Research Project on Empathy as a Moderator of Economic Decisions
Dr. Nils Kohn’s start-up project has been given the green light: the JARA-BRAIN scientist won a competition for RWTH Aachen University funding. His research project on the role of empathy in economic decisions will be funded with a total of € 18,960 from 1 April 2014.
In the scientific project, which will be carried out at the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics at University Hospital Aachen, Dr. Nils Kohn will investigate how empathy and the ability to put oneself in somebody else’s shoes govern the financial decisions of individuals. “We believe that the ability of individuals to empathize has an impact on our decisions in financial matters,” explains the JARA-BRAIN scientist.
In order to scientifically verify the assumption that individuals with a particularly empathetic disposition tend to be more generous when it comes to giving away money, test subjects with different levels of empathy will take part in an experiment referred to as the “Trust Game”, where they will take the roles of lender or borrower. Their decisions and the resulting amounts of money will then be analysed.