Attribution-emotion processes in White's realistic empathy approach to conflict and negotiation

  • Betancourt H
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Abstract

Emotions and the cognition-emotion linkage in conflict-related behaviors are examined in relation to White's (1985,1986,1991) realistic empathy approach to conflict and negotiation. An attribution-empathy model of prosocial behavior (e.g., Betancourt, 1990) and an attribution-emotion model of violence in conflict environments (e.g., Betancourt & Blair, 1992) provide the conceptual frame for articulating proposed relations among the various psychological aspects thought to be associated in realistic empathy. Research testing the structure of relations among perspective taking (PT), attribution processes, empathic emotions (EE), and anger as determinants of conflict-related behaviors provided evidence concerning the role of realistic empathy in conflict resolution and negotiations. Although realistic empathy is not actually measured in these studies, the procedure by which it is induced was manipulated and behaviors theoretically associated with it were measured. Results show that PT influences EE, anger, and causal inferences concerning the conflict. In fact, EE appear to be activated by PT and mediate its effect on conflict behavior. This suggests that PT, the process proposed by White to achieve empathic understanding, involves the activation of emotions that in turn explain some of the behaviors relevant to negotiations and conflict resolution. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)(journal abstract)

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Authors

  • Hector Betancourt

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