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The Hierarchical Structure of Empathy: Dimensional organization and relations to social functioning
University West, Department of Nursing, Health and Culture, Division of Advanced Nursing.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4722-009X
2002 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 43, no 1, p. 49-59Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the present study was to examine the structure of empathy using a hierarchical approach, and to compare the dimensions of empathy with measures of social functioning, in order to contribute to the understanding of the nature of empathy. The dimensionality of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, which comprises four subscales (empathic concern, perspective taking, fantasy and personal distress) was examined using confirmatory factor analysis. Relations with the Social Skills Inventory were also investigated. A sample of 127 applicants for places on nursing and social work undergraduate programs participated in the study. The study findings indicate that empathy is hierarchi-cally organized, with one general dimension at the apex. The general factor is identical to empathic concern and this dimension overlaps to a great extent with perspective taking and fantasy. The findings also indicate that the general dimension constitutes an integrated entirety, with its main emphasis on emotional reactivity by also involving cognitive processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 43, no 1, p. 49-59
Keywords [en]
Empathy, Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), Socail Skills Inventory (SSI), dimensionality, Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA)
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Pedagogics; SOCIAL SCIENCE, Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-2108DOI: 10.1111/1467-9450.00268OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-2108DiVA, id: diva2:284745
Available from: 2010-01-08 Created: 2010-01-08 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Assessing empathy: Measurement characteristics and interviewer effects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessing empathy: Measurement characteristics and interviewer effects
2001 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 2001. p. 188
Series
Göteborg studies in educational science, ISSN 0436-1121 ; 156
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Pedagogics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-2114 (URN)
Public defence
(English)
Available from: 2010-03-04 Created: 2010-01-08 Last updated: 2015-09-15Bibliographically approved

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Cliffordson, Christina

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