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The Effects of Competition on Empathy and Prosociality

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Date Issued:
2017
Summary:
The current research investigated the effects of competition on empathy and prosociality in two studies. Study 1 aimed to explore associations between competition and prosociality by asking participants to play a computer puzzle game that was either high or low on competitiveness, and then to complete measures of empathy, perspective taking, compassionate love and willingness to sacrifice for a romantic partner. Study 1 found a marginally significant difference across conditions for perspective taking, a marginally significant gender interaction for perspective taking, and a significant gender by condition interaction for compassionate love, in support of hypotheses that competition reduces prosocial responses in men. Study 2 addressed methodological limitations from Study 1 and examined the effect across a broader range of relationship contexts, including close friends. Results for Study 2 did not replicate the marginally significant effect for perspective taking seen in Study 1, but found a significant interaction between gender and condition predicting perspective taking. Significant findings in line with prior research emerged for dominance and commitment, indicating that higher dominance and lower commitment were associated with less empathy and prosociality. Overall, results do not consistently support the hypothesized effect of competitive situations on prosocial and empathic behavior, although results of exploratory analyses suggest potential moderated or conditional effects.
Title: The Effects of Competition on Empathy and Prosociality.
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Name(s): Gilad, Corinne, author
Maniaci, Michael, Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Department of Psychology
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2017
Date Issued: 2017
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 58 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: The current research investigated the effects of competition on empathy and prosociality in two studies. Study 1 aimed to explore associations between competition and prosociality by asking participants to play a computer puzzle game that was either high or low on competitiveness, and then to complete measures of empathy, perspective taking, compassionate love and willingness to sacrifice for a romantic partner. Study 1 found a marginally significant difference across conditions for perspective taking, a marginally significant gender interaction for perspective taking, and a significant gender by condition interaction for compassionate love, in support of hypotheses that competition reduces prosocial responses in men. Study 2 addressed methodological limitations from Study 1 and examined the effect across a broader range of relationship contexts, including close friends. Results for Study 2 did not replicate the marginally significant effect for perspective taking seen in Study 1, but found a significant interaction between gender and condition predicting perspective taking. Significant findings in line with prior research emerged for dominance and commitment, indicating that higher dominance and lower commitment were associated with less empathy and prosociality. Overall, results do not consistently support the hypothesized effect of competitive situations on prosocial and empathic behavior, although results of exploratory analyses suggest potential moderated or conditional effects.
Identifier: FA00004822 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2017.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Competition--Psychological aspects.
Empathy.
Social values.
Identity (Philosophical concept)
Motivation (Psychology)
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Links: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004822
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004822
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.