DSC4299 2 Web

Skin Conductance Response to the Pain of Others Predicts Later Costly Helping

14.10.2011 09:47

Grit Hein, psychologist and neuroscientist at the Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research, University Zurich, is first author in a study showing that the difference in autonomic responses to self pain and vicariously experienced pain predicts if a person will help a suffering other.

The more similar the magnitudes of self- and other-related skin conductance responses (SCRs) the more likely were participants to endure pain in order to prevent infliction of pain on the other. This shows for the first time that the match between first- and second-person autonomic experiences fosters prosocial behavior towards a person in need.

Research Article