Streaming Media

Type of Proposal

Oral presentation

Start Date

31-3-2017 3:30 PM

End Date

31-3-2017 4:50 PM

Faculty

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Kendall Soucie

Abstract

Empathy is the ability to connect, understand, and share others’ emotional experiences (Soucie, Lawford & Pratt, 2012). It is traditionally measured through picture/story indices, self-report questionnaires or physiological responses (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure, facial, and vocal reactions, etc.) during emotionally evocative situations (Eisenberg & Fabes, 1990; Zhou et al., 2003). While these measurement tools are important in capturing empathic and non-empathic responses, they lack a fundamental human element, i.e., the personal, or “real life” experience. The present study intends to capture the experience of empathy as a real-world, on-the-ground, experience. We seek to understand the cognitive, motivational, and social aspects of why we feel empathy for others, and why, in other cases, we lack compassion for others. In this study, participants who ranged in age 14-17 (N=60, M=15.28, SD=.99) were interviewed about two self-defining events associated with empathic and non-empathic experience: (1) a time when they felt sad for someone and (2) a time when they didn’t feel sad for someone but thought that they should have. These events will be coded for a variety of themes related to the aforementioned processes. It is hypothesized that empathic stories will be predicted on a close relationship with the protagonist, will be more meaningful, and thus more likely to cause a change in a person’s self-concept, and include greater attempts at taking the protagonists’ perspective. Non-empathic stories, or times when participants did not feel sad for others, are expected to occur with more distant or less close others, and are likely to involve greater attempts to blame the protagonist for their wrongdoing, thus resulting in a lack of perspective taking, a lack of meaning, and relevance for the self-concept. Coding of these themes is currently underway, and this research project will be completed in the spring of 2017.

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Mar 31st, 3:30 PM Mar 31st, 4:50 PM

“I see, I remember, I do, I understand:” Narratives of Empathic and Non-Empathic Experiences in Everyday Life

Empathy is the ability to connect, understand, and share others’ emotional experiences (Soucie, Lawford & Pratt, 2012). It is traditionally measured through picture/story indices, self-report questionnaires or physiological responses (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure, facial, and vocal reactions, etc.) during emotionally evocative situations (Eisenberg & Fabes, 1990; Zhou et al., 2003). While these measurement tools are important in capturing empathic and non-empathic responses, they lack a fundamental human element, i.e., the personal, or “real life” experience. The present study intends to capture the experience of empathy as a real-world, on-the-ground, experience. We seek to understand the cognitive, motivational, and social aspects of why we feel empathy for others, and why, in other cases, we lack compassion for others. In this study, participants who ranged in age 14-17 (N=60, M=15.28, SD=.99) were interviewed about two self-defining events associated with empathic and non-empathic experience: (1) a time when they felt sad for someone and (2) a time when they didn’t feel sad for someone but thought that they should have. These events will be coded for a variety of themes related to the aforementioned processes. It is hypothesized that empathic stories will be predicted on a close relationship with the protagonist, will be more meaningful, and thus more likely to cause a change in a person’s self-concept, and include greater attempts at taking the protagonists’ perspective. Non-empathic stories, or times when participants did not feel sad for others, are expected to occur with more distant or less close others, and are likely to involve greater attempts to blame the protagonist for their wrongdoing, thus resulting in a lack of perspective taking, a lack of meaning, and relevance for the self-concept. Coding of these themes is currently underway, and this research project will be completed in the spring of 2017.