This study examined vicariously induced Heart Rate (HR) patterns in response to others’ sadness, fear, anger
and happiness, in children (N = 44, 22 girls and 22 boys, aged 7 to 10), when confronted with a brief emotion evocative
film consisting of a series of evocative episodes each of which was of at least moderate intensity. HR was consistently
higher relative to baseline in response to others’ fear (p < .001), sadness (p < .011), anger (p < .014) and the positive emotion
of happiness/surprise (p < .002). These findings suggest that HR can reliably be used as a marker of vicariously
aroused affect in response to a range of different emotions in children, given that stimulus intensity is at least moderate.