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  • Empathy-altruism hypothesis

    The empathy-altruism hypothesis is a concept in social psychology that suggests that empathy motivates people to engage in altruistic behavior. According to this theory, when individuals feel empathy for someone in need, they are more likely to help that person, even if it comes at a cost to themselves. The hypothesis has been supported by several studies, including one by C. Daniel Batson and colleagues in which participants who were induced to feel empathy for a person in distress were more likely to help that person than those who were not induced to feel empathy.

    However, the empathy-altruism hypothesis has also been challenged by other researchers who argue that people may help others for a variety of reasons, including self-interest and social pressure, rather than just empathy. These researchers suggest that the empathy-altruism hypothesis may not fully capture the complexity of human motivation.

    In an online community, the empathy-altruism hypothesis may play a role in motivating members to help each other. For example, if a member of a forum shares a personal problem or difficulty, other members may feel empathetic concern and offer advice or support. However, other factors such as social norms and the desire for social approval may also influence members' willingness to help. Thus, while the empathy-altruism hypothesis may be a useful framework for understanding why people help each other online, it is important to consider the many other factors that may also be at play.

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