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ERIC Number: ED143444
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Apr
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Many Faces of Empathy: An Analysis of the Definition and Evaluation of Empathy in Children.
Iannotti, Ronald J.
This paper presents a study of empathy in 6- to 9-year-olds. Although empathy is primarily defined as the response of one individual to the emotional state of another, definitions and assessment can be further differentiated depending on the empathizer's response and on the source of the empathizer's knowledge of the other person. Is the observer's response egocentric or does it require perspective-taking skills? Is an emotional response required or can it be a cognitive response? The measure developed for this study assessed four forms of empathy; both affective and cognitive responses were recorded for an empathy measure which required either egocentric or non-egocentric understanding. The empathy measure was administered to 30 six- and 30 nine-year-old boys along with measures of role-taking, altruism, and aggression. Materials included photographs and related stories. Results indicated age differences only for role-taking empathy which, contrary to predictions, decreased with age. Egocentric forms of empathy were positively correlated with each other and negatively correlated with role-taking empathy. They were not significantly correlated with age, role-taking, altruism, or aggression. Role-taking empathy was negatively correlated with age, role-taking, and altruism and unrelated to aggression. Problems of procedure and interpretation are discussed. (BD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Denver, Colorado, April 10-13, 1975) ; Best copy available