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Changes in Dispositional Empathy in American College Students Over Time: A Meta-Analysis

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Abstract

The current study examines changes over time in a commonly used measure of dispositional empathy. A cross-temporal meta-analysis was conducted on 72 samples of American college students who completed at least one of the four subscales (Empathic Concern, Perspective Taking, Fantasy, and Personal Distress) of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) between 1979 and 2009 (total N = 13,737). Overall, the authors found changes in the most prototypically empathic subscales of the IRI: Empathic Concern was most sharply dropping, followed by Perspective Taking. The IRI Fantasy and Personal Distress subscales exhibited no changes over time. Additional analyses found that the declines in Perspective Taking and Empathic Concern are relatively recent phenomena and are most pronounced in samples from after 2000.

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... Several psychological constructs related to loneliness have been found to change over historical time. Some of these findings would suggest that loneliness has decreased (e.g., increasing trends of self-esteem and extraversion; Twenge, 2001;Twenge & Campbell, 2001), yet others would suggest that loneliness has increased (e.g., decreasing trend in attachment security and dispositional empathy; Konrath et al., 2011Konrath et al., , 2014. In these reflections on changes over historical time in other psychological constructs associated with loneliness, at least two considerations should be kept in mind: First, loneliness and constructs such as extraversion, attachment security, or empathy are correlated but distinct constructs that share about 10-15% of the variance (estimated based on the correlations reported in Beadle et al., 2012;Buecker, Maes, et al., 2020;Helm et al., 2020). ...
... The basic idea of this method is to compute the association between the average scale score of a psychological questionnaire (e.g., personality traits) and the year of data collection in samples with restricted variability in age. Previous cross-temporal metaanalyses (e.g., Curran & Hill, 2019;Konrath et al., 2011;Twenge, 2001;Twenge et al., 2010;Twenge & Campbell, 2001) investigated mostly college student samples as they are assumed to be the same age. These convenience samples are often generated using nonprobability sampling techniques. ...
... Moreover, many previous cross-temporal meta-analyses-especially those on loneliness-did not report that they have requested unpublished data for inclusion (e.g., Clark et al., 2015;Xin & Xin, 2016), but some cross-temporal meta-analyses on other constructs included unpublished dissertations and own unpublished data (e.g., Konrath et al., 2011Konrath et al., , 2014Twenge, 2001). Thus, the results of previous meta-analyses may have been threatened by publication bias issues, which were typically not assessed in previous cross-temporal meta-analyses. ...
Article
Judged by the sheer amount of global media coverage, loneliness rates seem to be an increasingly urgent societal concern. From the late 1970s onward, the life experiences of emerging adults have been changing massively due to societal developments such as increased fragmentation of social relationships, greater mobility opportunities, and changes in communication due to technological innovations. These societal developments might have coincided with an increase in loneliness in emerging adults. In the present preregistered cross-temporal meta-analysis, we examined whether loneliness levels in emerging adults have changed over the last 43 years. Our analysis is based on 449 means from 345 studies with 437 independent samples and a total of 124,855 emerging adults who completed the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Loneliness Scale between 1976 and 2019. Averaged across all studies, loneliness levels linearly increased with increasing calendar years (β = .224, 95% CI [.138, .309]). This increase corresponds to 0.56 standard deviations on the UCLA Loneliness Scale over the 43-year studied period. Overall, the results imply that loneliness can be a rising concern in emerging adulthood. Although the frequently used term “loneliness epidemic” seems exaggerated, emerging adults should therefore not be overlooked when designing interventions against loneliness.
... ] and to react to the observed experiences of another" ( [24], p.1). Empathy skills not only pave the foundation for successful interaction in digital companies, e.g., in agile work environments [48], but they are also one of the key abilities in the future that distinguish human work force and artificial intelligence agents from one another [67]. However, besides the growing importance of empathy, research has shown that empathy skills of US college students have decreased from 1979 to 2009 by more than thirty percent and even more rapidly from 2000 to 2009 [40]. On these grounds, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) claims that training empathy skills should receive a more prominent role in today's higher education [57]. ...
... Besides the importance of empathy in daily life, studies have shown that empathy skills of US college students have decreased from 1979 to 2009 by more than thirty percent and even more rapidly in the last period from 2000 to 2009 [40]. A possible explanation is the growing amount of digital communication in our society [40]. ...
... Besides the importance of empathy in daily life, studies have shown that empathy skills of US college students have decreased from 1979 to 2009 by more than thirty percent and even more rapidly in the last period from 2000 to 2009 [40]. A possible explanation is the growing amount of digital communication in our society [40]. Scientists, therefore, urge that training empathy skills should receive a more prominent role in today's higher education (e.g., [30,57]). ...
Conference Paper
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Advances in Natural Language Processing offer techniques to de- tect the empathy level in texts. To test if individual feedback on certain students’ empathy level in their peer review writing pro- cess will help them to write more empathic reviews, we developed ELEA, an adaptive writing support system that provides students with feedback on the cognitive and emotional empathy structures. We compared ELEA to a proven empathy support tool in a peer review setting with 119 students. We found students using ELEA wrote more empathic peer reviews with a higher level of emotional empathy compared to the control group. The high perceived skill learning, the technology acceptance, and the level of enjoyment provide promising results to use such an approach as a feedback application in traditional learning settings. Our results indicate that learning applications based on NLP are able to foster empathic writing skills of students in peer review scenarios.
... Their factor analysis revealed empathy, a key quality in collectively oriented social intelligence. as a principal component of social intelligence, a quality that had been declining in U.S. culture for decades (Konrath et al. 2011). ...
... When we initially found that residents of the United States valued practical intelligence and collectively oriented social intelligence significantly more during the pandemic, our interpretation was positive (Evers et al. 2021;Greenfield et al. 2021). We predicted that these shifts in valued intelligence would optimize the creation of a more cohesive and empathetic society, thus reversing the documented historical decline in empathy (Konrath et al. 2011) and communitarian activity (Putnam 2000). At the simplest level, we thought people would care more about other people and employ practical methods to realize their desired outcomes. ...
... These forms of intelligence are perfect for making technological and scientific progress. As evinced by rising economic inequality and other social problems, this progress came at the cost of having an increasingly less empathetic and community-minded society (Konrath et al. 2011;Putnam 2000). As valued intelligences shift, based on changing ecological conditions, there will always be a trade-off between the psychological conditions that best push humanity into the future through technological and scientific advances and the conditions that strengthen social bonds and lead to solving social problems. ...
Article
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Based on the theory of social change, cultural evolution, and human development, we propose a mechanism whereby increased danger in society causes predictable shifts in valued forms of intelligence: 1. Practical intelligence rises in value relative to abstract intelligence; and 2. social intelligence shifts from measuring how well individuals can negotiate the social world to achieve their personal aims to measuring how well they can do so to achieve group aims. We document these shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic and argue that they led to an increase in the size and strength of social movements.
... This could lead to the conclusion that empathy is desirable and that educators should identify interventions that enhance empathy (Everhart, 2016;Weisz & Zaki, in press). The interest in educational interventions, such as service-learning, for increasing empathy may be viewed as more urgent because, according to Konrath, O'Brien, and Hsing (2010), empathy scores, as measured by the IRI, have been dropping, with the sharpest declines on the Emotional Concern and Perspective Taking subscales. Konrath et al. (2010) concluded, "Although there has been no meta-analytic work specifying which elements of empathy training are effective in changing particular behaviors in specific groups of people, initial work suggests that declines in empathy appear to be changeable" (p. ...
... The interest in educational interventions, such as service-learning, for increasing empathy may be viewed as more urgent because, according to Konrath, O'Brien, and Hsing (2010), empathy scores, as measured by the IRI, have been dropping, with the sharpest declines on the Emotional Concern and Perspective Taking subscales. Konrath et al. (2010) concluded, "Although there has been no meta-analytic work specifying which elements of empathy training are effective in changing particular behaviors in specific groups of people, initial work suggests that declines in empathy appear to be changeable" (p. 191). ...
