Exploration of Empathy in College Students Attending an Acting Class


Exploration of Empathy in College Students Attending an Acting Class

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Previous studies have suggested that theatre and empathy may have a relationship. To investigate further, this study was set up to find relationships of possible covariates when assessing empathy and acting. In a previous study by the primary researcher, subjects were separated by whether or not they willingly attended a live theatre production in the last two years, with findings suggesting that theatre goers have a higher capacity for empathy. In this study, subjects that participate in an acting class were being compared to subjects who were not participating in an acting class at that time. In this way, the study design is to see if there can be a difference in empathy over time due to participation in an acting class. The principal investigator hypothesized that participation in an acting class would increase empathy scores and decrease narcissism scores more than students in a non-acting class due to the nature of the acting process. Besides assessing empathy, this study uses measures to assess narcissism, psychopathy, personality, and desirable responding to see if any measures were moderators in empathy change over time. Although some statistical significance was found in the data, there are many limitations in this study, including a small number of participants.


University Honors Capstone Project Paper, University of Minnesota Duluth, 2015. Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Scott R. Carlson. This project was funded by the University of Minnesota's Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program.

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Ridlon, Glen. (2015). Exploration of Empathy in College Students Attending an Acting Class. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/199807.

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