Document Detail

Individual differences among adult women in sensitivity to infants: evidence in support of an empathy concept.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  6694055     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Emotional and physiological responsivity to infant signals was assessed in individuals who differed markedly in their level of empathy. Eighteen high-empathy and 20 low-empathy female observers viewed videotaped scenes of smiling, quiescent, and crying 5-month-olds as the observers' physiological and facial reactions were monitored. Subjects then rated their subjective emotional reactions to the scenes and judged the intensity of the infants' need for care. High-empathy subjects had larger electrodermal responses, tended to respond with matching facial expressions, had more extreme happiness and sadness reactions, and indicated stronger desire to pick up the infants. Additionally, the empathic group showed a trend toward greater cardiac responsiveness to the signals. The results support the hypothesis that high-empathy individuals are more emotionally responsive to infant emotional stimuli and hold different values about caregiving behavior. Applications of the findings to the training of caregivers are considered.
A R Wiesenfeld; P B Whitman; C Z Malatesta
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of personality and social psychology     Volume:  46     ISSN:  0022-3514     ISO Abbreviation:  J Pers Soc Psychol     Publication Date:  1984 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1984-03-19     Completed Date:  1984-03-19     Revised Date:  2009-11-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0014171     Medline TA:  J Pers Soc Psychol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  118-24     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Facial Expression
Galvanic Skin Response
Heart Rate
Maternal Behavior*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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