The present research investigated first the facial feedback measured by EMG (electromyography) during decisions to engage in prosocial-helping behaviors and secondly the relation between this psychophysiological correlate and emotional empathy trait in young people. Thirty young subjects were invited to choose to adopt or not a prosocial behavior in response to social interactions. An increased zygomatic and corrugator muscle activity was found in response to prosocial interventions.
Moreover, a significant positive correlation was found between empathic profile and the EMG modulation. These results highlight the role of emotions and empathy in prosocial behavior, induced by an “emotional contagion effect.”
Authors: Balconi M, Canavesio Y