A Social Interaction Analysis of Empathy and Fairness

  1. Greg Bock Organizer and
  2. Jamie Goode
  1. Paul A. M. Van Lange1,
  2. Marcello Gallucci2,
  3. Johan C. Karremans3,
  4. Anthon Klapwijk1 and
  5. Chris Reinders Folmer1

Published Online: 7 OCT 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470030585.ch8

Empathy and Fairness: Novartis Foundation Symposium 278

Empathy and Fairness: Novartis Foundation Symposium 278

How to Cite

Van Lange, P. A. M., Gallucci, M., Karremans, J. C., Klapwijk, A. and Folmer, C. R. (2006) A Social Interaction Analysis of Empathy and Fairness, in Empathy and Fairness: Novartis Foundation Symposium 278 (eds G. Bock and J. Goode), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470030585.ch8

Author Information

  1. 1

    Free University of Amsterdam, Department of Social Psychology, Van der Boechorststraat 1, Room 1B-41, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  2. 2

    University of Milan, Italy

  3. 3

    Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 OCT 2008
  2. Published Print: 31 OCT 2006

Book Series:

  1. Novartis Foundation Symposia

Book Series Editors:

  1. Novartis Foundation

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470026267

Online ISBN: 9780470030585



  • theory-of-mind;
  • fMRI;
  • brain;
  • spontaneous mentalising;
  • anthropomorphisation;
  • social interactions;
  • animated cartoon;
  • social cognition;
  • social perception;
  • infancy


This paper advances a social interaction analysis of altruism, as a likely result of empathy, and egalitarianism, as a key component of fairness. A social interaction analysis is unique in that it (a) focuses on the persons and the situation, (b) includes proximal and distal influences (such as personality and relational influences, as well as cognitive and emotional processes), (c) yields action-reaction patterns that are largely observable and therefore especially relevant to learning, and (d) helps conceptualize interpersonal orientations that affect behaviour and social interactions. The chapter discusses the ubiquity of altruism and egalitarianism in the context of social dilemmas and related situations, and concludes that these two orientations are important to theorizing and research in various disciplines that seek to understand the motivational underpinnings of social interactions in dyads and groups.