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Exploring social influences on the joint Simon task: empathy and friendship.

Ford RM, Aberdein B - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: The effect remained robust when the co-actor was no longer present and was unaffected by degree of acquaintance; however, its magnitude was correlated positively with empathy only among friends.For friends, the SE was predicted by cognitive perspective taking when the co-actor was present and by propensity for fantasizing when the co-actor was absent.We discuss these findings in relation to social accounts (e.g., task co-representation) and non-social accounts (e.g., referential coding) of joint action.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge, UK.

ABSTRACT
Tasks for which people must act together to achieve a goal are a feature of daily life. The present study explored social influences on joint action using a Simon procedure for which participants (n = 44) were confronted with a series of images of hands and asked to respond via button press whenever the index finger wore a ring of a certain color (red or green) regardless of pointing direction (left or right). In an initial joint condition they performed the task while sitting next to another person (friend or stranger) who responded to the other color. In a subsequent individual condition they repeated the task on their own; additionally, they completed self-report tests of empathy. Consistent with past research, participants reacted more quickly when the finger pointed toward them rather than their co-actor (the Simon Effect or SE). The effect remained robust when the co-actor was no longer present and was unaffected by degree of acquaintance; however, its magnitude was correlated positively with empathy only among friends. For friends, the SE was predicted by cognitive perspective taking when the co-actor was present and by propensity for fantasizing when the co-actor was absent. We discuss these findings in relation to social accounts (e.g., task co-representation) and non-social accounts (e.g., referential coding) of joint action.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Scatterplots showing the group × empathy interactions for (A) EQ and the joint condition Simon effect (SE), (B) perspective taking and the joint condition SE, (C) fantasizing and the individual condition SE, and (D) personal distress and the individual condition SE.
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Figure 2: Scatterplots showing the group × empathy interactions for (A) EQ and the joint condition Simon effect (SE), (B) perspective taking and the joint condition SE, (C) fantasizing and the individual condition SE, and (D) personal distress and the individual condition SE.

Mentions: To compare the impact of empathy on the SE between the two groups, ANCOVAs were conducted that entered SE as the dependent variable, group (i.e., friends or strangers) as the independent variable, and empathy measure as the covariate. These analyses were conducted for all empathy measures and for both the joint and individual SEs, and produced significant outcomes in the following four cases. First, the ANCOVA exploring group differences in the effects of EQ scores on the joint SE showed a marginal effect of group, F(1,40) = 4.03, p = 0.052, = 0.09, a significant effect of the EQ, F(1,40) = 5.30, p = 0.027, = 0.12, and a significant interaction, F(1,40) = 5.39, p = 0.025, = 0.12. Second, the ANCOVA exploring group differences in the effects of IRI Perspective Taking on the joint SE showed a non-significant effect of group, F(1,40) = 2.04, p = 0.161, = 0.05, a significant effect of IRI Perspective Taking, F(1,40) = 8.17, p = 0.007, = 0.17, and a marginal interaction, F(1,40) = 3.76, p = 0.059, = 0.09. Third, the ANCOVA exploring group differences in the effects of IRI Fantasy on the individual SE showed a significant effect of group, F(1,40) = 9.14, p = 0.004, = 0.19, a non-significant effect of IRI Fantasy, F(1,40) = 0.53, p = 0.465, = 0.01, and a significant interaction, F(1,40) = 10.22, p = 0.003, = 0.20. Fourth, the ANCOVA exploring group differences in the effects of IRI Personal Distress on the individual SE showed a significant effect of group, F(1,40) = 4.91, p = 0.033, = 0.11, a non-significant effect of IRI Personal Distress, F(1,40) = 1.02, p = 0.318, = 0.03, and a significant interaction, F(1,40) = 5.56, p = 0.023, = 0.12. Figure 2 depicts the group × empathy interactions for (1) EQ and the joint SE, (2) IRI Perspective Taking and the joint SE, (3) IRI Fantasy and the individual SE, and (4) IRI Personal Distress and the individual SE.


