Measuring Empathy in the 21st Century: The Development of a Social Work Empathy Index Rooted in Social Cognitive Neuroscience and Social

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

Measuring Empathy in the 21st Century: The Development of a Social Work Empathy Index Rooted in Social Cognitive Neuroscience and Social Measuring Empathy in the 21st Century: The Development of a Social Work Empathy Index Rooted in Social Cognitive Neuroscience and Social The existing literature on empathy, from both social work and neuroscience, has convinced the present authors that social workers need a reliable, valid, efficient and affordable measure of empathy that incorporates recent social cognitive neurological findings (e.g., Rameson & Lieberman, 2009; Zaki et al., 2009). The purpose of our two-year research project is to create a valid and reliable selfreport measure, the Empathy Assessment Index (EAI). It will include the four components of empathy indicated by recent neuroscientific studies of empathy (Decety & Moriguchi, 2007): 1) Affective Response, 2) Mental Flexibility, 3) Self-Awareness, and 4) Emotion Regulation. We will also add a fifth component entitled Empathic Attitudes that is rooted in the social justice and action component of empathy. In order to validate the use of the EAI as a measure of empathic accuracy we will also develop a second instrument -- the Empathy Assessment Vignettes (EAV). Participants who read the vignettes will be asked to make explicit judgments about a focal person or situation. Our expectation is that the EAI and EAV will be highly correlated and fill a void in the measurement of empathy.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date6/1/105/31/12

Funding

  • Silberman (Lois & Samuel) Fund: $34,598.00

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