A Social Interaction Analysis of Empathy and Fairness

Paul A.M. Van Lange*, Marcello Gallucci, Johan C. Karremans, Anthon Klapwijk, Chris Reinders Folmer

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


    This paper advances a social interaction analysis of altruism, as a likely result of empathy, and egalitarianism, as a key component of fairness. A social interaction analysis is unique in that it (a) focuses on the persons and the situation, (b) includes proximal and distal influences (such as personality and relational influences, as well as cognitive and emotional processes), (c) yields action-reaction patterns that are largely observable and therefore especially relevant to learning, and (d) helps conceptualize interpersonal orientations that affect behaviour and social interactions. The chapter discusses the ubiquity of altruism and egalitarianism in the context of social dilemmas and related situations, and concludes that these two orientations are important to theorizing and research in various disciplines that seek to understand the motivational underpinnings of social interactions in dyads and groups.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEmpathy and Fairness
    PublisherWiley & Blackwell
    Number of pages9
    ISBN (Electronic)9780470030585
    ISBN (Print)047002626X, 9780470026267
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2008


    • Animated cartoon
    • Anthropomorphisation
    • Brain
    • FMRI
    • Infancy
    • Social cognition
    • Social interactions
    • Social perception
    • Spontaneous mentalising
    • Theory-of-mind


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