Empathy in Romantic Relationships: A Research Proposal

Throughout the semester, the class has focused heavily on empathy as a broad concept, covering numerous situations. We’ve looked at empathy in the courtroom, empathy for people of other races, empathy for a father, and even empathy for those committing atrocious acts. In several of my own blogs, I’ve addressed empathy as a very malleable concept and it has proven to be just that. However, with relationship science being a fairly new and emerging science in psychology, I thought it would be interesting to venture into the realm of empathy as it pertains to romantic relationships.

downloadIn doing so, my goal is to uncover what exactly the role of empathy is in romantic relationships, and how couples can harness it to benefit their relationship. In order to do this, I intend to not only uncover the beneficial effects of empathy, but the harmful effects as well. For instance, it appears perceived empathy (believing one’s partner empathizes with them, or is trying to empathize with them) appears to be more important for a couple’s relationship satisfaction than accurately empathizing with one another. In doing a more extensive literary review of the material on empathy in romantic relationships, I intend to learn more about this topic in more detail, and uncover intriguing insights like the one I mentioned above.

So what is empathy’s role in romantic relationships, and how can couple’s harness it in order to benefit their relationship?

I believe this is an important question, and answering it is necessary in order to improve upon and facilitate successful and satisfying relationships with our partners. I believe if people come to find empathy is a key component in relationship satisfaction, and light is shed on the ways it can improve their relationship, they will be motivated to place greater emphasis on maintaining a certain level of empathy for their partner through all relationship transgressions, as well as normal day to day interaction.


(Potential) Works Cited

Barnes, Sean, et al. “The Role of Mindfulness in Romantic Relationship Satisfaction and Responses to Relationship Stress.” Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, vol. 33, no. 4, 2007., pp. 482-500doi:10.1111/j.1752-0606.2007.00033.x.

Cohen, Shiri, et al. “Eye of the Beholder: The Individual and Dyadic Contributions of Empathic Accuracy and Perceived Empathic Effort to Relationship Satisfaction.” Journal of Family Psychology 26.2 (2012): 236. ProQuest. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.

Cramer, Duncan, and Sophia Jowett. “Perceived Empathy, Accurate Empathy and Relationship Satisfaction in Heterosexual Couples.” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, vol. 27, no. 3, 2010., pp. 327-349doi:10.1177/0265407509348384.

Davis, Mark H., and H. A. Oathout. “Maintenance of Satisfaction in Romantic Relationships: Empathy and Relational Competence.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 53, no. 2, 1987., pp. 397-410doi:10.1037/0022-3514.53.2.397.

Google. “Cartoon Scientist.” Google: 2013. http://www.gll-getalife.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/cartoon-scientists.jpg.

Kato, Tsukasa. “Effects of Partner Forgiveness on Romantic Break-Ups in Dating Relationships: A Longitudinal Study.” Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 95, 2016., pp. 185-189doi:10.1016/j.paid.2016.02.050.

Kimmes, Jonathan G., and Jared A. Durtschi. “forgiveness in Romantic Relationships: The Roles of Attachment, Empathy, and Attributions.” Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, vol. 42, no. 4, 2016., pp. 645doi:10.1111/jtuft.12171.

Péloquin, Katherine, Marie-France Lafontaine, and Audrey Brassard. “A Dyadic Approach to the Study of Romantic Attachment, Dyadic Empathy, and Psychological Partner Aggression.” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, vol. 28, no. 7, 2011., pp. 915-942doi:10.1177/0265407510397988.

Péloquin, Katherine, and Marie-France Lafontaine. “Measuring Empathy in Couples: Validity and Reliability of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index for Couples.” Journal of Personality Assessment, vol. 92, no. 2, 2010., pp. 146-157doi:10.1080/00223890903510399.

Perrone-McGovern, Kristin M., et al. “Effects of Empathy and Conflict Resolution Strategies on Psychophysiological Arousal and Satisfaction in Romantic Relationships.” Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, vol. 39, no. 1, 2014., pp. 19-25doi:10.1007/s10484-013-9237-2.

Tartakovsky, Margarita. “The Power of Empathy in Romantic Relationships & How to Enhance It | World of Psychology.” World of Psychology. N.p., 10 June 2014. Web. 14 Nov. 2016. <http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/06/08/the-power-of-empathy-in-romantic-relationships-how-to-enhance-it/>.

Tompkins, Cody. “Put Yourself In Their Shoes: Empathy For The Homeless.” Gannon University: 2016.

