Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Dan Batson

Dan Batson

Most of my research has examined the motives for prosocial and antisocial behavior; the research has focused on vicarious emotions (such as empathy) and personal values (such as religion) as sources of these motives. My research on prosocial motivation has attempted to answer the altruism question: When we help others, is our ultimate goal to benefit them, or is it always, somehow, to benefit ourselves? We have looked at empathy as a possible source of altruistic motivation and have found strong support. At present, we are exploring psychological implications of the empathy-altruism relationship, as well as moving beyond the egoism-altruism debate to consider other forms of prosocial motivation, such as collectivism and principlism (moral motivation). This has led me to pursue research on moral hypocrisy and on why truly moral motivation seems so weak. Is it because, in spite of appearances, truly moral emotions are rare?

When not teaching or fretting about research or the nature of prosocial motivation, I am apt to be hiking, doing yard work, reading philosophy, sipping something while staring at the lake, or watching some ancient rerun.

Primary Interests:

  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Emotion, Mood, Affect
  • Ethics and Morality
  • Helping, Prosocial Behavior
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Life Satisfaction, Well-Being
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Social Cognition

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Books:

Journal Articles:

  • Batson, C. D., Eklund, J. H., Chermok, V. L., Hoyt, J. L., & Ortiz, B. G. (2007). An additional antecedent of empathic concern: Valuing the welfare of the person in need. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 93, 65-74.
  • Batson, C. D., Lishner, D. A., Cook, J., & Sawyer, S. (2005). Similarity and nurturance: Two possible sources of empathy for strangers. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 27, 15-25.
  • Batson, C. D., Lishner, D. A., Carpenter, A., Dulin, L., Harjusola-Webb, S., Stocks, E. L., Gale, S., Hassan, O., & Sampat, B. (2003). “As you would have them do unto you”: Does imagining yourself in the other’s place stimulate moral action? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 1190-1201.
  • Batson, C. D., Thompson, E. R., & Chen, H. (2002). Moral hypocrisy: Addressing some alternatives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 330-339.
  • Batson, C. D., Ahmad, N., & Tsang, J. (2002). Four motives for community involvement. Journal of Social Issues, 58, 429-445.
  • Batson, C. D., Chang, J., Orr, R., & Rowland, J. (2002). Empathy, attitudes, and action: Can feeling for a member of a stigmatized group motivate one to help the group? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 1656-1666.

Other Publications:

  • Batson, C. D. (2002). Justice motivation and moral motivation. In M. Ross & D. T. Miller (Eds.), The justice motive in everyday life (pp. 91-106). New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Batson, C. D. (2002). Addressing the altruism question experimentally. In S. G. Post, L. G. Underwood, J. P. Schloss, & W. B. Hurlbut (Eds.), Altruism and altruistic love: Science, philosophy, and religion in dialogue (pp. 89-105). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Batson, C. D., Ahmad, N., Lishner, D. A., & Tsang, J. (2002). Empathy and altruism. In C. R. Snyder & S. L. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 485-498). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Batson, C. D., & Powell, A. A. (2003). Altruism and prosocial behavior. In T. Millon & M. J. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of psychology, Volume 5: Personality and social psychology (pp. 463-484). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  • Batson, C. D. (1994). Prosocial motivation: Why do we help others? In A. Tesser (Ed.), Advanced social psychology (pp. 333-381). Boston: Mcgraw-Hill.
  • Batson, C. D., Van Lange, P. A. M., Ahmad, N., & Lishner, D. A. (2003). Altruism and helping behavior. In M. A. Hogg & J. Cooper (Eds.), Sage handbook of social psychology (pp. 279-295). London: Sage Publications.

Dan Batson
7917 Woodland Brae
Knoxville, TN 37919
United States

  • Phone: (865) 531-1586

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