... Empathy has been conceptualized in different ways as a cognitive mechanism (role-taking or perspective-taking) enabling people to imagine the internal state of someone else (e.g., Borke, 1971) or as an emotional construct (affective empathy) enabling people to emotionally react toward other people's experiences (e.g., Batson et al., 1987). In addition, empathy can be approached as dispositional or trait empathy (i.e., a personality-related characteristic; e.g., Davis, 1980;Konrath et al., 2011) or as situational or state empathy (i.e., negative and positive affects; e.g., Hein et al., 2018). Research on intergroup contact and empathy has largely been inspired by the affective state conceptualization suggested by Batson and his colleagues (Batson et al., 1987(Batson et al., , 1997a(Batson et al., ,b, 2005. ...
... Thirdly, a competing line of interpretation relies on the age of the sample, since most of the participants were high-school students. Indeed, a meta-analysis by Konrath et al. (2011) suggests that dispositional empathy is steadily decreasing, especially in younger generations. One of the possible explanatory paths lies in the growth of online social interaction and use of social media platforms at the expense of real-life interactions, suggesting that younger generations that make wider use of those may have reduced capacities of perspectivetaking and empathic concern above all. ...
Article
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Virtual Reality (VR) has often been referred to as an “empathy machine.” This is mostly because it can induce empathy through embodiment experiences in outgroup membership. However, the potential of intergroup contact with an outgroup avatar in VR to increase empathy is less studied. Even though intergroup contact literature suggests that less threatening and more prosocial emotions are the key to understanding why intergroup contact is a powerful mean to decrease prejudice, few studies have investigated the effect of intergroup contact on empathy in VR. In this study, we developed a between-participants design to investigate how VR can be used to create a positive intergroup contact with a member of a stigmatized outgroup (ethnic minority) and present the results of the effect of intergroup contact in VR on empathy. Sixty four participants experienced either positive contact (i.e., equal intergroup status, collaborative) with a black (experimenter-controlled) avatar (experimental condition) or no intergroup contact (i.e., ingroup contact with a white avatar; control condition), with situational empathy (personal distress and empathic interest) being measured through a self-report questionnaire up to a week before and right after the VR contact experience. The experiment showed that satisfying degrees of body ownership of participants’ own avatar and co-presence with the contacted avatar can be achieved in simple and universally accessible virtual environments such as AltspaceVR. The results indicated that while VR intergroup contact had no significant direct effect on empathy, exploratory analyses indicated that post-intervention empathic interest increased with stronger feelings of co-presence in the intergroup contact condition.
... This evidence suggests that agreeableness has become more prevalent at the population level. In contrast, other studies document important decreases in agreeableness or personality traits and behaviors typically associated with agreeableness (Campbell & Twenge, 2015;Eastman et al., 2021;Konrath et al., 2011;Twenge et al., 2012). Social and intrinsic values (e.g., making friends, helping others) and concern for others (e.g., empathy, desire to volunteer) have declined over time (Konrath et al., 2011;Twenge et al., 2012). ...
... In contrast, other studies document important decreases in agreeableness or personality traits and behaviors typically associated with agreeableness (Campbell & Twenge, 2015;Eastman et al., 2021;Konrath et al., 2011;Twenge et al., 2012). Social and intrinsic values (e.g., making friends, helping others) and concern for others (e.g., empathy, desire to volunteer) have declined over time (Konrath et al., 2011;Twenge et al., 2012). Because people who score high on agreeableness display greater concern for others, altruism, and prosocial behaviors (Graziano & Eisenberg, 1997), the prevalence of agreeableness might have been diminishing. ...
Article
Full-text access to a view-only version: https://rdcu.be/cTCKE . Abstract: Using a panel data set (n = 49,626), this research tests opposing hypotheses about the influence of brand personality dimensions (BPDs) on customer-based brand equity (CBBE) and the evolution of this influence over an 18-year period. The results show that, on average, the BPDs of excitement, competence, and sincerity have more positive effects on CBBE than sophistication and ruggedness. Furthermore, the effects of sincerity, sophistication, and ruggedness on CBBE have declined over time while the effects of excitement and competence have grown more positive: A 1% change in excitement is associated with a .45% change in CBBE in 2001 and a .71% change in 2018 (a 58% increase), while a 1% change in competence is associated with a .42% change in CBBE in 2001 and a .60% change in 2018 (a 43% increase). How these effects vary between countries, industry sectors, and brand types is also explored.
... While Gen X also wants to help people, this cohort is equally motivated by improving their communities. On the other hand, Millennials are motivated by efforts to "change the world" and make it better for themselves and are not as interested in caring for others (Brown & Kou, 2011;Konrath et al., 2011). This could be attributed to Millennials' expectation of reciprocity in that while they want to do good, they also expect some return benefit (Gorczyca & Hartman, 2017). ...
... This could be attributed to Millennials' expectation of reciprocity in that while they want to do good, they also expect some return benefit (Gorczyca & Hartman, 2017). This motivational difference, coupled with the finding that Millennials score lower on measures of empathy (Konrath et al., 2011;Mesch et al., 2009), "suggests that engaging this generation at this point in their lives might be more successful if appealing to self-interest rather than by stressing responsibility or duty to care for others" (Brown & Kou, 2011, p. 207). ...
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Evolving financial behavior, an unpredictable public policy atmosphere, and an unparalleled global pandemic have collaborated to disrupt nonprofit fundraising. The COVID‐19 pandemic alone exacerbated consumer demands for nonprofit services while curtailing nonprofit organizations’ ability to fundraise. Without fundraising, nonprofit organizations cannot achieve their mission or support their causes, leading to a precarious situation for societal well‐being. Meanwhile, consumers are changing their financial behaviors, with younger generations often going cashless. At the same time, governments continue to change policies that affect nonprofit organizations. In keeping with the transformative consumer research movement, the present study provides a conceptual framework for the state of nonprofit fundraising amid the challenges associated with changes in financial behavior and public policy, coupled with the effects of the global pandemic. Marketing strategies for fundraising success are presented to aid nonprofits going forward and serve societal interests.
... Prosocial behaviors in seniors, relative to younger people, may be more likely to arise because of heightened stateinduced affective empathy (Ze et al., 2014;Rosen et al., 2016;Sun et al., 2018;Bailey et al., 2021). Yet, no differences are found in trait empathy between older and younger adults (Konrath et al., 2011;O'Brien et al., 2013;Sun et al., 2018). ...
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Helping behaviors and life satisfaction generally increase after middle-age. Identifying the neural substrates of prosocial behaviors in older adults may offer additional insights into these changes over the lifespan. The present study examines the endogenous release of the neuromodulator oxytocin (OT) in participants aged 18–99 and its relationship to prosocial behaviors. OT has been shown to influence trust, altruism, charity, and generosity, yet the effect of age on OT release has not been well-established. Blood samples before and after a video stimulus were obtained from 103 participants in order to examine the impact of OT on prosocial behaviors. We found that OT release following a social prime increased with age (r = 0.49, p = 0.001) and that OT moderated the relationship between age and donations to charity. We tested for robustness by examining three additional prosocial behaviors, money and goods donated to charity during the past year and social-sector volunteering. OT moderated the impact of age on all three prosocial behaviors (ps < 0.05). The analysis also showed that participants’ change in OT was positively associated with satisfaction with life (p = 0.04), empathic concern (p = 0.015), dispositional gratitude (p = 0.019), and religious commitment (p = 0.001). Our findings indicate that the neural chemistry that helps sustain social relationships and live a fulfilled life appear to strengthen with age.
... Also, remote communication could help increase accessibility by, as an example, removing potential barriers due to individual resources for transportation, other forms of personal limitations, or social inequalities. At the same time, it was also reported that online communication might be associated with decreased empathy [17] and increased individualism [18]. And again, many individual factors-such as age, generation, and technology use habits-also seem to contribute to the subjective effects of such mediated kinds of interaction [14]. ...
