Long-Term Relations Among Prosocial-Media Use, Empathy, and Prosocial Behavior

Sara Prot*, Douglas A. Gentile, Craig A. Anderson, Kanae Suzuki, Edward Swing, Kam Ming Lim, Yukiko Horiuchi, Margareta Jelic, Barbara Krahé, Wei Liuqing, Albert K. Liau, Angeline Khoo, Poesis Diana Petrescu, Akira Sakamoto, Sachi Tajima, Roxana Andreea Toma, Wayne Warburton, Xuemin Zhang, Ben Chun Pan Lam

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    154 Citations (Scopus)


    Despite recent growth of research on the effects of prosocial media, processes underlying these effects are not well understood. Two studies explored theoretically relevant mediators and moderators of the effects of prosocial media on helping. Study 1 examined associations among prosocial- and violent-media use, empathy, and helping in samples from seven countries. Prosocial-media use was positively associated with helping. This effect was mediated by empathy and was similar across cultures. Study 2 explored longitudinal relations among prosocial-video-game use, violent-video-game use, empathy, and helping in a large sample of Singaporean children and adolescents measured three times across 2 years. Path analyses showed significant longitudinal effects of prosocial- and violent-video-game use on prosocial behavior through empathy. Latent-growth-curve modeling for the 2-year period revealed that change in video-game use significantly affected change in helping, and that this relationship was mediated by change in empathy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)358-368
    Number of pages11
    JournalPsychological Science
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


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