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The role of empathy in the formation and maintenance of social bonds

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 January 2003

Cameron Anderson
Affiliation:
Dispute Resolution Research Center, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208-2001 c-anderson2@kellogg.nwu.edu
Dacher Keltner
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 keltner@socrates.berkeley.edu

Abstract

A primary function of empathy is to help individuals form and maintain social bonds. Empathy should thus occur only when individuals seek to solidify social bonds, and not in response to any opportunity to process others' emotions. Empathy should also involve only certain types of emotion – specifically, emotions that facilitate social bonds – and not any and all types of emotion.

Type
Brief Report
Copyright
© 2002 Cambridge University Press

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