Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Department of Psychology

Advisor(s)

William Evans

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between empathy, service, and other variables that have been seen in the past to be possible predictors of empathy and service. Undergraduate and graduate students took a survey measuring their emotional empathy, strength of religious faith, intent to engage in civic action, other predictor variables, and the amount of service each participant engaged in. Pearson’s correlations and independent t tests were run to analyze the relationships between the variables. The intent to engage in civic action measure was highly correlated with both the emotional empathy scale and strength of religious faith scale. In addition, two groups of majors (group one included social sciences, biology, and education; group two included all other majors) were found to be different in their levels of empathy and their intent to engage in service. To test whether an increase in service was related to a change in empathy, some participants took the survey twice. However, differences at pretest and posttest were not found to be significant.

Keywords: empathy, service, volunteerism, faith, civic action, major

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