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Rev Neurol. 2014 Aug 1;59(3):97-105.

[Empathy and moral judgements in the elderly population].

[Article in Spanish; Abstract available in Spanish from the publisher]

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Residencia Ntra. Sra. de Gracia, Tudela, Espana.


in English, Spanish


Social cognition refers to mental processes that operate in situations of social interaction and facilitate adjustment and functioning in such scenarios.


To study the empathic response in two groups of older people and their relationship to emotional intelligence and moral judgment.


We enrolled 60 subjects divided into two groups of 30 subjects each completed a battery of tests: TMMS-24, DEX, IRI and moral dilemmas. RESULTS. In the dimension of the IRI perspective taking older group scored significantly less than the middle age group (U = 279; p < 0.05). In all other variables, no statistically significant differences were found.


The results show the absence of a generalized deficit in social cognition in the elderly sample evaluated. However, differences were observed based on age on empathy and executive performance: over time a progressive impairment in theory of mind and a decline in the general empathic capacity occur. With regard to emotional intelligence, the elderly evaluated show a correct perception and understanding of their emotions even report a poorer ability to manage and regulate their emotions.

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