Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Anger motivates volunteers as much as sympathy

Date:
May 6, 2014
Source:
British Psychological Society (BPS)
Summary:
Anger can be just as effective at motivating people to volunteer as sympathy. "Although there are many reasons why individuals help, empathy is prominent. Empathy occurs when an individual has a similar response to a suffering person and this is usually sadness. Empathic sadness motivates a person to help in order to alleviate the other person's suffering and to alleviate one's own discomfort," one of the authors said.

Anger can be just as effective at motivating people to volunteer as sympathy.

This is one of the findings of research by Professor Robert Bringle and his students Ashley Hedgepath and Elizabeth Wall from Appalachian State University who present their findings at the British Psychological Society annual conference on 7 May 2014, at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham.

Professor Bringle explained: "Although there are many reasons why individuals help, empathy is prominent. Empathy occurs when an individual has a similar response to a suffering person and this is usually sadness. Empathic sadness motivates a person to help in order to alleviate the other person's suffering and to alleviate one's own discomfort."

"This research focused on circumstances when empathy elicits anger. Whereas anger is usually seen as evoking an aggressive response, we wanted to anaylse empathic anger as a basis for helping. This seems most likely to occur when the attribution is made about the unfairness of the circumstances that caused the victim's suffering."

Two questionnaire studies focused on the nature of those reporting empathic anger using a new measure, the "Revised Empathic Anger" scale. In Study 1 (involving 132 participants) found that those scoring high on empathic anger were publically spirited and more likely to support community projects and organisations as a way to affect change rather than charitable volunteering. Study 2 (involving 152 participants) found those reporting high empathic anger were not aggressive people, but were concerned and altruistic individuals who rejected group-based discrimination and inequality among groups.

Professor Bringle added: "This research adds a new dimension to motives for volunteering. Empathic anger is probably a more extreme or intense motive than others that have been described or studied in the previous research on volunteering and prosocial behavior."

"By developing our understanding of empathic anger we can better appreciate why some volunteers are motivated to assist certain social causes. The new scale provides opportunities for future research to study the nature of empathic anger, its development, and it journey across time."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by British Psychological Society (BPS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

British Psychological Society (BPS). "Anger motivates volunteers as much as sympathy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140506204042.htm>.
British Psychological Society (BPS). (2014, May 6). Anger motivates volunteers as much as sympathy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140506204042.htm
British Psychological Society (BPS). "Anger motivates volunteers as much as sympathy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140506204042.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins