ERIC Number: EJ1075283
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
Examining the Impact of a Domestic Violence Simulation on the Development of Empathy in Sociology Classes
Latshaw, Beth A.
Teaching Sociology, v43 n4 p277-289 Oct 2015
Increasing empathy toward others is an unspoken goal of many sociology courses, but rarely do instructors measure changes in empathy throughout a semester. To address this gap in the literature, I use a combination of quantitative and qualitative data gathered before and after students from five sociology classes participated in a simulation on domestic violence. I systematically evaluate whether students' levels of global empathy, empathetic responses toward victims, definitions of abuse, and propensity to agree with victim-blaming attitudes change after completing this experiential learning activity. Posttest results suggest a statistically significant but small increase in global empathy scores, a growth in empathetic responses toward victims, an expansion in students' definitions of abuse, and greater disagreement with victim-blaming attitudes. I discuss ways sociology instructors can use this simulation as a tool to help students comprehend a difficult subject matter while simultaneously engendering empathy toward victims of abuse.
Descriptors: Simulation, Family Violence, Empathy, Sociology, Mixed Methods Research, College Instruction, Pretests Posttests, Victims of Crime, Student Development, Undergraduate Students, Student Attitudes, Questionnaires
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A