Title

Empathy towards individuals of the same and different ethnicity when depicted in negative and positive contexts

Date of this Version

1-1-2013

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Citation only

Neumann, D., Boyle, G., & Chan, R. (2013). Empathy towards individuals of the same and different ethnicity when depicted in negative and positive contexts. Personality and Individual Differences, 55(1), 8-13.

Access the journal

2013 HERDC Submission. FoR code: 170100;170200

© Copyright, Elsevier Ltd, 2013

ISSN

0191-8869

Abstract

Individuals can show different empathy responses towards others depending on in-group and out-group biases. The present research tested empathy biases related to ethnicity when targets were depicted in negative and positive contexts. Caucasian (n = 99) and Asian (n = 99) participants gave subjective ratings for images depicting same or other ethnicity individuals in socially-relevant negative and positive contexts. Participants rated significantly higher on all three dimensions of empathy (affect, perspective taking, and understanding) for same ethnicity targets than for other ethnicity targets. However, this bias was found only for targets depicted in negative contexts. Moreover, no ethnicity bias was found for ratings of valence, arousal, distress, and interest. The results suggest that ethnicity-related biases in empathy are present, are limited to negative contexts, and are not merely a manifestation of a more general cognitive or affective bias.

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This document has been peer reviewed.