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Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach

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Describes the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) and its relationships with measures of social functioning, self-esteem, emotionality, and sensitivity to others. 677 male and 667 female undergraduates served as Ss. Each of the 4 IRI subscales displayed a distinctive and predictable pattern of relationships with these measures, as well as with previous unidimensional empathy measures. Findings provide evidence for a multidimensional approach to empathy. (29 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
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... This definition encompasses two components: (1) cognitive awareness of the inner state of another person-that is, the emotions, thoughts, perspectives, and intentions of the other (Ickes 1977); and (2) the observer's emotional response to another person (Hoffman 2000). Mark H. Davis (1983) conceptualized empathy as having four distinct components, three of which are directed toward another person: empathic concern, perspective taking, and the ability to imagine oneself as the protagonist of a fictitious story or movie reflecting the capability to imagine another person's point of view. The fourth component is self-directed personal distress arising from witnessing another person's distress. ...
... Indeed, a negative correlation has been found between attachment-related avoidance and empathy for others (Britton and Fuendeling 2005;Trusty et al. 2005). For example, romantic attachment was found to be related to Davis's (1983) components of empathy (Joireman et al. 2001). These researchers found that romantic avoidance was negatively associated with both perspective taking and empathic concern and positively associated with personal distress. ...
... Hence, a negative association has also been found between attachment-related anxiety and empathy (Britton and Fuendeling 2005). For example, romantic anxiety was negatively associated with Davis's (1983) empathy components of perspective taking and empathic concern (Joireman et al. 2001). ...
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This study investigates empathy toward Israeli Arabs among Jewish students in Israel. Our model shows that elevated levels of attachment-related anxiety are associated with greater personal distress elicited by Arab suffering. Perceptions of the national narrative as traumatic had a negative effect on empathy toward Arabs, while attachment-related anxiety and perceptions of the national narrative as traumatic were positively linked and empathy and personal distress toward Arabs were positively linked. Political views mediated the link between perceptions of the national narrative as traumatic and empathy toward Arabs. We propose that diminishing the traumatic intensity of the Jewish national narrative may serve to increase intergroup empathy.
... The bulk of literature suggests that empathy should be regarded as a complicated multidimensional construct even though it is an individual-level variable (König et al., 2020), which expresses the "reactions of one individual to the observed experiences of another" (Davis, 1983, p. 113). Specifically, empathy refers to the ability of understanding and sharing other individuals' emotions and propensities of connecting with and caring about others when individuals are in distress (Davis, 1983;Salovey and Mayer, 1990;Zaki and Ochsner, 2012). Empathy consists of two correlated dimensions, that is, affective and cognitive. ...
... Empathy consists of two correlated dimensions, that is, affective and cognitive. The former means sharing similar emotions (i.e., emotional contagion) and having a feeling of sorrow or concern for the other (i.e., empathic concern) while the latter shows the intellectual understanding of another person's emotions or inner states and relies on perspective-taking (Davis, 1983;Van der Graaff et al., 2017). In this research, we focus on three intra-and interpersonal propensities: emotional contagion (the propensity to "share another person's emotions at the moment these emotions occur"), empathic concern (the propensity to "respond to another person's emotions in a given situation without experiencing these emotions"), and perspective-taking (the propensity to "understand the role or point of view of another person, to anticipate the reactions of the other, and to The conceptual model. ...
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Drawing upon upper echelons and self-determination theories, we hypothesize and test a mediating process linking entrepreneurs’ empathy to employees‘ emotional exhaustion and the moderating role of psychological empowerment. Based on a dyadic-survey study of entrepreneurs and their employees in high-tech new ventures in China, we conducted the empirical test by using hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) and found that entrepreneurs’ empathy has a negative effect on employees‘ emotional exhaustion, and psychological empowerment not only partially mediates the relationship between entrepreneurs’ empathy and employees‘ emotional exhaustion but also positively moderates the above relationship. This study frames an integrative perspective of emotions and psychologies and sheds a nuanced understanding of the mechanisms linking empathy with emotional exhaustion. Limitations and future directions are addressed.
... The Networked Minds scale [38] is designed to measure the sense of social presence and togetherness during computer mediated interactions. The Empathic Concern (EC) and Perspective-Taking (PT) subscales of Interpersonal Reactivity Index [39] were used to assess the degree to which participants were aware of and attended to each others' thoughts and feelings. ...
... The survey used the same items as Experiment 1, but adapted them where necessary, for example, referring to the focus group and the discussion, rather than the seminar group and the learning goals. In addition, for this experiment we also used the standardised measures of the Networked Minds (NM) scale [38], and Empathic Concern (EC) and Perspective-Taking (PT) Subscales of Interpersonal Reactivity Index [39]. Finally, participants were debriefed and informed that a further goal of the experiment was to evaluate different tools to facilitate online interaction. ...
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We found evidence from two experiments that a simple set of gestural techniques can improve the experience of online meetings. Video conferencing technology has practical benefits, but psychological costs. It has allowed industry, education and social interactions to continue in some form during the covid-19 lockdowns. But it has left many users feeling fatigued and socially isolated, perhaps because the limitations of video conferencing disrupt users’ ability to coordinate interactions and foster social affiliation. Video Meeting Signals (VMS™) is a simple technique that uses gestures to overcome some of these limitations. First, we carried out a randomised controlled trial with over 100 students, in which half underwent a short training session in VMS. All participants rated their subjective experience of two weekly seminars, and transcripts were objectively coded for the valence of language used. Compared to controls, students with VMS training rated their personal experience, their feelings toward their seminar group, and their perceived learning outcomes as significantly higher. Also, they were more likely to use positive language and less likely to use negative language. A second, larger experiment replicated the first, and added a condition where groups were given a version of the VMS training but taught to use emoji response buttons rather than gestures to signal the same information. The emoji-trained groups did not experience the same improvement as the VMS groups. By exploiting the specific benefits of gestural communication, VMS has great potential to overcome the psychological problems of group video meetings.
