Enhanced emotional empathy after psychosocial stress in young healthy men

Wolf, Oliver T.; Schulte, Judith M.; Drimalla, Hanna; Hamacher-Dang, Tanja C.; Knoch, Daria; Dziobek, Isabel (2015). Enhanced emotional empathy after psychosocial stress in young healthy men. Stress - the international journal on the biology of stress, 18(6), pp. 631-637. Taylor & Francis 10.3109/10253890.2015.1078787

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Empathy is a core prerequisite for human social behavior. Relatively, little is known about how empathy is influenced by social stress and its associated neuroendocrine alterations. The current study was designed to test the impact of acute stress on emotional and cognitive empathy. Healthy male participants were exposed to a psychosocial laboratory stressor (trier social stress test, (TSST)) or a well-matched control condition (Placebo-TSST). Afterwards they participated in an empathy test measuring emotional and cognitive empathy (multifaceted empathy test, (MET)). Stress exposure caused an increase in negative affect, a rise in salivary alpha amylase and a rise in cortisol. Participants exposed to stress reported more emotional empathy in response to pictures displaying both positive and negative emotional social scenes. Cognitive empathy (emotion recognition) in contrast did not differ between the stress and the control group. The current findings provide initial evidence for enhanced emotional empathy after acute psychosocial stress.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience

UniBE Contributor:

Knoch, Daria

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

1025-3890

Publisher:

Taylor & Francis

Language:

English

Submitter:

Irène Gonce-Gyr

Date Deposited:

05 Oct 2015 17:18

Last Modified:

10 Sep 2017 15:42

Publisher DOI:

10.3109/10253890.2015.1078787

PubMed ID:

26365125

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.72028

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/72028

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