Psychometric analysis of the Russian version of the Empathy Quotient
The aim of the work was to develop and prove a Russian version of the Empathy Quotient, a new tool to measure empathy. A sample of 221 volunteers from the general population filled this questionnaire, the Questionnaire Measure of Emotional Empathy and the Quotient of Empathic Abilities. The coefficients of test-retest reliability, internal consistency and validity were high. In a factor analysis three factors were found that correspond to cognitive, emotional and social skills subscales. A short version with seven questions in each subscale was elaborated and it had acceptable psychometric properties as well
The current study investigates the association between empathy, alexithymia, and psychological mindedness within the group of university students. The sample included 228 female Russian elementary education department students who completed a Russian-language adaptations of Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) for empathy measure, Toronto Alexithymia Test (TAS-20) and Psychological Mindedness Scale. The Latent Profile Analysis method identified three kinds of profiles, i.e., latent groups of participants, that are similar to each other and differ from another groups in terms of assessed indicators of empathy, alexithymia and psychological mindedness. The obtained profiles can be characterized asdemonstrating “successful” (one profile, 97 persons) and “problematic” development of empathy (twoprofiles, 56 and 75 persons). The profile of “successful” development is characterized by high empathy, high psychological mindedness and low alexithymia. “Problematic” profiles differ from “successful”profile in high alexithymia and moderate or low empathy. Alexithymic persons from two “problematic”profiles groups differ among themselves in the interest in the meaning and motivation (subscale of Psychological mindedness Scale). A profile with higher scores on this scale shows higher empathy despite the higher level of alexithymia. A profile with low score of Interest in Meaning and Motivation shows lower empathy, including personal distress. The problem of factors that can mediate the influence of alexithymia as an intrapersonal emotional competence deficit on the development of empathy is discussed. Also, the identified profiles are discussed in terms of the prospects for the prevention of professional burnout and professional selection.
In a monetarily incentivized Dictator Game, we expected Dictators’ empathy toward the Recipients to cause more pro-social allocations. Empathy was experimentally induced via a commonly used perspective taking task. Dictators (N = 474) were instructed to split an endowment of 10€ between themselves and an unknown Recipient. They could split the money 8/2 (8€ for Dictator, 2€ for Recipient) or 5/5 (5€ each). Although the empathy manipulation successfully increased Dictators’ feelings of empathy toward the Recipients, Dictators’ decisions on how to split the money were not affected. We had ample statistical power (above 0.99) to detect a typical social psychology effect (corresponding to r around 0.20). Other possible determinants of generosity in the Dictator Game should be investigated.
Environmental identity is a self-concept that incorporates and is defined by a relationship with nature; it is useful for predicting relevant social attitudes and behavior. In the current paper, the concept is investigated in three empirical studies using the Environmental Identity (EID) scale. Study 1 (n = 222) was devoted to validating the Russian version of the EID scale. Along with the EID scale, we measured environmental attitudes with the New Environmental Paradigm and Global Awareness of Consequences scales. Results showed that, in line with the original version, the Russian version has a one-factor structure and good internal consistency (α = .88), and is positively connected with environmental concern, global awareness of consequences, egoistic, altruistic and biospheric values. Study 2 (n = 94) investigated the connection between EID and attitudes toward the plant world using the People and Plants questionnaire. EID predicted all variables describing people’s attitudes towards plants: Joy, Aesthetics, Experience of interaction with plants, Closeness to nature, and Ecology. Finally, Study 3 (n = 200) examined the connection between EID and empathy with nature and people. Dispositional Empathy with Nature and Interpersonal Reactivity Index scales were used. It was revealed that EID was positively connected and contributed to both types of empathy, more strongly impacting empathy with nature. It is concluded that the Russian version of the EID scale is a valid and reliable instrument. In addition, the EID concept seems to relate to a more general ability to connect with things external to oneself. As such, it has the potential to be helpful in forming psychotherapeutic programs and in designing restorative environments.
The article discusses the prospects of joint research of sociologists and socio-biologists on the evolution of morality and altruism. Sociologists compare morality and altruism in human society with that in animals behavior can be seen as manifestations of empathy and althruim and of co-existence rules in groups of animals of each biological species. The authors present the current understanding of the evolutionary prehistory of human social behavior. A significant challenge for cooperation activities of sociologists and sociobiologists is the rapid progress of the natural sciences. Discoveries and findings in biology and biologists models often lead to simplistic conclusions, and at the same time the works of sociologists, in which they try to use these innovations, often turns untenable. It is therefore necessary to continue the search for the directions and mechanisms of integration of sociological and sociobiological approaches to such complex phenomena as morality and altruism.
In this article, we present the results of a study on empathy and intolerance in relation to people with disabilities among Russian students. We investigated gender and personal differences in the relationship between the level of aggressive behavior, empathy and anxiety (as an indicator of stress). The sample consisted of 192 students — 106 of young men and 86 of young women (average age 20 years). We used a psychological questionnaires and experimental design with the presentation of stimulating photographs. At the first stage, all respondents filled in a personal questionnaire of the self-ratings on aggressive behav- ior by Bass&Perry, questionnaire of empathic abilities developed by Boyko, and the Spielberg-Khanin questionnaire for determining the level of anxiety. On the next step, we showed a stimulus material — a set of pictures with disabled people. After photo session, we asked respondents to fill in questionnaires on empathy and anxiety again. The results of the study show that the effect of stimulant photos stimulated the arousal of the level of anxiety and empathy in students, Also the development of empathy can lead to a decrease in the number of manifestations of rejection, hostility and aggression (and, consequently, fear) towards people with disabilities.