How does monetary loss empathy modulate generosity in economic sharing behavior? An ERPs study

Jia Jin, Ailian Wang, Jiaoyang Liu, Jing Pan, Dong Lyu

    Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)
    112 Downloads (Pure)


    Previous studies have shown that generosity is driven by empathy and that both generosity in economic sharing behavior and monetary loss empathy decay as the social distance increases. However, it is still unclear whether this decay in economic sharing generosity can be influenced by the decay in monetary loss empathy. In the current study, we carried out two experiments to investigate this issue to deepen our understanding of the relationship between monetary loss empathy and generosity in economic sharing behavior. Our results show that in the observation group (observers watch their friend, and a stranger plays a gambling game), a negative correlation between log-transformed k value (ln(k)) and the distinction of d-FRN (feedback-related negativity difference between gain and loss) between friends and strangers was observed. However, in the execution group (executors play a gambling game themselves and watch a stranger play the same gambling game), there was no significant correlation between ln(k) and the distinction of d-FRN between self and strangers. Current results indicate that the decayed generosity across different social distances in economic sharing behavior can be modulated by the decayed monetary loss empathy. The study adds weight to the relationship between decayed monetary loss empathy and decayed generosity in sharing economic behavior at the level of social distance and provides electrophysiological evidence.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)107407
    Early online date20 Feb 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


    • ERPs
    • FRN
    • Generosity in economic sharing behavior
    • Monetary loss empathy
    • Social discounting rate


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