An Analysis of Sex Differences in Empathy and Forgiveness

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Stephen M. Kmiec (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: The relationships among sex, empathy, and forgiveness were examined. A sample of 108 undergraduates, aged 18 to 35 years, participated in interviews and completed a series of instruments to assess both state and trait levels of forgiveness, cognitive empathy, and emotional empathy. The results indicated that men had higher levels of state forgiveness than women, while no sex differences were found with respect to trait forgiveness. Women scored higher than men in trait emotional empathy, but not in any other empathy measure. Among the entire sample, trait forgiveness correlated positively with all empathy measures, while state forgiveness correlated only to state empathy measures. Empathy appears to play a greater role in forgiveness for men, among whom a regression showed that trait and state emotional empathy and trait cognitive empathy significantly contributed to trait forgiveness. Among women, only trait emotional empathy was found to contribute.  

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Language: English
Date: 2009

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