Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The effects of empathy on cooperation
Author: Lv, Jie-Yu
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 3393
Awarding Body: Queen Mary University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Empathy induced altruism is considered as the motivation of human cooperation, one of the most prominent pro-social behaviours in society. To explore the empathy-cooperation link, this thesis presents a series of empirical studies designed to uncover how reliable this association is. Specifically, the introductory chapters present an evidence-based systematic review and discussion of current theories, which take a critical view of the methodological approaches and provide the context and theoretical motivations for the empirical work of the thesis. The empirical chapters present four studies conducted in the laboratory to evaluate empathy-cooperation association, as well as other potential mediating factors via Public Goods Game (PGG) reflecting collective action in society (total approx. 540 participants). Study 1 was a replication of a highly cited finding that has been often used to support theoretical claims regarding the positive empathy-cooperation link, which in the present case was not found when examined using the PGG set up. Study 2 further explored the empathy-cooperation link alongside the impact of personal values as an information signal to support cooperative behaviour, to this end, shared social values predicted cooperative behaviour above and beyond empathy. Study 3 examined the extent to which empathy could be used to support cooperation in heterogeneous group settings by manipulating the distribution of endowments and the origin of endowments; again empathy had a limited effect on levels of cooperation. Study 4 was a replication of Study 3, but using a 2-player PGG, leading to differences between the patterns of results from the previous experiment. The concluding section considers the implications of the findings for current theories that build on the empathy-cooperation link. Overall the experimental findings do not support the statement that empathy induction is an effective way of promoting cooperation in PGG when financial incentives are involved. This enriches the understanding of empathy-cooperation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: China Scholarship Council ; Queen Mary University of London
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Empathy induced altruism ; human cooperation