Exploring social influences on the joint Simon task: empathy and friendship.

Ford RM, Aberdein B - Front Psychol (2015)

Scatterplots showing the group × empathy interactions for (A) EQ and the joint condition Simon effect (SE), (B) perspective taking and the joint condition SE, (C) fantasizing and the individual condition SE, and (D) personal distress and the individual condition SE.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4496556&req=5

Figure 2: Scatterplots showing the group × empathy interactions for (A) EQ and the joint condition Simon effect (SE), (B) perspective taking and the joint condition SE, (C) fantasizing and the individual condition SE, and (D) personal distress and the individual condition SE.
Mentions: To compare the impact of empathy on the SE between the two groups, ANCOVAs were conducted that entered SE as the dependent variable, group (i.e., friends or strangers) as the independent variable, and empathy measure as the covariate. These analyses were conducted for all empathy measures and for both the joint and individual SEs, and produced significant outcomes in the following four cases. First, the ANCOVA exploring group differences in the effects of EQ scores on the joint SE showed a marginal effect of group, F(1,40) = 4.03, p = 0.052, = 0.09, a significant effect of the EQ, F(1,40) = 5.30, p = 0.027, = 0.12, and a significant interaction, F(1,40) = 5.39, p = 0.025, = 0.12. Second, the ANCOVA exploring group differences in the effects of IRI Perspective Taking on the joint SE showed a non-significant effect of group, F(1,40) = 2.04, p = 0.161, = 0.05, a significant effect of IRI Perspective Taking, F(1,40) = 8.17, p = 0.007, = 0.17, and a marginal interaction, F(1,40) = 3.76, p = 0.059, = 0.09. Third, the ANCOVA exploring group differences in the effects of IRI Fantasy on the individual SE showed a significant effect of group, F(1,40) = 9.14, p = 0.004, = 0.19, a non-significant effect of IRI Fantasy, F(1,40) = 0.53, p = 0.465, = 0.01, and a significant interaction, F(1,40) = 10.22, p = 0.003, = 0.20. Fourth, the ANCOVA exploring group differences in the effects of IRI Personal Distress on the individual SE showed a significant effect of group, F(1,40) = 4.91, p = 0.033, = 0.11, a non-significant effect of IRI Personal Distress, F(1,40) = 1.02, p = 0.318, = 0.03, and a significant interaction, F(1,40) = 5.56, p = 0.023, = 0.12. Figure 2 depicts the group × empathy interactions for (1) EQ and the joint SE, (2) IRI Perspective Taking and the joint SE, (3) IRI Fantasy and the individual SE, and (4) IRI Personal Distress and the individual SE.

Bottom Line: The effect remained robust when the co-actor was no longer present and was unaffected by degree of acquaintance; however, its magnitude was correlated positively with empathy only among friends.For friends, the SE was predicted by cognitive perspective taking when the co-actor was present and by propensity for fantasizing when the co-actor was absent.We discuss these findings in relation to social accounts (e.g., task co-representation) and non-social accounts (e.g., referential coding) of joint action.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge, UK.

ABSTRACT
Tasks for which people must act together to achieve a goal are a feature of daily life. The present study explored social influences on joint action using a Simon procedure for which participants (n = 44) were confronted with a series of images of hands and asked to respond via button press whenever the index finger wore a ring of a certain color (red or green) regardless of pointing direction (left or right). In an initial joint condition they performed the task while sitting next to another person (friend or stranger) who responded to the other color. In a subsequent individual condition they repeated the task on their own; additionally, they completed self-report tests of empathy. Consistent with past research, participants reacted more quickly when the finger pointed toward them rather than their co-actor (the Simon Effect or SE). The effect remained robust when the co-actor was no longer present and was unaffected by degree of acquaintance; however, its magnitude was correlated positively with empathy only among friends. For friends, the SE was predicted by cognitive perspective taking when the co-actor was present and by propensity for fantasizing when the co-actor was absent. We discuss these findings in relation to social accounts (e.g., task co-representation) and non-social accounts (e.g., referential coding) of joint action.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus