My caption 😄

The Effects of Stress on Empathy and Prosociality

Does the experience of stress bring people together, or does it drive them apart? Given that stress is omnipresent in our lives, and that it has important implications for health and well-being, it is crucially important to identify factors that help us deal with stress appropriately and effectively. The most important factor associated with promoting resilience and preventing the negative effects of stress, is the existence of positive social relationships in one’s life. While the human stress response has generally been understood to promote adaptive actions to lessen the impact of a challenge (i.e. through coping and the modification of behaviours), it is less clear how this translates into social behaviours. The goal of this project is to investigate the ability to provide and initiate positive social interactions. In this regard, empathy and prosocial helping are generally seen as ability or tools that can help set the stage for favorable encounters with others, particularly in time of stress.