... Next, we added a variety of individual differences that have been shown to be related to moral disengagement in previous research (e.g., dark triad, moral identity and empathy; Egan et al., 2015;Moore et al., 2012) and that, as noted above, were absent in extant research on envy and moral disengagement. Hence, participants first responded to the empathy subscale from the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Chowdhury & Fernando, 2014;Davis, 1983). The subscale contains eight statements that measure respondents' everyday thoughts and feelings of empathy (1 = "strongly disagree" to 7 = "strongly agree"; Cronbach's α = 0.82). ...
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Envy has been positively associated with both moral disengagement and organizational unethical decision-making. Nevertheless, extant research suffers from a number of limitations that constrain our ability to define the unique links between different forms of envy and moral disengagement. In two studies (N = 419), using a dual conception of envy, we demonstrate that malicious envy has a consistently stronger and unique relationship to moral disengagement than does benign envy. Additionally, from further analyses we suggest that is the harming motivation of malicious envy, and the collateral damage potentially produced by self-improvement motivation of benign envy, the aspects that would relate both types of envy to moral disengagement. Lastly, we show that moral disengagement consistently accounts for the relationship between malicious envy and unethical decision-making. In sum, these findings open different ways to better understand the link between the envious experience, moral disengagement, and unethical decision-making, taking advantage of envy’s dual conceptualization.
... The current study used the perspective taking subscale of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index [47] to measure the level of adolescent perspective taking. This subscale consists of 5 items (e.g., "When I'm angry with someone, I usually try to think about their position."). ...
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Online deviant behavior is a series of maladaptive behaviors that may have adverse effects on the physical and mental health of others and adolescents in the Internet environment. Previous studies have paid more attention to the risk factors of adolescent online deviant behavior. However, its protective factors and psychological mechanisms remain unclear. Thus, this study explored the protective effect of virtuous personality trait on adolescents’ online deviant behavior and its psychological mechanism. A total of 851 Chinese college students anonymously completed a series of questionnaires about virtuous personality trait, moral disengagement, perspective taking, and online deviant behavior. The findings showed the following: (1) Virtuous personality trait was negatively correlated with online deviant behavior. (2) Moral disengagement mediated the relationship between virtuous personality trait and online deviant behavior. (3) Perspective taking moderated the first half stage of the mediation model in which college students’ virtuous personality trait influences online deviant behavior via moral disengagement. (4) A moderated moderated-mediation analysis found that gender moderated the moderating effect of perspective taking on the relationship between virtuous personality trait and moral disengagement. This study is helpful to demonstrate the protective effect and psychological mechanism of virtuous personality trait on online deviant behavior. Some theoretical and practical significance and limitations were also analyzed and discussed.
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This study aimed to investigate the relationship between job stress, burnout, and intention to leave, moderated by empathic concern and perspective-taking. The data were collected via the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS), Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) measuring perspective-taking and empathic concern, Spielberger's Professional Stress Questionnaire, and a questionnaire measuring intention to leave. Medical doctors, nurses, and psychologists working in addiction facilities were surveyed. The results showed that, independently, job stress increases burnout and intention to leave. In addition, either cognitive or emotional factors of empathy prevent burnout and intention to leave; however, the preventing effect of each is reduced when they interact. Moreover, perspective-taking enhances the effect of job stress on intention to leave. This twofold effect of empathy for burnout and intention to leave provides practical implications for health-care professionals.
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A factor analysis of the Self-Monitoring Scale yielded 3 replicated factors: Acting, Extraversion, and Other-Directedness. Acting includes being good at and liking to speak and entertain. Other-Directedness is a willingness to change one's behavior to suit other people, and Extraversion is self-explanatory. Other-Directedness correlates positively with Shyness and Neuroticism and negatively with Self-Esteem. Extraversion correlates negatively with Shyness and positively with Self-Esteem and Sociability. Two of the scale's 3 factors, therefore, have opposite patterns of correlations with other personality dimensions. The 3 factors help to explain certain discrepancies found in previous research with the Self-Monitoring Scale. For future research, it is suggested that scores for each of the factors are more appropriate than full scale scores. It is concluded that there may be a gap between the construct of Self-Monitoring and the way it is operationalized in the scale. (27 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Proposes a 2-stage model of empathic mediation of helping behavior, which holds that taking the perspective of a person in need increases empathic emotion; this in turn increases helping. Ss in 2 experiments learned of another person's need from taped radio broadcasts and were subsequently given an opportunity to offer help to that person. The experiments used different strategies for manipulating empathic emotional response to the other's plight. In Exp I, using 44 male and female undergraduates, the empathic emotion of some Ss was experimentally reduced by a misattribution of arousal technique; in Exp II, using 33 female undergraduates, the empathic emotion of some Ss was experimentally increased by a false feedback of arousal technique. Results of each experiment support the proposed model. Ss who experienced the most empathic emotion also offered the most help. Results of Exp I indicate that perspective taking did not directly affect helping; it affected helping only through its effect on empathic emotion. Motivational implications are discussed. (31 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)