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ERIC Number: ED377525
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Aug-1
Pages: 421
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Nature of Empathy in Theatre: "Crying to Laugh." Final Technical Report.
Klein, Jeanne M.
A study defined and measured empathy in relationship to sympathy, aesthetic distance, imagination, dramatic predispositions, and identification with characters in theater for young audiences. Subjects, 88 children in grades 1, 3, and 5, were interviewed individually after viewing "Crying to Laugh," a presentational play about the healthy expression of emotions. Results suggest that the majority of these children sympathized with protagonists within the fictive world far more than they empathized; that they distanced themselves outside the fictive worlds by feeling different emotions and perceiving situations subjectively rather than from characters' perspectives; and they empathized with protagonists by feeling their identical emotions, especially sadness. Findings demonstrate that children sympathize and distance themselves objectively rather than empathize with characters in presentational plays which employ direct address. Appendixes provide empathy and drama indexes for children and adults; "Crying to Laugh" interview (with children) and questionnaire (for adults); photographs of dolls and models, and facial diagrams used in interviews; coding method; reliability tables; additional statistical tables (referred to in the text); behavioral responses of audiences during performances; and teachers' evaluations of "Crying to Laugh." (Contains approximately 100 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A