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Altruism in Humans$
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C. Daniel Batson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195341065

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195341065.001.0001

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Benefits of Empathy-Induced Altruism

(p.163) 7 Benefits of Empathy-Induced Altruism
Altruism in Humans

C. Daniel Batson

Oxford University Press

Empathy-induced altruism offers a number of benefits. Most obvious are the benefits that accrue to individuals whose needs elicit empathic concern, but research suggests that empathy-induced altruistic motivation can also benefit groups in need. It may even benefit the person experiencing this motivation. The potential benefits discussed in this chapter are: More, more sensitive, and less fickle help; less aggression and derogation of the victims of injustice; increased cooperation and care in conflict situations, including conflict in bargaining and negotiations, ethnic, religious, and political conflicts, and racial conflicts in educational settings; improved attitudes toward, and action on behalf of, stigmatized groups; more positive close relationships, including friendships and romantic relationships; and better mental and physical health for the altruistic helper.

Keywords:   aggression, attitudes toward stigmatized groups, bargaining, close relationships, cooperation, derogation, empathy-induced altruism, mental health, physical health

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