A Brief Acting Experience Fosters Empathic Concern
Keywords:brief acting experience, empathic concern, theory of mind, intervention, Japanese
AbstractActing is closely related to theory of mind and empathy, which are fundamental abilities to maintain interpersonal relationships and facilitate cooperation among people. Acting experience intervention is known as one instrument to foster theory of mind and empathy; however, empirical evidence on the effects of brief acting experience in a laboratory setting remains scarce. To obtain further evidence to support the effects, we assigned 47 Japanese participants randomly to either an acting condition where they experienced a play in a group of three people in a 60 minute session or a control condition and measured their levels of theory of mind and empathy three times (one day before the intervention, soon after the intervention, and a week after the intervention). As expected, brief acting experience improved the level of empathic concern. However, no effect of acting was found in theory of mind and the other facets of empathy. Implications for future work in applied settings are discussed.