Positive Empathy and Prosocial Behavior: A Neglected Link

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Empathy facilitates everyday social interactions and has often been linked in the literature to prosocial behavior. Robust evidence has been found for a positive relationship between experiencing empathy and behaving prosocially. However, empathy, and the empathy–prosocial behavior relationship in particular, has been studied mostly in combination with negative emotions. Less research has been conducted on empathy for positive emotions, and the link between positive empathy and displayed prosocial behavior has not been intensively investigated so far. The purpose of the present article is thus twofold: first, we review and summarize research evidence on empathy for positive emotions, and second, we propose that people’s motivation to maintain an experienced positive affect is a viable mechanism linking positive empathy and prosocial behavior.
ZeitschriftEmotion Review
Seiten (von - bis)154-163
Anzahl der Seiten10
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 04.2016