Compassion is a particular form of empathic reaction to harm that befalls others and is accompanied by a desire to alleviate their suffering. This altruistic behavior is often manifested through altruistic punishment, wherein individuals penalize a deprecated human's actions, even if they are directed toward strangers. By adopting a dual approach, we provide empirical evidence that compassion is a multifaceted prosocial behavior and can predict altruistic punishment. In particular, in this multiple-brain connectivity study in an EEG hyperscanning setting, compassion was examined during real-time social interactions in a third-party punishment (TPP) experiment. We observed that specific connectivity patterns were linked to behavioral and psychological intra- and interpersonal factors. Thus, our results suggest that an ecological approach based on simultaneous dual-scanning and multiple-brain connectivity is suitable for analyzing complex social phenomena.
ASJC Scopus subject areas