Limits...
I know how you feel: the warm-altruistic personality profile and the empathic brain.

Haas BW, Brook M, Remillard L, Ishak A, Anderson IW, Filkowski MM - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: This study was designed to test the hypothesis that specific personality traits are associated with behavioral and biological indicators of improved empathy.Extraversion and Agreeableness are personality traits designed to measure individual differences in social-cognitive functioning, however each trait-dimension includes elements that represent interpersonal social functioning and elements that do not represent interpersonal social functioning.We tested the prediction that interpersonal elements of Extraversion (Warmth) and Agreeableness (Altruism) are associated with empathy and non-interpersonal elements of Extraversion and Agreeableness are not associated with empathy.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States of America; Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
The ability to empathize with other people is a critical component of human social relationships. Empathic processing varies across the human population, however it is currently unclear how personality traits are associated with empathic processing. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that specific personality traits are associated with behavioral and biological indicators of improved empathy. Extraversion and Agreeableness are personality traits designed to measure individual differences in social-cognitive functioning, however each trait-dimension includes elements that represent interpersonal social functioning and elements that do not represent interpersonal social functioning. We tested the prediction that interpersonal elements of Extraversion (Warmth) and Agreeableness (Altruism) are associated with empathy and non-interpersonal elements of Extraversion and Agreeableness are not associated with empathy. We quantified empathic processing behaviorally (empathic accuracy task using video vignettes) and within the brain (fMRI and an emotional perspective taking task) in 50 healthy subjects. Converging evidence shows that highly warm and altruistic people are well skilled in recognizing the emotional states of other people and exhibit greater activity in brain regions important for empathy (temporoparietal junction and medial prefrontal cortex) during emotional perspective taking. A mediation analysis further supported the association between warm-altruistic personality and empathic processing; indicating that one reason why highly warm-altruistic individuals may be skilled empathizers is that they engage the temporoparietal junction and medial prefrontal cortex more. Together, these findings advance the way the behavioral and neural basis of empathy is understood and demonstrates the efficacy of personality scales to measure individual differences in interpersonal social function.

No MeSH data available.


Overall model for mediation analysis.The association between warm- altruistic composite scores and empathic accuracy is mediated by activity within the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) and temporoparietal junction (TPJ).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4359130&req=5

pone.0120639.g003: Overall model for mediation analysis.The association between warm- altruistic composite scores and empathic accuracy is mediated by activity within the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) and temporoparietal junction (TPJ).

Mentions: The overall mediation model is presented in Fig. 3. The direct path between warm-altruistic composite scores and empathic accuracy (c path: no mediator variables entered) was statistically significant (B = .13, t(48) = 2.58, p = .013). However, when the TPJ and medial PFC mediator variables were entered, the association between warm-altruistic composite scores and empathic accuracy (c’ path) no longer reached statistical significance (B = .07, t(48) = 1.37, p = .18). Both a paths (a1: warm-altruistic to medial PFC, and a2: warm-altruistic to TPJ) reached statistical significance (a1: B = .006, t(48) = 2.06, p = .04; a2: B = .007., t(48) = 2.15, p = .03). For b paths (b1: medial PFC to empathic accuracy, and b2: TPJ to empathic accuracy), the association between medial PFC activity and empathic accuracy was statistically significant (b1: B = 4.50, t(48) = 2.06, p <. 05), while the association between TPJ activity and empathic accuracy approached statistical significance (b2: B = 3.87, t(48) = 1.87, p = .068). Lastly, results indicated the mediating role of the medial PFC and TPJ in the association between warm-altruistic composite scores and empathic accuracy (B = .058; CI = .002 to. 146). The estimates of the indirect effects through the TPJ and medial PFC separately were as follows: TPJ; B = .027, CI = -.003 - .105; Medial PFC: B = .031, CI = .0003 - .096. The overall mediation model remained statistically significant when sex and handedness were entered as covariates (p <. 01).


