Study: The ironic effect of financial incentive on empathic accuracy

► We examined the effect of financial incentives on empathic accuracy
. ► Individuals were offered financial incentives or not for empathic accuracy.
► Those offered financial incentives were less accurate.
► Lower interdependence mediated the effect of financial incentives on accuracy.

 

Two studies examined the effect of financial incentives on empathic accuracy and a possible underlying mechanism. In Study 1, participants either received a financial incentive based on performance on an empathic accuracy task (i.e., monetary reward for accurate inferences regarding the emotions experienced by videotaped targets) or not.

 

Those in the incentive condition were less accurate than those not. Study 2 replicated this finding and tested a hypothesized mechanism—that money makes individuals view themselves in a less relational manner, thereby impairing empathy.

 

Results indicated that relational self-construal mediated the link between money and decreased empathic accuracy

 

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