Journal of Nursing

Nursing Empathy and Prosociality: The Relationship

José María Galán González-Serna


The psychological and ethical theories affirm that the empathy favors the prosocial behavior. We hypothesized that the evaluation of the axiological estimate of professional values gives us indirect data regarding the ethical motivations of the prosocial behavior. An observational, transverse, descriptive study has been carried out with a sample of 188 professional and students of Nursing. This paper aims to describe in the sample selected, the result of applying the Professionals Ethical Values Scale as well as the scores of dimensions of empathy reached by Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) and to analyze if there is a statistical relationship between the four variables of empathy of IRI scale and the results of Professionals Ethical Values Scale. Descriptive variables were calculated. It was applied normality test of Kolmogorov-Smirnov and the Shapiro-Wilk test. Finally were calculated the correlation between variables with Spearman's Rho test. The values of abnegation and altruism are not among the highest rated. A statistically significant relationship was obtained between three dimensions of empathy and the result of the estimation of professional ethical values by nurses and nursing students. The results suggest that there seems to be a significant relationship between empathy and prosociality, which agrees with the theoretical constructs that explain human moral development. This relationship has to be checked with new research.


 Empathy; Ethics; Altruism; Education; Nursing; Professionalism 

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