Friends or Foes: Is Empathy Necessary for Moral Behavior?. Decety, J. and Cowell, J. M Perspect. Psychol. Sci., 9(5):525--537, September, 2014. 00000
Friends or Foes: Is Empathy Necessary for Moral Behavior? [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
In the past decade, a flurry of empirical and theoretical research on morality and empathy has taken place, and interest and usage in the media and the public arena have increased. At times, in both popular culture and academia, morality and empathy are used interchangeably, and quite often the latter is considered to play a foundational role for the former. In this article, we argue that although there is a relationship between morality and empathy, it is not as straightforward as apparent at first glance. Moreover, it is critical to distinguish among the different facets of empathy (emotional sharing, empathic concern, and perspective taking), as each uniquely influences moral cognition and predicts differential outcomes in moral behavior. Empirical evidence and theories from evolutionary biology as well as developmental, behavioral, and affective and social neuroscience are comprehensively integrated in support of this argument. The wealth of findings illustrates a complex and equivocal relationship between morality and empathy. The key to understanding such relations is to be more precise on the concepts being used and, perhaps, abandoning the muddy concept of empathy.
@article{decety_friends_2014,
	title = {Friends or {Foes}: {Is} {Empathy} {Necessary} for {Moral} {Behavior}?},
	volume = {9},
	issn = {1745-6916},
	url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1745691614545130},
	doi = {10.1177/1745691614545130},
	abstract = {In the past decade, a flurry of empirical and theoretical research on
morality and empathy has taken place, and interest and usage in the media
and the public arena have increased. At times, in both popular culture and
academia, morality and empathy are used interchangeably, and quite often
the latter is considered to play a foundational role for the former. In
this article, we argue that although there is a relationship between
morality and empathy, it is not as straightforward as apparent at first
glance. Moreover, it is critical to distinguish among the different facets
of empathy (emotional sharing, empathic concern, and perspective taking),
as each uniquely influences moral cognition and predicts differential
outcomes in moral behavior. Empirical evidence and theories from
evolutionary biology as well as developmental, behavioral, and affective
and social neuroscience are comprehensively integrated in support of this
argument. The wealth of findings illustrates a complex and equivocal
relationship between morality and empathy. The key to understanding such
relations is to be more precise on the concepts being used and, perhaps,
abandoning the muddy concept of empathy.},
	number = {5},
	journal = {Perspect. Psychol. Sci.},
	author = {Decety, Jean and Cowell, Jason M},
	month = sep,
	year = {2014},
	note = {00000},
	keywords = {Sep 20 import, developmental science, duplicate, emotional sharing, empathic concern, empathy, morality, perspective taking, social and affective neuroscience, ventromedial prefrontal cortex},
	pages = {525--537}
}
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