Ulloa, Emilio C., PhD., and Julia F. Hammett M.A. “The Role of Empathy in Violent Intimate Relationships.” Partner Abuse 7.2 (2016): 140-56. ProQuest. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.



Expanding Empathy to Non-human Animals

Throughout the past few months, I have been exploring empathy and ethics through discussions, scholarly readings, fictional novels, social media, and other digital media, including images and film. I have given myself ample amounts of time to gain a descent understanding of not only what the terms “empathy” and “ethics” mean, but also how they are used in society.

I tend to hold a non-anthropocentric view of society, allowing society to encompass not only humans, but our non-human animal neighbors as well. I am interested in researching the empirical studies behind empathy (human to human, human to non-human animal, even non-human animal to non-human animal) and using that, along with animal rights ethics (philosophical arguments and theories) to answer the critical question “can empathy be expanded to non-human animals, or is it an inherently human trait?” and also explore subsequent questions such as “if so, what are the pros and cons of expanding empathy to non-human animals?”, “What role does empathy play in defining and shaping our morality, and how does this role change when expanding morality to include non-human animals?”, and “How can empathy for non-human animals be compared and contrasted with other feelings, such as sympathy, or compassion?”.

I plan on setting up a foundational argument explaining empathy and ethics and restricting the scope to purely humans, as to prepare readers for subsequent arguments for expanding both to non-human animals. I have already found many useful scholarly articles both in support of my position, that empathy can and should be expanded to non-human animals, and contrasting my position, offering valuable counter-positions to explore and use to further support my position. I already see an issue with attempting to argue my position on a purely empirical basis, considering the research available is limited and has problems of its own, so I am going to examine current ethical theories (animal rights theories and other theories of morality) to create my own informed philosophical argument. I want to take a more persuasive argument approach, highlighting the benefits of expanding empathy and ethics to non-human animals, to advocate for animal rights, a well-informed belief that I hold strongly.

Potential Scholarly Sources

Aaltola, E. “Skepticism, Empathy, and Animal Suffering.” JOURNAL OF BIOETHICAL INQUIRY 10.4 (2013): 457-67. Web.

Angantyr, M., J. Eklund, and EM Hansen. “A Comparison of Empathy for Humans and Empathy for Animals.” ANTHROZOOS 24.4 (2011): 369-77. Web.

Kasperbauer, T. J. “Rejecting Empathy for Animal Ethics.” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18.4 (2015): 817-33. Web.

Kielland, C., et al. “Dairy Farmer Attitudes and Empathy Toward Animals are Associated with Animal Welfare Indicators.” Journal of dairy science 93.7 (2010): 2998-3006. Web.

Prguda, E., and DL Neurnann. “Inter-Human and Animal-Directed Empathy: A Test for Evolutionary Biases in Empathetic Responding.” Behavioural processes 108 (2014): 80-6. Web.

Rothgerber, H., and F. Mican. “Childhood Pet Ownership, Attachment to Pets, and Subsequent Meat Avoidance. the Mediating Role of Empathy Toward Animals.” Appetite 79 (2014): 11-7. Web.

Works Cited

“Empathy You’re Doing it Wrong” Image: http://img.scoop.it/IM8L4-Knr_NFX4YRbcH4XDl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVvK0kTmF0xjctABnaLJIm9



Research Proposal: Separating Vengeance from Vigilante Justice

The quote “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” has often been attributed to Gandhi, to warn people against committing another crime to rectify the one that came before it. But it is not this cautionary quote that concerns me. What’s intriguing is how we can simultaneously agree with this and still justify vigilantism, or vigilante justice. According to Cornell Law, “Vigilante justice often describes the actions of a single person or group of people who claim to enforce the law but lack the legal authority to do so” (Cornell University Law School). But I would like to narrow the range of vigilante justice to be examined. I want to look specifically at the type of vigilante justice that involves an individual taking the law into their own hands “to effect justice according to one’s own understanding of right and wrong” (“Vigilante”). As one may point out, an individual’s understanding of right and wrong is subjective, allowing certain people to empathize with one set of morals over another. I believe this can factor into the one’s opinion on whether or not a certain instance of vigilantism is warranted.