Article
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The digitalization process for organizations, which was inevitably accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, raises relevant challenges for Human Resource Management (HRM) because every technological implementation has a certain impact on human beings. Between many organizational HRM practices, recruitment and assessment interviews represent a significant moment where a social interaction provides the context for evaluating candidates’ skills. It is therefore relevant to investigate how different interaction frames and relational conditions affect such task, with a specific focus on the differences between face-to-face (FTF) and remote computer-mediated (RCM) interaction settings. In particular, the possibility of qualifying and quantifying the mechanisms shaping the efficiency of interaction in the recruiter-candidate dyad—i.e. interpersonal attunement—is potentially insightful. We here present a neuroscientific protocol aimed at elucidating the impact of FTF vs. RCM modalities on social dynamics within assessment interviews. Specifically, the hyperscanning approach, understood as the concurrent recording and integrated analysis of behavioural-physiological responses of interacting agents, will be used to evaluate recruiter-candidate dyads while they are involved in either FTF or RCM conditions. Specifically, the protocol has been designed to collect self-report, oculometric, autonomic (electrodermal activity, heart rate, heart rate variability), and neurophysiological (electroencephalography) metrics from both inter-agents to explore the perceived quality of the interaction, automatic visual-attentional patterns of inter-agents, as well as their cognitive workload and emotional engagement. The proposed protocol will provide a theoretical evidence-based framework to assess possible differences between FTF vs. RMC settings in complex social interactions, with a specific focus on job interviews.
... Therefore, it has been argued that lack of empathy is an antecedent of addictive behaviour to smartphone use (Misra et al., 2016;Melchers et al., 2015;Lachmann et al., 2018). Konrath et al., (2011) emphasizes that the declines in empathy could be related to people spending time online and engaging in superficial interactions with others, further, Small and Vorgan (2008) revealed that being online reduces an individual's capacity for empathy. By contrast, the research results of (Carrier et al., 2015),indicated spending time online does not reduce individual empathy in the real world since people may get social support through a social media environment which produces the same strong sense of social support that empathy does in the real world. ...
Article
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During the Covid-19 pandemic, various activities, including the learning process, have shifted to digital platforms. This is a serious concern because teenagers interact more easily with smartphones than pay attention to other people during social interactions, which is called "phubbing". The purpose of this study was to examine the role of cognitive empathy in phubbing among adolescents who use social media. By using the volunteer sampling (opt-in) panel technique, a total of 398 respondents (aged 16-21) were taken part in this study. Respondents filled out two instruments, namely the Phubbing Scale (10 items), the Basic Empathy Scale (9 items). There is an effect of cognitive empathy on phubbing in adolescent social media users, with a contribution value of 38%. The results showed there was a gender difference, with girls reporting higher levels of phubbing and cognitive empathy than boys. This study is the first to provide empirical evidence on the role of cognitive empathy for phubbing on social media among adolescents. This highlights the importance of efforts to indulge our culture as our national identity to stop phubbing becoming the new norm in society, including the younger generation. Keywords: Adolescent; Cognitive empathy; Phubbing; Social media 
... (Dietz et al., 1998) The value-belief-attitude vertical construct (Heberlein, 2012) The SET model Role an empathetic mindset plays on attitudes toward stewardship This study investigated an empathetic mindset as a trigger for attitude through a theoretical framework, which has been consolidated from several other reports. Empathetic mindsets create feelings of compassion and helpfulness (Batson, 2011;Berenguer, 2007;Goetz et al., 2010;Konrath et al., 2011;Tam, 2013). Gerrig (1993) and Green and Brock (2000) used the term "transportation" to refer to the mechanism of such an empathetic mindset. ...
Purpose This study aims to investigate the potential of an empathetic mindset aimed at empowering undergraduate students to work toward sustainable development (SD), addressing both theoretical and practical dimensions. Design/methodology/approach A mixed quantitative and qualitative research method was used in this study. Cross-sectional quantitative survey data on students’ mindsets and actions toward SD was collected to examine the theoretical relationship between belief and behavior. Qualitative inquiry using focus-group interviews explored students’ on-site learning experiences. Findings This study provides evidence for the impact of an empathetic mindset on education for sustainable development (ESD). Results showed that students with a more empathetic mindset showed better attitudes and behaviors toward SD actions. Findings suggest that developing an empathetic mindset improves students’ attitudes toward taking substantial action to protect the environment. Originality/value This study introduces a novel perspective extending the application of empathetic mindset in ESD.
... According to these results, it seems that becoming aware and accepting one's own emotions could have healthy effects on attending to the other person's emotional experiences (Trautwein et al., 2014). In relation to empathy, the meta-analysis made by Konrath et al. (2011) in which 72 studies on empathy of university students in the United States between 1979 and 2009 are analyzed, indicates that the present university students are 40% less empathic than those of twenty or thirty years ago, which is detrimental in attitudes of understanding, compassion, preoccupation or empathy toward other people. The importance of empathy in the educational field is undeniable. ...
Book
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Full Topic Research. Published in: Frontiers in Education, Frontiers in Sociology and Frontiers in Psychology / Ortega-Sánchez, D., Sanz De La Cal, E., Ibáñez Quintana, J., Borghi, B., eds. (2022). Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Education. Lausanne: Frontiers Media SA. doi: 10.3389/978-2-88974-506-7
... Concerns of exposure to violent media leading to desensitization or reduced empathy have been raised over the years (e.g., Anderson et al., 2010). Further, in light of dropping empathy rates among US college students over a 30-year period (1979Konrath et al., 2011), some have argued that the concomitant rise in social media use is to blame, distracting from and displacing the more human connection derived from face-to-face interaction (Turkle, 2011; see also Chopik et al., 2017). However, casting doubt on this assertion, recent longitudinal evidence among 10-14-year-olds and 17-19-year-olds has revealed that time spent on social media positively predicted self-reported empathy over a one year (Vossen & Valkenburg, 2016) and three-year period (Stockdale & Coyne, 2020; see also Guan et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Emotional intelligence (EI) is comprised of a set of critical life skills that develop, in part, through practice in social interaction. As such, some have expressed concern that the heavy screen media diet of today’s youth threatens the development of those crucial abilities. This research assesses how the media diet of children and the media use of their parents relates to child EI levels to assess what, if any, specific patterns exist. Four hundred parents of children aged 5–12 reported on, among other variables, their child’s EI, empathy, and emotional regulation skills along with their child’s various digital and non-digital media use, and non-media activities. Parental EI, screen use, media emotional mediation, and media co-use with their children were also assessed. Analyses revealed no significant relationships between child EI and screen use of any kind, though reading positively associated with child EI. Especially interesting, children whose parents used their mobile device more frequently in the presence of their child had lower EI, and parents who engaged in emotional mediation around their child’s media use reported higher EI levels in their children. These findings suggest that concerns about children’s digital media usage are perhaps overblown in terms of impeding emotional skill development. Further, and especially critical, parents’ own media-related behaviors around their children could have significant impact on child EI development.
... In particular, the lack of non-verbal elements in online communication such as facial expression, gestures, eye contact, or touch, makes it significantly difficult to understand each other (Carrier et al., 2015). As a result, the use of social media leads to be less sensitive to how others feel and think and thus attenuates empathy (Konrath et al., 2011). Moreover, the constant use of social media can lead to a negative experience such as cyberbullying or unintentional exposure of their private life, which makes people more difficult to express their emotions, resulting in a lack of empathy (Alloway et al., 2014). ...
Article
Background: This research aims to explore the impact of individuals' demographics and their social media use on empathy, sympathy, and wellbeing in Saudi Arabia. This paper can fill an untapped gap in a developing country (i.e., the Arab context) by shedding light on sympathetic and empathetic behavior and its effect on wellbeing in social media. Method: We manage to obtain a sample of 431 responses across all Saudi regions. Data were analyzed to evaluate reliability and validity of the study’s constructs while the hypotheses were tested using a structural equation modeling (SEM) technique. Results: SEM regression results suggest that there is a significant relationship between both age and income and social media use. In addition, social media use has an indirect relationship to individuals’ wellbeing. This indirect relationship is better manifested through sympathy rather than empathy. Conclusion: Theoretically, this study furthers our understanding of the role of empathy and sympathy on wellbeing in social media among Saudis, whereas practically provides insights to industry experts about what matters to social media users to increase their wellbeing.
... Third, it is noteworthy that there is a decline in empathy in young people. Based on 72 samples of college students (N ¼ 13,737), Konrath et al. [8] showed a drop in empathic concern and perspective taking over time. Studies have also shown a decline in empathy in students of the health disciplines in their first year of study [9]. ...
... From 1979 to 2009, the empathy of college students decreased by more than thirty percent. The study also indicates that this decrease was even stronger between 2000(Konrath et al., 2011. Hence, researchers and educators are calling for empathy skill training to take a more important role in today's education curricula (Gerdes et al., 2011). ...
