Emotion, Event-related potentials, Cognitive control, Performance monitoring, Rabbitt effect, Anteriorcingulate
Recent research suggests a relationship between empathy and error processing. Error processing is an evaluativecontrol function that can be measured using post-error response time slowing and the error-related negativity (ERN)and post-error positivity (Pe) components of the event-related potential (ERP). Thirty healthy participants completedtwo measures of empathy, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) and the Empathy Quotient (EQ), and a modifiedStroop task. Post-error slowing was associated with increased empathic personal distress on the IRI. ERN amplitudewas related to overall empathy score on the EQ and the fantasy subscale of the IRI. The Pe and measures of empathywere not related. Results remained consistent when negative affect was controlled via partial correlation, with anadditional relationship between ERN amplitude and empathic concern on the IRI. Findings support a connectionbetween empathy and error processing mechanisms.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Baldwin, Scott A.; Larson, Michael J.; Fair, Joseph E.; and Good, Daniel A., "Empathy and error processing" (2010). Faculty Publications. 6052.
Society for Psychophysiological Research
Family, Home, and Social Sciences