The relationship between empathy and attitudes toward government intervention

M. Alex Wagaman, Elizabeth Segal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Throughout history, government policy and programs have played integral roles in shaping social services. This article reports the fndings of a study that explored the relationship between interpersonal empathy and attitudes toward government intervention among college students. Findings suggest that increased levels of empathy are associated with more positive attitudes toward government intervention. This relationship is even stronger for participants from marginalized identity groups. Nurturing empathy among those engaged in social welfare policy-making may support government efforts that are in the best interest of communities they are intended to help.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-112
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Sociology and Social Welfare
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014



  • Empathy
  • Government intervention
  • Marginalized voices
  • Social empathy
  • Social well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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