Conference Paper
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Empathy is an essential component of human communication since it increases our understanding and perception of others. However, studies show that students' empathy skills have declined rapidly in the last decades. Against this background, practitioner reports predict that the importance of empathy will increase as a skill for successful agile teamwork in the future. Therefore, researchers have designed information systems to train empathy abilities of learners in different domains. Nevertheless, research on automated speech-based training is rather scarce. Hence, we aim to investigate how to design a speech-based empathy training system that helps students react emotionally adequately in communication. This research in progress paper presents five initial requirements that guide future research and development of a speech-based empathy training system intended to support students' self-regulated learning. With this, we hope to provide guidance for the design and embedding of speech-based empathy training systems at scale.
... Individuals' social giftedness and other types of giftedness develop over time, resulting in their social significance and the possibility of using their talents to better the world (Konrath et al., 2010). The psychology of social giftedness is concerned with a personality's exceptional ability to form mature, constructive relationships with others (Gudzovskaya and Shpuntova, 2016). ...
Article
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The present study is a differential study that describes the nature of the relationship between cooperation and altruistic behavior in a sample of gifted adolescents in three universities in Egypt and Kuwait University. It also identified the differences between males/females, and senior students/junior students in both cooperation and altruism. A total of 237 gifted adolescents—with average age 21.3 ± SD 2.6 years—from three Egyptian universities: Alexandria University, Sadat Academy for Management Sciences, and Suez University (in Egypt), and Kuwait University, were involved in this study. Measures used in the study include the Scales for Rating the Behavioral Characteristics of Superior Students (SRBCSS), Generative Altruism Scale (GAlS), and The Cooperative/Competitive Strategy Scale (CCSS). Results revealed that there is a significant positive relationship between altruism and cooperation among gifted adolescents. Also, findings show that there are statistically significant differences between males and females in both altruism and cooperation. In addition, there are differences statistically significant between senior students and junior students in both altruism and cooperation in favor of senior students. It is recommended that altruism and cooperation intervention-based programs should be designed to increase the adaptive behaviors of adolescents.
... On the one hand, online communication reduces the social cues typical of face-to-face interactions, encouraging more impersonal interactions (White and Dorman, 2001) and making exchanging support more difficult (Lewandowski et al., 2011). Online communications have also been found to be associated with decreased empathy (Konrath et al., 2011) and increased individualism (Wellman et al., 2003). On the other hand, technology helps in maintaining social connections via digital communication platforms (Genoe et al., 2018), providing support for people for whom face-to-face social interactions are difficult to obtain (e.g., Fogel et al., 2002;Barak and Sadovsky, 2008;Delello and McWhorter, 2015). ...
... There is a powerful push towards selfhood, agency, and governing one's life at the individual and collective levels. This shift can lead to hyperindividualism (e.g., Huang, Huang, & Syu, 2010), an increase in narcissism (Twenge, Konrath, Foster, Campbell, & Bushman, 2008) and a decrease in empathy (Konrath, O'Brien, & Hsing, 2011). ...
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This paper uses the concept of generativity to challenge the ageist view of older adults' reduced social and economic contributions in a neoliberal economy and support an age-integrated society. It revisits Erik Erikson's life cycle theory and brings forth the argument that the core quality of the seventh stage of human ego development, generativity vs stagnation, transverses all previous developmental stages and creates a forever-moving life cycle through intergenerational connections. Generativity is critical to human ageing as it is closely linked to notions of transfer of knowledge. This paper investigates generativity in relation to ego, libido and ageing. It discusses the ego as the medium of generativity and libido as its source of energy. It also explores how opportunities for intergenerational exchange, transfer of knowledge, and creativity are fashioned to suit the larger economic and socio-cultural context through sublimation. The paper concludes that generativity is the most promising route to an age-friendly society.
... This freedom could also be felt deeply by social media users when conveying all kinds of information, even though it is against the ethical instincts of the public in the name of personal interests and identities. Konrath et al. [31] argue that the issue of morality, which is in line with personal interests, makes it difficult-to ignore-to arouse their sympathy for the beliefs and comforts of other people regarding the moral values that developed in society. The freedom of social media has encouraged the reconstruction of a new logic or standard in determining the public's perceptions of any aberrant morality, which is then referred to as media logic. ...
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Social media has greatly transformed humans' perspectives into amoral behavior. Thus, pre-marriage pregnancy, long-term deviant morality, has been more considerably admissible. This study aims to explore how social media has mediatized immorality to be more reasonable. This study uses a content analysis approach that relies on the ontology hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer. It is used to analyze and comprehend the implicit meanings of young Indonesian celebrities' pre-marriage pregnancy revealed on YouTube. Such perceived immorality shifts and reshapes the public's notion of morality value. The most important consideration is social media mediatization. Mediatization could inherently restructure social reality and moral values for the new social-cultural paradigm matrix's media logic. The shift of social morality hierarchy is the most significant consequence, which is no longer imperative in pre-marriage pregnancy. It impacts morality structures that could be a new authority to challenge social-cultural tradition in expressing morality. It implies that the government should design regulations or policies to counteract those cases and get the public involved in media literacy.
... A previous study on sexual health behaviors of U.S. college-age men similarly reported that the majority of participants were willing to disclose their STI status to their partners [17]. Our results contrast with previous data on youth concerns of STI stigma and the general misperception of youth being less willing to notify their partners [3,4,18,19]. Youth willingness to confide in their sexual partners and concern about health effects on their sexual partners supports potential use of expedited partner therapy (EPT) to increase treatment of STIs. ...
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Background Sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates continue to rise in the U.S., with disproportionately high rates among those aged 15–24 years. Effective programs and policies are necessary to address this growing public health problem. The purpose of this study is to assess the perspectives of a national sample of youth on access to STI care and behaviors regarding STIs. Methods MyVoice, a national text message survey of youth, was used to pose four open-ended questions on STI screening and treatment to 1115 youth aged 14–24 in August 2018. A mixed-methods strategy was employed for the study. Qualitative data was analyzed using a modified grounded theory approach. Summary statistics were calculated for demographic data and prevalence of themes. Results Of the 800 participants who responded to at least one question (72% response rate), mean age was 19 years (SD = 3.1), 55% identified as female, 61% identified as non-Hispanic white, and 33% qualified for free/reduced lunch. A majority felt it would be easy to get screened (69%) or treated (68%) for an STI. Nearly all respondents (95%) stated they would share an STI diagnosis with their sexual partners. Conclusions Despite high rates of STIs among youth, most respondents reported that STI screening and treatment is accessible, and they would share an STI diagnosis with their partner.
... Particularly interesting would be those where individuals can interact with, and feel valued by, potential beneficiaries. The geographical setting is one key variable, but others are the length of interaction with potential beneficiaries and the relationships between individual work and teamwork (Konrath et al., 2011). ...
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Ausgehend von der Frage nach dem Verhältnis von „deep reading“ und „skim reading“ geht der Beitrag der Frage nach, welche Techniken, Inhalte und Kompetenzen im Rahmen eines literaturwissenschaftlichen Anglistikstudiums gefördert und vermittelt werden können. Es werden nacheinander einige Techniken, Inhalte und Kompetenzen angerissen, die Studierende im Verlauf eines literaturwissenschaftlichen Anglistikstudiums erwerben können bzw. sollten. Dazu zählen u. a. die Techniken des deep reading und des skim reading sowie die Selbstdarstellung im wissenschaftlichen Austausch. Nach einer kurzen Vorstellung der wichtigsten „Bildungsinhalte“ (Dehn et al. 2001) werden anhand ausgewählter Beispiele englischer Literatur (und vor allem aus Shakespeares Dramen) fünf zentrale Kompetenzen skizziert, die in der Auseinandersetzung mit englischer Literatur im Rahmen eines Anglistikstudiums gefördert und entwickelt werden können.
