Low empathy is associated with problematic use of the Internet: Empirical evidence from China and Germany (2015)

Asian J Psychiatr. 2015 Jul 6. pii: S1876-2018(15)00158-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajp.2015.06.019.

Melchers M1, Li M2, Chen Y2, Zhang W2, Montag C3.


As empathy has not been investigated in the context of problematic use of the Internet, we conducted a study to test for a potential link. In samples from China (N=438) and Germany (N=202), two self-report measures for empathic behavior and one self-report measure for problematic Internet use (PIU) were administered in adolescents/students. Across both cultures lower empathy was associated with more PIU. The present study underlines the importance to take into account empathy related questionnaires for a better understanding of Internet overuse in the future.


China; Empathy; Germany; Internet addiction