Parochial Empathy Occurs Regardless of Causal Attribution

  • Ran Kawai Osaka Prefecture University
  • Yuta Kawamura Osaka Metropolitan University
Keywords: parochial empathy, empathy, schadenfreude, glückschmerz, ingroup, causal attribution


People are less likely to exhibit empathy and more likely to exhibit counter-empathy (i.e., Schadenfreude and Glückschmerz) toward those belonging to outgroups. Most studies, however, focused on empathy toward events with unclear cause. Therefore, it was unknown whether parochial empathy occurs even when the cause of the events is clear. This study examined parochial empathy by measuring empathy for ingroup or outgroup members who experienced positive or negative events. The present experiment with 52 university participants found that regardless of the clarity of the cause, participants exhibited parochial empathy. This implies that causal attribution may not be the single determinant of parochial empathy.

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