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Background: One of the important parts of medical students' competence is empathy, which is believed to significantly influence patient satisfaction, clinical outcomes, and the sense of professional fulfillment. Objective: This study explored the potential mediating effect of gratitude on the relationship between self-esteem, cognitive empathy, and affective empathy, which may provide fundamental data for educational programs aiming to promote cognitive empathy and affective empathy. Design: The paper surveyed a total of 344 medical students with the Self-Esteem Scale, Gratitude Questionnaire-6, and the Chinese version of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index Scale. It uses descriptive analysis to determine the levels of self-esteem, gratitude, and empathy, and Pearson’s correlation to analyze correlations between them. It also conducts the pathway analysis with the equipment of structured equation modeling to test the mediating effect of gratitude on the association between self-esteem and empathy. Results: A total of 306 (88.95%) medical students completed the survey. It finds that, first, the levels of self-esteem, gratitude, cognitive empathy, and affective empathy are significantly correlated. Second, self-esteem has a direct, positive effect on cognitive empathy and affective empathy. Third, gratitude has a mediating role between self-esteem, cognitive empathy [b self-esteem - gratitude - cognitive empathy = 0.072, 95% CI = (0.013 to 0.131), p< 0.05], and affective empathy [bself-esteem - gratitude - affective empathy = 0.241, 95% CI = (0.018 to 0.134), p< 0.001]. Conclusion: Based on the role of self-esteem and gratitude in predicting cognitive empathy and affective empathy, this model can be used in the practice of clinical education to promote cognitive empathy and affective empathy in medical students.
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We proposed a model wherein high intrinsic motivation for work activities fosters high empathy and empathy promotes prosocial behavior, which contributes to greater social support. The results showed that employees with high intrinsic motivation for work activities had greater empathy, and intrinsic motivation was significantly related to social support through empathy and in turn prosocial behavior. This study elucidates the factors that underlie individuals' empathy and extends our understanding of the beneficial function of intrinsic motivation beyond the achievement domain to caring for others and enhancing social support in the social domain.
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This study examined the validity of the contact hypothesis on changing student attitudes toward older adults as well as accessing the benefits of an ongoing intergenerational service-learning program for older adults. The model introduced in this research paired students from a large university in the southeast (mean age = 23) with older adults (mean age = 83) residing in an assisted living facility. A quasi-experimental pre- and posttest design employing the Perceptions of Aging and Elderly Inventory (PAEI) and the Elderly Patient Care Inventory (EPCI) indicated the program had significant positive effects on student attitudes toward aging as well as improving the likelihood of working with older adults. Qualitative accounts provided by students demonstrated a reduction in negative stereotypes and a greater understanding of and empathy for older adults. Comments from older adult participants indicated the stimulating experience improved overall quality of life by reducing boredom and loneliness, maintaining an important connection to the outside world, and serving as a welcomed exchange for keeping them young at heart.
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Recent research indicates that empathy‐enhancing interventions are limited in their ability to produce meaningful and lasting reductions in bias and hostility toward outgroup members. Parochial empathy—defined as preferentially higher empathy felt for ingroup over outgroup members—has been shown to be a promoter of intergroup conflict and antipathy. Our review will discuss the shortfalls of enhancing empathy for its own sake in intergroup contexts. We leverage the longstanding theory and science of multidimensional perspectives and operationalizations of general empathy, which include cognitive, affective and motivational responses to others' suffering. Thereafter we will discuss the current state of the science on measuring parochial empathy. We close by suggesting a multidimensional perspective of parochial empathy can inform interventions to promote intergroup prosociality, particularly interventions that directly and/or indirectly motivate other‐oriented empathy and concern.
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The shelter-in-place orders across the U.S. in response to the COVID-19 pandemic forced many relationships once sustained by in-person interaction into remote states through computer-mediated communication (CMC). Work, school, holidays, social engagements, and everyday conversations formerly experienced through rich and contextual in-person interactions instead have taken place on messaging, voice, and video chatting platforms that diminish or altogether lack many social cues and other qualities critical to social interaction. The difficulties feeling connected to one another observed during this period have stressed the need for novel forms of communication that enable deeper interactions. Social biosensing, the interpersonal sharing of physiological information, has shown promise facilitating social connection at a distance. In the present research we document the experiences of nine pairs of friends (N = 18) who navigated living through a shelter-in-place order, reporting on their experiences sharing their electrodermal activity (EDA) in response to short videos. Participants described the artificial and unnatural nature of communicating using typical forms of CMC and a range of interpretations of EDA as both emotional response and as representative of personal characteristics. We implemented a phased approach to study the temporal nature of forming an understanding of unfamiliar yet intimate data like EDA. Our results indicate typologies of meaning-making processes: “stablers”, “broadeners”, and “puzzlers”. We also interpreted our findings through the lens of intersubjectivity, analyzing how analogical apperception and dialogical interaction both play a role in participants’ meaning-making about their own and their partner’s biosensory information. We conclude with implications from this work pertinent to intersubjectivity theorists, social biosensing researchers, and CMC system designers and developers.
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Sharing in the experiences of others often feels like a natural inclination, yet several groups have converged on the idea that empathy reflects motivated choices. Although sometimes criticized for being unreliable, many studies suggest that empathy depends on motivated emotion regulation: people appraise the costs and benefits of empathizing, and then regulate empathy based on their evaluations of its anticipated outcomes. In the current review, we begin by highlighting the importance of the motivated empathy question from a psychological and ethical perspective, and how early empathy avoidance experiments set the stage for the recent resurgence of interest in the topic. We discuss how experimental approaches to testing motivated empathy can provide alternative explanations of empathy failures such as compassion collapse and fatigue—turning a question of whether we can empathize with mass suffering into one of whether we will empathize. We furthermore highlight our free-choice approach to understanding empathic propensity that draws upon cognitive science and economics—the empathy selection task—and then outline four categories of extensions with this approach, including testing motivational interventions, extending to other social emotional processes (e.g., compassion, moral outrage), testing group differences in empathy, and understanding empathy choice strategies. Treating empathy as a choice opens new perspectives for evaluating the possibilities of understanding other minds.
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John Updike (1932–2009) was one of America’s most acclaimed writers and literary critics. It is easy for some to share his pessimism about the human condition and the probable fate of humanity, reflected in the above quotation. He may be right.
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Telehealth use has accelerated since the COVID-19 pandemic and provided access for palliative care patients often facing challenges with travel and limited specialist availability. Our palliative care clinic at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has rapidly adopted telehealth which continues to grow and provide care for patients since the pandemic, becoming a routine part of our center. While we strive to maintain consistency when it comes to compassionate, sensitive verbal and non-verbal communication, we have witnessed both advantages and disadvantages to telehealth services. We have come across unanticipated virtual visit challenges while trying to deliver quality care, surprising us from the other side of the camera. In this paper, we describe three cases of unexpected telehealth etiquette that posed new challenges in being able to complete virtual visits. We propose guidelines for setting patient etiquette for a productive telehealth palliative visit.
Thesis
L’objectif de cette thèse est de vérifier si la perception d’humanité d’une cible varie en fonction des valeurs culturelles qu’elle exprime. En France, les valeurs dominantes correspondent, d’après un ensemble d’études de psychologie interculturelle, à des valeurs individualistes. En s’appuyant sur ces données, plusieurs études ont été mises en œuvre pour comparer les attributions d’humanité à une cible qui exprime soit des valeurs individualistes, soit des valeurs collectivistes. D’après l’hypothèse ethnocentrique, l’expression de valeurs collectivistes devrait susciter moins d’attributions d’humanité que l’expression de valeurs individualistes. Pour vérifier cette hypothèse, plusieurs mesures d’attributions d’humanité ont été utilisées. Trois prétests ont notamment été réalisés en vue de valider une mesure francophone d’Unicité Humaine et de Nature Humaine via des traits de personnalité. Quatre études expérimentales ont ensuite été mises en place pour répondre à la problématique générale. Les données obtenues ne permettent pas de confirmer l’hypothèse ethnocentrique et montrent que l’expression de valeurs individualistes et collectivistes sont chacune associées à des aspects spécifiques de l’humain. Les résultats conduisent à une réflexion au sujet de la validité convergente des mesures d’attributions d’humanité et de leur capacité à s’émanciper des effets de positivité. Une discussion concernant le statut normatif des valeurs individualistes est également engagée.
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This chapter focuses on creating a course at the undergraduate level that gives students the opportunity to explore the origin of social media platforms, understand intention in their creation, compare engagement across platforms and brands, and explore the dark side of social spaces, all within a framework of communication ethics. While the course is directed at students, the chapter speaks to the need to cultivate civility both within and outside of the classroom. The philosophical framework of civility is grounded in the work of Janie Harden Fritz and Ronald C. Arnett. The hope of this chapter is to offer a praxis approach that gives students and professionals the tools to become thoughtful contributors to spaces that are unpredictable as well as potentially (and often) problematic. The chapter encourages social media users to contemplate how to situate difference, how to connect through stories, and how to have more nuanced conversations when conflict emerges.
