Does Empathy Affect heart rhythm pattern between persons?


Empathy has been studied to reinforce in social cognition and social behavior. According to research, bio-behavior synchrony is the clue to enhance the social behavior. Especially, Cardio vascular response that is internal response from bio-behavior synchrony has been connected to social emotion in this study. The purpose of this study was to determine the HRP(heart rhythm pattern) predicting empathy through two person interaction. The 20 subjects (10 females) was participated in study and conducted the interaction tasks. The tasks were categorized the two conditions. One task was to mimic the facial expression by leader (empathy), other was by self (non-empathy). The facial expression in task was included the Ekman's 6 basic emotions (Happy, Sad, Fear, Disgust, Surprise, Anger). In experiment result, the empathy condition was higher correlation between leader and follower rather than non-empathy condition. Also, the difference of SDNN between leader and follower was significantly decreased in empathy condition. We found that the empathy state was higher synchronization of the heart rhythm, and that is, it was the closer social distance. Using the biofeedback to predict the social emotion especially focused on empathy, Heart rhythm is the indicator to evaluate empathy grade quantitatively. Mapping with heart rhythm would be expected to improve social cognition and enhance relationships.



Sungjin Lim, Sangin Park, Myoungju Won, & Mincheol Whang. (2014). Does Empathy Affect heart rhythm pattern between persons?. ACED 2014 Conference.