Underpinning prosociality: Age related performance in theory of mind, empathic understanding, and moral reasoning
|Authors||Spenser, Karin, Bull, Ray, Betts, Lucy and Winder, Belinda|
This paper investigates the idea that Theory of Mind (ToM), empathic understanding and moral reasoning are linked, and together contribute to prosocial behaviour. All three cognitive processes are explored in adolescents (aged 14–17 years), young-adults (aged 18–24 years) and middle-adults (aged 25–55). A statistically significant age-related difference was found on all measures between the adolescent group and the middle-adult group. Except for verbal ToM, all measures detected a statistically significant age-related difference between the adolescent group and the young adult group. However, except for verbal and visual ToM, no statistically significant age-related difference was found between the young-adult and middle-adult groups. A small to medium positive association was found between each of the five measures. These findings suggest that beyond adolescence ToM, empathic understanding, and moral reasoning might be improved which could be useful to researchers and practitioners interested in the later enhancement of prosociality in older individuals.
|Keywords||Prosociality; ToM; Empathy; Moral Reasoning|
|Journal citation||56, p. 100928|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2020.100928|
|Web address (URL)||http://hdl.handle.net/10545/625209|
|Publication dates||06 Sep 2020|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||25 Sep 2020, 14:50|
|Accepted||16 Jul 2020|
© 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
|Contributors||University of Derby and Nottingham Trent University|
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