Ethical position, empathy and prosocial behaviour model
its contribution to prevention and psychotherapeutic approaches of antisocial disorders
Human beings organize their behaviour in terms of their values, beliefs and previous experiences. This article aims to present an interaction model, taking ethical positions and empathy as predictors of prosocial behaviour and penalization of acts as faults and crimes (sociomoral judgement).Ethical positions can influence moral behaviour, particularly prosociality and penalization of acts, being empathy an important mediating variable. Non-relativistic position and empathy, as predictor variables, have positive effects on penalization of acts. The idea that empathy is a major determinant of prosocial behaviour has been widely accepted among psychologists, such as M. Hoffman and N. Eisenberg. The experience of empathy has been shown to motivate prosocial behaviour, for example, volunteering, donating to charities, sharing with peers and helping and comforting others. Empathy has become very important both as an individual developmental variable and its relationship with other variables such as sociomoral development and prosociality. Besides, empathy inhibits aggression and antisocial behaviour. These results confirm the importance of ethical positions on faults and crimes penalization and prosocial behaviour, with an important mediating role of empathy. It should be considered that many psychiatric disorders are associated with deficits or even lack of empathy. It is possible that psychotherapeutic approaches and prevention programs of psychopathological disorders (such as antisocial personality disorders, schizophrenia or autistic spectrum disorders, in which social breakdown is predominant) will benefit from this model.
Mesurado, B. (2019)., Ethical position, empathy and prosocial behaviour model: its contribution to prevention and psychotherapeutic approaches of antisocial disorders, in H. L. . Mesones arroyo (ed.), Psychiatry and neuroscience update, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 273-286.
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