Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether gender differences in empathy reflect differences in self-rated emotion, and whether they are influenced by the nature of the target of the empathy (friend or enemy). 24 men and 36 women were asked to rate how much happiness, sadness, and anger they would feel if each of ten scenarios happened to themselves, and how they would feel if it happened to a friend or enemy. Overall, women rated themselves as feeling more happiness and sadness than men, whether the event happened to themselves, or to a friend or enemy. This suggests gender differences in self-reported empathy may be due to differences in general emotional responsiveness. An empathy score was computed by subtracting, for each scenario, the rating for the other person from the rating for self. Women showed a greater difference between friend and enemy than men.

Comments

Original citation:

Rueckert, L., Branch, B., & Doan, T. (2011). Are gender differences in empathy due to differences in emotional reactivity? Psychology, 2, 574-578. doi: 10.4236/psych.2011.26088

Version

The article available for download here is the publisher version. Locate the version of record using the DOI below.

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/psych.2011.26088

Publication Title

Psychology

Volume Number

2

Issue Number

6

First Page

574

Last Page

578

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