I know how you feel: the warm-altruistic personality profile and the empathic brain.

Haas BW, Brook M, Remillard L, Ishak A, Anderson IW, Filkowski MM - PLoS ONE (2015)

Overall model for mediation analysis.The association between warm- altruistic composite scores and empathic accuracy is mediated by activity within the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) and temporoparietal junction (TPJ).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4359130&req=5

pone.0120639.g003: Overall model for mediation analysis.The association between warm- altruistic composite scores and empathic accuracy is mediated by activity within the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) and temporoparietal junction (TPJ).
Mentions: The overall mediation model is presented in Fig. 3. The direct path between warm-altruistic composite scores and empathic accuracy (c path: no mediator variables entered) was statistically significant (B = .13, t(48) = 2.58, p = .013). However, when the TPJ and medial PFC mediator variables were entered, the association between warm-altruistic composite scores and empathic accuracy (c’ path) no longer reached statistical significance (B = .07, t(48) = 1.37, p = .18). Both a paths (a1: warm-altruistic to medial PFC, and a2: warm-altruistic to TPJ) reached statistical significance (a1: B = .006, t(48) = 2.06, p = .04; a2: B = .007., t(48) = 2.15, p = .03). For b paths (b1: medial PFC to empathic accuracy, and b2: TPJ to empathic accuracy), the association between medial PFC activity and empathic accuracy was statistically significant (b1: B = 4.50, t(48) = 2.06, p <. 05), while the association between TPJ activity and empathic accuracy approached statistical significance (b2: B = 3.87, t(48) = 1.87, p = .068). Lastly, results indicated the mediating role of the medial PFC and TPJ in the association between warm-altruistic composite scores and empathic accuracy (B = .058; CI = .002 to. 146). The estimates of the indirect effects through the TPJ and medial PFC separately were as follows: TPJ; B = .027, CI = -.003 - .105; Medial PFC: B = .031, CI = .0003 - .096. The overall mediation model remained statistically significant when sex and handedness were entered as covariates (p <. 01).

Bottom Line: This study was designed to test the hypothesis that specific personality traits are associated with behavioral and biological indicators of improved empathy.Extraversion and Agreeableness are personality traits designed to measure individual differences in social-cognitive functioning, however each trait-dimension includes elements that represent interpersonal social functioning and elements that do not represent interpersonal social functioning.We tested the prediction that interpersonal elements of Extraversion (Warmth) and Agreeableness (Altruism) are associated with empathy and non-interpersonal elements of Extraversion and Agreeableness are not associated with empathy.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States of America; Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
The ability to empathize with other people is a critical component of human social relationships. Empathic processing varies across the human population, however it is currently unclear how personality traits are associated with empathic processing. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that specific personality traits are associated with behavioral and biological indicators of improved empathy. Extraversion and Agreeableness are personality traits designed to measure individual differences in social-cognitive functioning, however each trait-dimension includes elements that represent interpersonal social functioning and elements that do not represent interpersonal social functioning. We tested the prediction that interpersonal elements of Extraversion (Warmth) and Agreeableness (Altruism) are associated with empathy and non-interpersonal elements of Extraversion and Agreeableness are not associated with empathy. We quantified empathic processing behaviorally (empathic accuracy task using video vignettes) and within the brain (fMRI and an emotional perspective taking task) in 50 healthy subjects. Converging evidence shows that highly warm and altruistic people are well skilled in recognizing the emotional states of other people and exhibit greater activity in brain regions important for empathy (temporoparietal junction and medial prefrontal cortex) during emotional perspective taking. A mediation analysis further supported the association between warm-altruistic personality and empathic processing; indicating that one reason why highly warm-altruistic individuals may be skilled empathizers is that they engage the temporoparietal junction and medial prefrontal cortex more. Together, these findings advance the way the behavioral and neural basis of empathy is understood and demonstrates the efficacy of personality scales to measure individual differences in interpersonal social function.

No MeSH data available.