Generally, vigilante justice is only accepted under certain circumstances, but I would like to analyze the reason for this and identify the circumstances in which vigilante action is justifiable through the lens of empathy. Because there are at least two sides to a crime, one that benefits from the crime and one that is harmed by it. When one seeks out their own form of vigilante justice, they may inadvertently hurt more people than were previously involved, thus causing more damage. How do we decide when one crime can fix another, and how do we decide whose pain is more important? No two people can always agree upon the circumstances upon which vigilantism is justified nor the extent to which the crime should be punished — if at all. The reason for this difference in opinion stems from the amount and type of empathy that people have for the vigilante’s cause and those negatively impacted by the vigilantism. I want to examine how empathy impacts our perspectives on vigilante justice and circumstances in which its use becomes justified.

Multiple factors play a role in determining whether or not vigilante justice is acceptable to us. Some include our regard for the specific law being broken, our relatability to each side, and our judgment on whether or not justice has been served. Some sources I would like to consider include Martin L. Hoffman’s “Empathy, Justice, and the Law,” to help explain the feelings that can invoke empathy in people. I would like to specifically look at the empathic feeling of injustice that compels people to act on behalf of other because I feel that it is this sensation that compels people to seek out vigilante justice as a form of helping others.  Another source I plan on using is David Fidler’s “The Snowden Reader,” which details the events of Edward Snowden’s decision to release information about the NSA spying on the American people and the subsequent reactions to his choice. While not quite apparent at first, Snowden can be considered a vigilante of sorts. On the one hand, he was a traitor for releasing his country’s secrets, but he also felt as if there was a moral obligation to tell the American people that their basic rights were being violated. I would like to use Snowden as an example for analyzing how the empathy different people have can influence their opinion of Snowden as a hero or villain. Additionally, I am going to use sources that analyze empathy’s limits and biases when connecting to others, as well as a source investigating the instances in which vigilante justice is acceptable to society.

Vigilante justice is a tricky thing that toes the line between heroism and crime, depending who you ask. But everyday, people are faced with great injustices that the law either refuses to address or is incapable of answering. And if given a great enough injustice, people are given little choice but to act beyond the law to promote some kind of justice. Indeed, many vigilantes have been counted throughout history, even heralded as heroes. Countless crimes have been committed for the sake of doing what was right in the perpetrator’s opinion. But what separates the criminals from the vigilantes is our empathy for them.

Works Cited:

Cornell University Law School. “Vigilante Justice.” LII / Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School, n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.

“Vigilantism.” West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. 2008. The Gale Group 14 Nov. 2016

Potential Sources:

Fidler, David P., ed. The Snowden Reader. Bloomington, IN, US: Indiana University Press, 2015. ProQuest ebrary. Web. Accessed Nov 14, 2016.

Hoffman, Martin L. “Empathy, Justice, and the Law.” Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives. By Amy Coplan and Peter Goldie. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011. 230-54. Web. Accessed Nov 14, 2016.

Simmons, Aaron. “In Defense of the Moral Significance of Empathy.” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17.1 (2014; 2013): 97-111. Web.

Sorrell, Kory. “Our Better Angels: Empathy, Sympathetic Reason, and Pragmatic Moral Progress.” The Pluralist 9.1 (2014): 66-86. Academic OneFile. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.

Zizumbo Colunga, Daniel. “Taking the Law into our Hands: Trust, Social Capital and Vigilante Justice.” Ph.D. Vanderbilt University, 2015. Print. United States — Tennessee.

Blog 7: Empathy Around the World

As a human race, we all understand that we can feel empathy with each other and for each other. We unite under the umbrella of empathy, knowing that we all have the same set of genes that make us both similar and unique. However, even as we are we are connected in so many ways, we are also divided by cultures, traditions, and beliefs. This creates barriers in our empathy that restrict us from relating to people who do not have the same background as ourselves. The consequence of being unable to empathize is that people of different cultures battle and fight, whether physically, verbally, or emotionally. The aspect I’m most curious about is the physical battles and wars that result from the limitations of empathy across cultures. This will include a look into terrorism and how a lack of empathy builds up these actions. An evaluation of the role of empathy in international and intercultural relations, with some solutions, could provide a way for the world to achieve more acceptance of others and hopefully, eventually, peace.

Scholarly Sources:

Cui, Geng, and Sjef Van Der Berg. “Testing the Construct Validity of Intercultural Effectiveness.” International Journal of Intercultural Relations 15.2 (1991): 227-40. ScienceDirect. Web.

Finlay, Krystina A., and Walter G. Stephan. “Improving Intergroup Relations: The Effects of Empathy of Racial Attitudes.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 30.8 (2000): 1720-737. Web.

