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≪Organizer Abstract≫
For the past 40 years, research on prosocial motivation has been largely dominated by the Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis and tests of the notion that altruism is a possible human motive. This programme of research is important in its own right, but a number of phenomena that emerged from the search for altruism have been largely overlooked. For example, can the altruism be generalized from one person to other victims in a similar situation? Does the fit between the target of empathy and the opportunity to help matter? Are some people disposed to feel empathy and help more than others? How do vicarious emotions relate to ruminations about the source of the emotion? Do different vicarious emotions have unique motivational and behavioral consequences? And, finally, are there new motives that may influence helping behavior other than self-interest and altruism? These questions, and others, are the focus of the present symposium.
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