Cruel to be Kind: Factors underlying Altruistic Interpersonal Affect Worsening

Lopez-Perez, B. and Gummerum, M and Howells, L (2017) Cruel to be Kind: Factors underlying Altruistic Interpersonal Affect Worsening. Psychological Science, 28 (7). pp. 862-871. ISSN 0956 7976

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When aiming to improve another person’s long-term well-being, people may choose to induce that person to experience a negative emotion in the short term. We labelled this form of agent–target interpersonal emotion regulation altruistic affect worsening and hypothesized that it may happen when three conditions are met: (1) The agents experience empathic concern for the target of the affect-worsening process; (2) the negative emotion to be induced helps the target achieve a goal (anger for confrontation or fear for avoidance); and (3) there is no benefit for the agent. This hypothesis was tested by manipulating perspective taking instructions and the goal to be achieved whilst participants (N = 140) played a computer video game with different goals. Participants following other-oriented perspective taking instructions decided to induce more anger or fear in a supposed fellow participant working to achieve a confrontational or avoidance goal, respectively.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is the author's post peer review version of an article, the final version of which is published in the Sage Publications journal Psychological Science
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Belen Lopez-Perez
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2017 14:10
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2020 14:14

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