1991 Batson

"Most of C. Daniel Batson’s research has examined the motives behind peoples’ prosocial behavior. Batson has focused on vicarious emotions such as empathy (e.g., Batson & Moran, 1999; Batson et al., 1995), and personal values such as religion (e.g., Batson, Eidelman, Higley, & Russell, 2001), as potential sources of these prosocial motives. Particularly interesting for the purpose of this thesis, Batson and his colleagues have looked at empathy as a possible source of altruistic motivation and have found strong support for this view (e.g., Batson et al., 1997; Coke, Batson, & McDavis, 1978; Toi & Batson, 1982; for reviews, see Batson, 1991; Batson, Ahmad, Lishner, & Tsang, 2002). 

Batson has described empathy as feeling a vicarious emotion that is congruent with but not necessarily identical to the emotion of another (Batson, 1991), which typically means such other-oriented emotions as compassion, tenderness, sympathy, and the like (see Batson, 1991; Toi and Batson, 1982). He defined altruism as “a motivational state with the ultimate goal of increasing another’s welfare” (Batson, 1991, p. 6)