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Ethnocultural versus Basic Empathy: Same or Different?

Author(s): Chato Rasoal | Tomas Jungert | Stephan Hau | Gerhard Andersson

Journal: Psychology
ISSN 2152-7180

Volume: 02;
Issue: 09;
Start page: 925;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Empathy | Ethnocultural Empathy | Culture | Contact Hypothesis

The concept of ethnocultural empathy has been put forward as a variable that could explain tolerance between individuals and groups of different ethnic and cultural background. However, it is not clear if ethnocultural empathy is distinct from basic empathy. In this study we investigated the association between basic empathy, as measured by the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Davis, 1983) and ethnocultural empathy, as measured by the Scale of Ethnocultural Empathy (Wang et al., 2003). We also explored the question of whether a set of background variables would predict the two forms of empathy. We investigated if there were different predictors of ethnocultural and basic empathy, and if the two constructs are distinct. Results showed that the two forms of empathy were correlated and that largely similar predictors were found for the two constructs. A confirmatory factor analysis failed to confirm two separate constructs. Implications of the findings for the measurement of empathy are discussed.
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