Empathy and Moral Development: Implications for Caring and by Martin L. Hoffman

By Martin L. Hoffman

Modern theories have in most cases curious about both the behavioral, cognitive or emotional dimensions of prosocial ethical improvement. This quantity presents the 1st finished account of prosocial ethical improvement in childrens. The book's concentration is empathy's contribution to altruism and compassion for others in actual, mental, or monetary misery; emotions of guilt over harming anyone; emotions of anger at others who do damage; emotions of injustice while others don't obtain their due. additionally highlighted are the mental tactics fascinated with empathy's interplay with yes parental behaviors that foster ethical internalization in youngsters and the mental strategies excited about empathy's relation to summary ethical ideas.

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Example text

To produce happy faces the subjects were asked to contract the muscles near the corners of their mouths ("draw the corners of your mouth back and up"). Laird found that the subjects in the frown condition felt angrier and those in the smile condition felt happier than their peers. " And, in a later study, subjects in the "smile" condition were better at recalling happy events in their lives than sad events, whereas subjects in the "frown" condition were better at recalling sad events (Laird, Wagener, Halal, & Szedga, 1982).

Direct association thus has more scope than conditioning and provides the basis for a variety of distress experiences in others with which children may empathize. Furthermore, what I said about the possible role of afferent feedback in conditioning may also be true of direct association: Changes in an observer's facial expression resulting from direct association may, through afferent feedback, contribute to a certain degree of match between the observer's and the victim's feeling. Here 47 Innocent Bystander is a vivid example of direct association described by a college student: Getting off the bus I saw a man slip and fall and hit his head on the stairs.

In a later analysis of the data, trained judges who were "blind" as to which segment the subjects observed rated the subjects' faces as happier when viewing the happier segment and sadder when viewing the sad segment. Similar results were obtained by Hatfield, Cacioppo, and Rapson (1992), whose judges rated college students' facial expressions as happy or sad when observing a 3minute filmed interview of a man recounting a happy or a sad event in his life (a surprise birthday party or his grandfather's funeral which he attended at age 6).

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