This research investigates the relative strength of two correlates of helping behavior: dispositional empathic concern and a moral principle to care about others. The empathy-helping and care-helping relationships are investigated using data from the General Social Survey, a nationally representative random sample of the U.S. adult population. Ten helping behaviors are investigated. The results show that the care-helping relationship is stronger than the empathy-helping relationship for most helping behaviors, and that the empathy-helping relationship is mediated by the principle of care. That dispositional empathic concern is mediated by the principle of care requires new theoretical interpretations of the empathy- helping relationship, and suggests new directions for research on helping behavior. © American Sociological Association 2010.