- 性格心理学研究 (ISSN:13453629)
- vol.4, no.1, pp.47-60, 1996-03-31 (Released:2017-07-24)
The present study tested Hoffman's hypothesis (1975) that development of self-other consciousness was a prerequisite for development of empathic behavior. Thirty-nine children, 19 1-year and 20 2-year old, were observed at home. Their response to pain simulated by their mother was examined as empathic behavior. Children's developmental level of self-other consciousness was measured with three tasks: joint visual attention, picture showing, and mirror self-image recognition tasks. And their mothers answered a questionnaire to assess their general developmental level. Results showed that the empathic behavior was related to the developmental level of self-other consciousness in 1-year olds. In particular, prosocial behavior was accompanied by successful performance in picture showing task, which is an indication of the emergence of self-other differentiation. No relation was found between empathic behavior and general developmental level. The results therefore supported Hoffman's hypothesis.