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This chapter explores the benefits and barriers to making higher education more empathetic and the connections between empathy and leadership. Embedding empathy in classes and in teaching leadership benefits students' holistic development and strengthens diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. The interwoven connections between empathy, listening, leadership, and social justice issues are explored. Developing and strengthening empathy levels in students and within campus departments increases awareness of and commitment to important social justice issues. This chapter outlines personal, environmental, and institutional barriers that prevent students from fully engaging in empathetic leadership. Effective interventions to disrupt and reduce these barriers are discussed, along with ways educators may struggle to adopt and implement activities that promote the advancement of empathetic skills. Educators can and should serve as role models for students by demonstrating empathetic leadership within and outside the classroom. Future implications for higher education are shared.
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Social justice issues continue to impact higher education institutions with students reporting a decline in experiences that cultivate empathy. We must examine social justice work as we prepare students to navigate major academic milestones while emphasizing the promotion of cross-cultural communication. One way to foster equity is through intercultural listening, which can provide a unique opportunity to increase intercultural awareness by engaging in the practice of empathy. Educators must interrogate how to deepen our commitment to supporting historically minoritized students and evaluate how we show up to deeply value their diverse perspectives. The authors (1) introduce the concepts of intercultural listening as a practice for educators to reconsider how to build relationships with diverse students across sociocultural boundaries, (2) discuss traditional conceptualizations of empathy as the cornerstone of the field of intercultural learning, (3) present a conceptual framework for developing critical empathy, and (4) discuss application to the field of higher education.
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Empathy is a fundamental competency for daily communication, interaction, and teamwork, and thus most relevant for future jobs. Nevertheless, educational organizations are limited in providing the necessary conditions for students to develop empathy skills, due to traditional large-scale and distance-learning scenarios. In this paper, we present insights on how to design an adaptive learning tool that helps students to develop their ability to react to other people’s observed experiences through individual feedback independent of an instructor, time and location. Based on theoretical insights of 110 papers and 28 user interviews, we propose preliminary design principles for an adaptive empathy learning tool. Moreover, we evaluate the design principles as an instantiated prototype in a proof-of-concept evaluation with 25 students. The results indicate that an empathy learning tool based on the presented design knowledge seems to be a promising approach to help students to improve their empathy skills in different learning scenarios.
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Four studies examine the construct validity of the Tendency to Forgive Scale (TTF), a brief measure of dispositional forgiveness. Study 1 showed that romantic partners' ratings of targets converged with targets' self-ratings, and Study 2 demonstrated that higher scores on the TTF were associated with lower offense accessibility. Study 3 examined the TTF`s relation to self-reported depression symptoms, both independent of and interacting with attitudes toward forgiveness and dispositional vengeance. Lower TTF scores were associated with higher degrees of depression, especially for individuals with positive attitudes toward, forgiveness or those low in dispositional vengeance, although neither of these latter variables displayed significant zero-order relations with depression. Finally, Study 4 examined relations between the TTF, dispositional empathy, another recent measure of dispositional forgiveness, and the dimensions of the Big Five, providing both convergent and discriminant validity evidence for the TTF.
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Path models of the effects of gender, gender roles, and personality variables (achievement and affiliation orientation, locus of control, empathy) on coping and symptoms were tested to explore the risk and protective effects of gender roles and personality on psychological symptoms, and to test whether or not gender roles or personality accounted for gender differences in coping and symptoms. In a sample of university undergraduates (35% Asian American, 59% European American or Caucasian, 6% other ethnic/racial background), masculinity predicted lower depression but higher antisocial and substance use problems, whereas femininity predicted lower antisocial and substance use problems. Personality variables did not account for the effects of gender or gender roles on coping or symptoms, but rather gender roles and personality each predicted unique variance in those variables. Significant gender differences in the relations among gender roles and personality emerged; however, there were no gender differences in the relations between coping and symptoms. Findings highlight the importance of studying gender differences in the effects of gender roles and personality on coping and symptoms, because it appears that gender roles and personality operate differently for males and females.
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Social commentators have argued that changes over the last decades have coalesced to create a relatively unique generation of young people. However, using large samples of U.S. high-school seniors from 1976 to 2006 (Total N = 477,380), we found little evidence of meaningful change in egotism, self-enhancement, individualism, self-esteem, locus of control, hopelessness, happiness, life satisfaction, loneliness, antisocial behavior, time spent working or watching television, political activity, the importance of religion, and the importance of social status over the last 30 years. Today's youth are less fearful of social problems than previous generations and they are also more cynical and less trusting. In addition, today's youth have higher educational expectations than previous generations. However, an inspection of effect sizes provided little evidence for strong or widespread cohort-linked changes. © The Author(s) 2010.
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Past difficulties in demonstrating a link between accuracy in person perception and "empathy" are reviewed. The advantages of a forced choice accuracy assessment technique, in which observers view target subjects on video tape and then attempt to match targets with three-word self-descriptions, are discussed. Two studies designed to validate the method were performed. In both studies observers' accuracy in matching targets with self-descriptions exceeded chance. The effects on accuracy of observers' perspective-taking ability and targets' self-consciousness were also explored. Study I revealed that subjects scoring high on a measure of perspective-taking (Davis, 1980) were more accurate than low perspective-takers as predicted. Study II showed that target subjects high in private self-consciousness (Fenigstein, Scheier, & Buss, 1975) were more easily matched with their self-descriptions than were targets low in private self-consciousness. Study II also showed that the effects on accuracy of both observers' perspective-taking abilities and targets' selfconsciousness were related to the length of time targets were observed. The theoretical connections between perspective-taking and both stereotype and differential accuracy are discussed.
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In this study, the ways in which older siblings’personal qualities and sibling relationship experiences were associated with younger siblings’levels of empathy during early adolescence and preadolescence were explored. Participants were 199 sibling dyads (mean years of age = 11 and 8, respectively) who were interviewed using two procedures: (a) in their homes about their family relationships and personal qualities and (b) in a sequence of seven nightly telephone interviews about their daily activities and companions. Multiple regression analyses were conducted separately by younger siblings’gender to examine the relations of older siblings’personal qualities and sibling relationship experiences to younger siblings’ empathy. Analyses revealed that younger sisters’ as compared to younger brothers’ empathy was related differentially to their older siblings’ personal qualities and to the nature of their sibling relationship. Additional analyses to examine younger siblings’ personal qualities and sibling relationship experiences as potential predictors of older siblings’ empathy generally were nonsignificant, indicating that older siblings enhance younger siblings’empathy rather than vice versa.
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The tragic events on April 20, 1999, in Littleton, Colorado, provide an opportunity to reflect on the nature and consequences of not just the shootings but also the meanings that were ascribed to various facets of those events, including an emergent definition of the “Columbine Syndrome.” Based on a qualitative media analysis, this article examines part of the public presentations and news accounts of the “meanings of Columbine,” with particular emphasis on violence, crime, youth, popular culture, surveillance, social control, and terrorism. Analysis suggests that Columbine was merged with terrorism as part of the broader frame of fear and national security.
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Telephone helplines have long been recognised to provide an effective way to reach individuals in crisis and several advantages of this anonymous form of intervention have been described. Most helplines use volunteers to respond to calls, including those specifically set up for students. Our study investigates differences in the personality traits neuroticism, extroversion openness, conscientiousness and agreeableness, empathy as measured using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) and mental health experiences between 54 volunteers and 52 non-volunteer students for a student delivered telephone helpline. Volunteers showed higher scores on the perspective taking and empathetic concern subscales of the IRI and scored higher on agreeableness. We could not identify any differences in mental health experiences between the two groups. Our findings suggest that volunteering for helplines may not be driven by volunteers’ own experiences but rather by their personality characteristics.
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The present study used autobiographical memory to investigate the social experience and short- and long-term effects of seeing frightening movies on a date, extending Zillmann and Weaver's (1996) model of differential gender-role behaviors to persons' own real-life dating experiences. Young adult participants (a) recalled the experience of watching a scary movie on a date, and (b) were assessed for levels of gender-role traditionality, sensation seeking, and dispositional empathy. Results showed that almost all individuals could recall such a date. Although men reported more positive reactions to the film and women more negative reactions, the experience appeared to have some social utility for both. Sex was a better predictor than the gender-role measures for Negative Reactions, Sleep Disturbances, and the likelihood of being Scared Today by the movie. Sensation-Seeking and Empathy were modest predictors of the same variables. In sum, the dating context seemed to encourage both men and women to behave and react in highly gender-stereotypical ways.
