of Biological Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, TU Dresden, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Chair for Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology, TU Dresden, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, ON, Canada, ou_persistent22              
4Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, ON, Canada, ou_persistent22              
5Research Group Social Stress and Family Health, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_3025667              
6Centre for Tactile Internet with Human-in-the-Loop (CeTI), TU Dresden, Germany, ou_persistent22              
7Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, University Hospital Würzburg, Germany, ou_persistent22              
8German Centre of Prevention Research On Mental Health (CMH), Julius Maximilian University, Würzburg, Germany, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Ageing; Human behaviour
 Abstract: While the importance of social affect and cognition is indisputable throughout the adult lifespan, findings of how empathy and prosociality develop and interact across adulthood are mixed and real-life data are scarce. Research using ecological momentary assessment recently demonstrated that adults commonly experience empathy in daily life. Furthermore, experiencing empathy was linked to higher prosocial behavior and subjective well-being. However, to date, it is not clear whether there are adult age differences in daily empathy and daily prosociality and whether age moderates the relationship between empathy and prosociality across adulthood. Here we analyzed experience-sampling data collected from participants across the adult lifespan to study age effects on empathy, prosocial behavior, and well-being under real-life circumstances. Linear and quadratic age effects were found for the experience of empathy, with increased empathy across the three younger age groups (18 to 45 years) and a slight decrease in the oldest group (55 years and older). Neither prosocial behavior nor well-being showed significant age-related differences. We discuss these findings with respect to (partially discrepant) results derived from lab-based and traditional survey studies. We conclude that studies linking in-lab experiments with real-life experience-sampling may be a promising venue for future lifespan studies.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-08-022022-02-022022-03-02
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-06620-x
PMID: 35236872
PMC: PMC8891267
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Title: Scientific Reports
  Abbreviation : Sci. Rep.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London, UK : Nature Publishing Group
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 12 (1) Sequence Number: 3450 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2045-2322
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2045-2322