Why do people tend to care for upholding principles of justice? This study examined the association between individual differences in the affective, motivational and cognitive components of empathy, sensitivity to justice, and psychopathy in participants (N 265) who were also asked to rate the permissibility of everyday moral situations that pit personal benefit against moral standards of justice.
Counter to common sense, emotional empathy was not associated with sensitivity to injustice for others. Rather, individual differences in cognitive empathy and empathic concern predicted sensitivity to justice for others, as well as the endorsement of moral rules.
Keith J. Yoder