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A meta-analytic review finds that college students' self-esteem increased substantially between 1968 and 1994 when measured using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE). Children's scores on the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (SEI) show a curvilinear pattern over time, decreasing from 1965 to 1979 and increasing from 1980 to 1993. Children's SEI scores are directly correlated with social statistics (e.g., divorce rate, unemployment) for the corresponding years. Analyses for age differences find that SEI scores decrease slightly during the transition from elementary school to junior high and then rise progressively through high school and college. RSE scores increase steadily with age. Results are discussed in terms of the antecedents of self-esteem, including social acceptance, competencies, and the culture of self-worth.
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This study examined perspective taking, empathic concern, and attitude toward women as potential mediators of age and gender effects on college students’ attitudes toward sexist language. Perspective taking fully mediated the small age effect found in men. Attitude toward women partially mediated the gender effect, reducing it by 51%.Empathic concern mediated neither age nor gender effects.
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This study examined the relationship among parenting, empathy, and antisocial behavior. Two hundred forty-four undergraduate students attending an urban university completed self-report questionnaires assessing their antisocial behavior, empathy, and mothers’ and fathers’ parenting styles. Support was found for a model in which maternal permissive parenting contributed directly and indirectly to antisocial behavior, through its effects on cognitive and emotional empathy development. Findings are discussed in relation to the current literature on empathy, parenting, and adult antisocial behavior.
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There is considerable evidence that trait empathy affects single-episode helping behavior. However, the influence of empathy on more continuous altruistic behavior, such as voluntarism, has not been investigated. This study utilizes a four-dimensional empathy scale, the Davis Interpersonal Reactivity Index, to assess the relationship between trait empathy and voluntarism. Structural equation analysis results indicate that Perspective Taking, Empathic Concern, and Personal Distress dimensions of empathy are positive antecedents of voluntarism as hypothesized. The Fantasy dimension was not related to voluntarism.
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In this article we argue for the need to develop a more adequate understanding of the connections between psychological research subjects' experience of social history and their personality development. We present the outlines of a general model according to which individuals' relative receptivity to the impact of social events is mediated by their life stage. Secondary analyses based on several data sets illustrate how women's work and family lives may be understood in terms of the general model. These analyses include data collected over the past 40 years from women in birth cohorts ranging from World War I to the baby boom.
Article
Examined the prediction of adults' situational and dispositional empathy-related responses from measures of emotionality (emotional intensity and positive and negative affect) and regulation. A multimethod approach including self-reported, facial, and heart rate (HR) responses was used to assess situational vicarious emotional responding; Ss' (and sometimes friends') reports were used to assess the dispositional characteristics. In general, dispositional sympathy, personal distress, and perspective taking exhibited different, conceptually logical patterns of association with indexes of emotionality and regulation. The relations of situational measures of vicarious emotional responding to dispositional emotionality and regulation varied somewhat by type of measure and gender. Findings for facial and HR (for men) measures were primarily for the more evocative empathy-inducing stimulus. In general, the findings provided support for the role of individual differences in emotionality and regulation in empathy-related responding.
Chapter
This chapter reviews the friendship literature, focusing mainly on the meaning of friendship and the con-comitant emotional experience. It discusses four major topical areas or primary themes of the friendship research—friends vis-á-vis family, dimensions of friendship, gender differences, and life events and circumstances. The life course is highlighted in each of these areas, although the literature has been inconsistent in its focus on this aspect; that is, the life course is explicitly represented in analyses of friends and family and life events, and infrequently represented in analyses of gender differences and friendship dimensions. Understanding the effects of friendship has been the focus of much of this research; the understanding of friendship itself has been implicit in these accounts. The chapter concludes with an attempt to make explicit such understanding, including a brief examination of friendship bereavement.
Article
Witnessing an ingroup member acting against his or her belief can lead individuals who identify with that group to change their own attitude in the direction of that counterattitudinal behavior. Two studies demonstrate this vicarious dissonance effect among high ingroup identifiers and show that this attitude change is not attributable to conformity to a perceived change in speaker attitude. Study 1 shows that the effect occurs-indeed, is stronger-even when it is clear that the speaker disagrees with the position espoused, and Study 2 shows that foreseeable aversive consequences bring about attitude change in the observer without any parallel impact on the perceived attitude of the speaker. Furthermore. the assumption that vicarious dissonance is at heart a group phenomenon is supported by the results indicating that attitude change is not impacted either by individual differences in dispositional empathy or measures of interpersonal affinity.
Article
The purpose of the study was to test the unique contribution of certain personality components to loneliness. It was hypothesized that the influence of attribution style, self-disclosure, and perspective-taking ability would be mediated by social anxiety and deficits in social skills knowledge because the latter components are more likely to directly inhibit social interaction. A hierarchical regression analysis revealed that social anxiety accounted for a substantial amount of loneliness score variance, and once this variable entered the regression, attribution style and perspective-taking ability were unrelated to loneliness. Self-disclosure evidenced a unique relationship with loneliness and added a significant increment to loneliness score variance. Results are discussed relative to the theoretical literature on personality predictors of loneliness.
Article
Sexual harassment proclivities in both men and women were studied in 222 college students. They were administered the newly developed Sexual Harassment Proclivities Scale and their scores were compared with a large number of measures, including sex-role stereotyping, adversarial sexual beliefs, sexual conservatism, acceptance of interpersonal violence, rape myth acceptance, likelihood of rape, acceptance of feminism, empathetic concern, sexual activity, and sexual exploitation. Most of the results were statistically significant for both males and females, although correlations tended to be higher for males. A factor analysis of the Sexual Harassment Proclivities Scale yielded a one-factor solution for both men and women, supporting the view that the scale measures likelihood of sexual harassment.
Article
In this study we examine the relationship between age and self-reported empathy. Using data from a 1985 community sample of 1,567 individuals from southwestern Ontario we document a strong negative association between age and empathy. The results show that age-associated patterns in socioeconomic status, widowhood, physical impairment, and dispositional attributes contribute to more than 65 percent of the total negative association between age and empathy. Conversely, a more positive balance of interpersonal relationships and greater religious involvement among older adults conceals about 20 percent of the size of the age-empathy association; that is, those factors tend to conceal older people's otherwise lower self-reported level of empathy. Other findings show that women report significantly more empathy and that the gender gap closes at older ages. Also, higher education significantly moderates the negative age-empathy association. Collectively our findings highlight the emotional significance of age-associated personal and social factors over the life course.
Article
Two meta-analyses find that Americans have shifted toward substantially higher levels of anxiety and neuroticism during recent decades. Both college student (adult) and child samples increased almost a full standard deviation in anxiety between 1952 and 1993 (explaining about 20% of the variance in the trait). The average American child in the 1980s reported more anxiety than child psychiatric patients in the 1950s. Correlations with social indices (e.g., divorce rates, crime rates) suggest that decreases in social connectedness and increases in environmental dangers may be responsible for the rise in anxiety. Economic factors, however, seem to play little role. Birth cohort, as a proxy for broad social trends, may be an important influence on personality development, especially during childhood.
Article
MySpace and YouTube have affected election campaigns in simple, but significant, ways. These social networking sites, which are used by a substantial segment of the U.S. voting age population, represent the next Internet generation, which is primarily user driven. They have created benefits such as increasing the potential for candidate exposure at a low cost or no cost, providing lesser known candidates with a viable outlet to divulge their message, and allowing campaigns to raise contributions and recruit volunteers online. In conjunction with these benefits, YouTube and MySpace have also posed a new set of challenges to campaign staff, the most important of which is the reduced level of control that campaigns have over the image and message of the candidate, which is of critical importance to election outcomes. This article discusses these benefits and challenges and the influence of YouTube and MySpace on the 2006 election and future campaigns.
