Journal Articles

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Brain Sciences


This study employs event-related potential (ERP) to examine the impact of empathic concern on prosocial decision-making with costs in both gain and loss contexts. In this experiment, participants can choose between two types of lottery tickets and pay lottery money to help the target person gain more money or lose less money. The behavioral results showed that regardless of the context of the decision (financial loss or gain), participants tended to help individuals who had induced high empathic concern. ERP results show that compared to the low-empathic-concern condition, the high-empathic-concern condition induced greater P3 amplitude in the gain context. However, this change in P3 amplitude caused by empathic concern did not occur in the context of loss. These findings indicate that empathic concern has different psychological mechanisms that moderate prosocial behavior in gain and loss contexts.


empathic concern, gain/loss context, prosocial behaviors, event-related potential (ERP)

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