Article
Empathy development is believed to be an important element in adolescent sex offender treatment. Adolescence is a time of considerable self-absorption among adolescent boys. This study investigates levels of empathy among adolescent offenders in comparison with their nonoffending counterparts. Participants were 23 male sex offenders and 23 male nonoffenders between the ages of 13 and 18. Participants were administered Davis's Interpersonal Reactivity Index as a measure of empathy. The sex offender group scored significantly lower in empathy on the overall score. There was some variation on the individual subscales. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Article
Principled and expedient ideologies guide people along different ethical paths. A principled ideology, indicative of higher claimed integrity, involves a stronger personal commitment to a moral identity that facilitates positive social activities and helps resist the temptation of illicit activities. Prior research shows that individual differences in integrity are accurately perceived by friends, are reflected in self-beliefs, and affect social judgment. Results of four studies showed that integrity (a) predicts reported antisocial activities (lying, cheating, stealing) even after controlling for other individual difference measures, (b) predicts reported helping and volunteering, especially for nobler reasons and after controlling for empathy, and (c) is associated with a variety of personality and attitudinal qualities that signify greater psychological well-being, buffering from stress, and effective social functioning.
Article
Two studies provide evidence that dispositional sympathy and perceived control interact to predict choices for and against situations likely to elicit sympathy. Sympathetic persons choosing among previewed experiments on the basis of the emotion elicited by each were particularly likely to choose a sympathy induction, and appeared to interpret that prospect in positive terms, but only when they expected substantial control over the procedure. In a second study, sympathizers were the most likely to volunteer for studies of people in distress, so long as the sympathizers expected a means of helping the distressed persons. In contrast, assurances of situational control did not encourage less sympathetic subjects to participate in either context Results provide for the expansion of models relating affect to prosaically behavior to include preferences for contact with distressed persons and for an interpretation of trait sympathy as less of a personal liability than prevalent views suggest.
Article
Two studies tested the prediction that having had prior experience with a need increases empathy for another person currently experiencing that need. In Study 1, subjects reported their feelings of empathy after observing a same-sex peer endure mild but uncomfortable electric shocks. Compared with those given no prior experience with the shocks, women who had prepared to receive the shocks themselves reported more empathy, whereas men who had prepared reported less. In Study 2, subjects reported their feelings of empathy after reading a transcript in which a same-sex adolescent described an upsetting life experience. Women who had had a similar experience during adolescence reported more empathy than women who had not; men who had had a similar experience reported no more empathy than men who had not. Across both studies, then, prior experience with the need increased empathy among women but not among men.
Article
A study was conducted to explore the effects of empathic predispositions on viewing and contributing to the annual muscular dystrophy telethon. A multidimensional measure of empathy (the Interpersonal Reactivity Index) was used to assess empathic predisposition, and respondents answered questions concerning their past viewing of the telethon and contributions to it. As predicted, only one facet of empathy-a tendency to experience sympathy and concern for others-was associated with more viewing of and contributing to the telethon. Other aspects of empathy, such as role-taking, fantasizing ability, and feelings of personal distress, were unrelated to either viewing or contributing.
Article
This paper is addressed to the relevance of an empathy training program for school children as an alternative to the use of corporal punishment for the management of aggressive behavior in the classroom. After reviewing the theoretical relationship of empathy and aggression, the training procedures and findings from field studies concerned with Empathy Training are presented. The educational and developmental implications of using skill???oriented training programs in the classroom are discussed.
Article
In this article I describe a method of fostering empathy in undergraduate and graduate students of abnormal psychology. Students depicted a psychological disorder by writing a brief biography and then role playing the characters they developed. Students demonstrated understanding of the disorders by acting and interacting in a manner consistent with their character and diagnosing other student ''characters'' using criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Davis, 1980) results indicated student empathy increased significantly after the exercises. Qualitative analyses of focus group interview data supported and augmented the quantitative findings. Students attributed complex gains to the exercises.
Article
We compared male and female psychology majors to psychology minors and nonmajors to understand the trends in a growing major in which women outnumber men. A total of 451 psychology majors, minors, and nonmajors from 4 institutions completed a questionnaire measuring empathy, career goals, and perceptions of the importance of empathy for therapy. Perspective taking and a desire to enter a helping profession mediated the relation between gender and major, suggesting that personality contributes to the choice of a psychology major. Highly empathic students may choose psychology because they believe that empathy is important for success in clinical and counseling psychology.
Article
Despite the general presence of reality-based television programming for more than a decade and its recent increasing popularity, the extant literature on the phenomenon is limited. In Study 1, we considered how the viewing public constructs the so-called genre of reality-based TV. Multidimensional space analysis based on the Q-sort responses of 38 city residents indicated reality-based TV shows (a) are largely distinct from most major programming genres, although they do not form a particularly cohesive genre of their own, and (b) are viewed as only moderately real. In Study 2, we evaluated the lay hypothesis that reality-based TV is popular because it appeals to the voyeuristic nature of the U.S. population. We also considered other gratifications received from viewership as well as personality traits that might predict reality-based TV consumption. The results of a survey of 252 city residents suggested that (a) the role of voyeurism in the appeal of reality-based television is questionable, (b) regular viewers receive different and more varied gratifications from their viewing than do periodic viewers, and (c) impulsivity seeking and need for cognition do not predict overall reality-based TV viewing, although they might predict viewing of particular programs. Future research directions proposed include investigating dimensions that might distinguish different breeds of reality-based programming and studying the more specific cognitive and emotional elements that contribute to the "genre's" appeal.
Article
Prosocial motivation is egoistic when the ultimate goal is to increase one's own welfare; it is altruistic when the ultimate goal is to increase another's welfare. The view that all prosocial behavior, regardless how noble in appearance, is motivated by some form of self-benefits may seem cynical. But it is the dominant view in contemporary psychology. Most contemporary psychologists who use the term have no intention of challenging the dominant view that all human behavior, including all prosocial behavior, is motivated by self-serving, egoistic desires. Contemporary pseudoaltruistic views can be classified into three types: altruism as prosocial behavior, not motivation, altruism as prosocial behavior seeking internal rewards, and altruism as prosocial behavior to reduce aversive arousal. If altruistic motivation exists, then one has to make some fundamental changes in the conception of human motivation and indeed of human nature. As yet, the evidence is not sufficiently clear to justify such changes. If the conceptual analysis and research outlined in the chapter have merit, then the threshold of an empirical answer to the question why one care for other will be reached.
Article
Traditionally, researchers have focused on the positive outcomes associated with empathy-related traits. However, in the present study, empathy-related traits were examined as possible mediators in the relationship between neuroticism and depressive symptoms among a sample of 204 college students. As expected, fantasy acted as a partial mediator in the neuroticism–depression connection. Although personal distress was not a mediator, it did interact with neuroticism to influence depression scores. Overall, these findings point to the importance of considering empathy not only in terms of positive, but negative outcomes as well.
Article
We used the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) to assess the degree of narcissism among celebrities. Results indicate that celebrities are significantly more narcissistic than MBA students and the general population. Contrary to findings in the population at large, in which men are more narcissistic than women, female celebrities were found to be significantly more narcissistic than their male counterparts. Reality television personalities had the highest overall scores on the NPI, followed by comedians, actors, and musicians. Further, our analyses fail to show any relationship between NPI scores and years of experience in the entertainment industry, suggesting that celebrities may have narcissistic tendencies prior to entering the industry.
Article
Contrasts are statistical procedures for asking focused questions of data. Researchers, teachers of research methods and graduate students will be familiar with the principles and procedures of contrast analysis included here. But they, for the first time, will also be presented with a series of newly developed concepts, measures, and indices that permit a wider and more useful application of contrast analysis. This volume takes on this new approach by introducing a family of correlational effect size estimates. By returning to these correlations throughout the book, the authors demonstrate special adaptations in a variety of contexts from two group comparison to one way analysis of variance contexts, to factorial designs, to repeated measures designs and to the case of multiple contrasts.
Article
This paper describes unpublished data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics concerning the employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population by level of educational attainment and by age, sex and race. In addition to describing the data and identifying its source, the paper investigates the differences in the labor force participation rate, the employment-to-labor-force ratio, and the employment-to- population ratio by sex and as the level of education attainment increases among the white, black and other race classifications. Not surprisingly, significant differences in the labor market outcomes between sexes and among races are found to exist. While the data described here cannot be used to estimate worklife expectancies, differences found among educational attainment levels suggests that estimates of worklife expectancies might be improved if the categories relating to persons with associate's, professional and doctoral degrees were analyzed.