Keohane, Robert O. “Reciprocity in International Relations.” International Organization 40.01 (1986): 1. Web.

Stein, Arthur A. Why Nations Cooperate: Circumstance and Choice in International Relations. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1990. Print.

Zee, Karen I. Van Der, and Jan Pieter Van Oudenhoven. “Multicultural Personality Questionnaire.” Journal of Research in Personality 35.3 (2001): 278-88. ScienceDirect. Web.

Empathy in Policy

This course helped us establish the fact that ethics (or values) have some relation to empathy. I am interested in public policy, especially global health policy. This research project will look at how policy, ethics, and empathy all relate. In most cases, multi governmental organizations have to come up with policies that will largely benefit the majority of their targeted population, or the most vulnerable populations (those who are at a higher risk of whatever disease they are trying to combat). This is viewed as the “right” thing to do. However, policy is not that easy to formulate because of all the different people at stake. For instance, policy depends on the available resources which affect the “right” thing. Like we have seen in the course, context influences empathy as well as ethics. Another aspect to note in this is topic is the fact that it is easier to empathize with an individual than a large group. Like we spoke about in the course hearing that thousands of people are injured from an earthquake is less effective in invoking empathy than looking into one person’s story. So do policymakers have the capacity to empathize with these large populations they are trying to aid? Or are they just getting the job done? Would empathy actually make policies more effective, if we assume that there is little to not empathy in policy making?

The driving question for this research project is, How beneficial is empathy in public policy?

Most policy makers use the statement “economic policy is healthy policy”. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the numbers dictate health policy. In addition to this, policy makers are not directly affected by the policy, especially in the global health industry. The individuals who hold the power are the ones who have the money, much like history is written by the victors. What makes this topic important is the fact that more often than not policies are not effective. Take for instance the combat against HIV, policymakers still haven’t found an effect policy to fight HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa. I think this could be because of the lack of empathy on the part of the “super powers”. Without an understanding of the environment, there is no way one can impose effective strategies. My critical question invokes the type of thinking that could make a difference where it actually matters. Maybe we need to change our approach when making policy.

Potential Sources

Boisjoly Johanne, et al. “Empathy or Antipathy? : The Impact of Diversity”. The American Economic Review, vol. 96, no. 5, 2006., pp. 1890-1905doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/aer.96.5.1890.

Bruns, F., & Frewer, A. (2011). Ethics consultation and empathy. HEC Forum,23(4), 247-255. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10730-011-9164-7

Natalia V. Czap et al. ‘Walk in my Shoes : Nudging for Empathy Conservation.’ Walk in My Shoes: Nudging for Empathy Conservation. N.p., Oct.-Nov 2015. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.

Petrini, Carlo. “Ethics-Based Public Health Policy?” American Journal of Public Health. American Public Association, 2010. Web. 14 Nov. 2016

Stuckler, D., & McKee, M. (2008). Five metaphors about global-health policy. The Lancet, 372(9633), 95-7. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/199012988?accountid=13567

The Evolution of Empathy

Following the evolutionary interpretation of human history, all traits should be attributable to natural selection based on evolutionary advantage. This implies that even emotional characteristics played a role in early human survival. For example, the need to socialize which resulted in tribes that enabled progression and intellectualism. Therefore empathy, at some point in time, must have given humans an advantage over humans who were less altruistic.

But what kind of advantage could true altruism provide? While the feeling of empathy itself requires nothing but the loss of your emotional stability, empathy is often expressed through sacrificing something of yourself in order to help another in distress. This surrender of resources would appear to be a disadvantage, as those who were very empathetic may give up all they had. So was there some kind of understanding that those you helped would then help you? These are all small parts of a larger question I will attempt to address through my research paper.

The evolution of empathy could help to explain why humans in the modern era feel more or less empathy, as perhaps survival is not at such high risk. The critical question we face is what kind of evolutionary advantage did feeling and expressing empathy toward others give human beings that enabled their survival, and how could that translate to society today? This understanding is crucial to how we interpret interaction in a largely competition based society, and the shortcomings of empathy in an increasingly globalized world.

Potential Scholarly Sources

Dugatkin, Lee Alan. “Strange Bedfellows: A Russian Prince, A Scottish Economist, and the Role of Empathy in Early Theories for the Evolution of Cooperation.” Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 320.7 (2013): 407-411. Print.

Fletcher, Jeffrey A., and Michael Doebeli. “A Simple and General Explanation for the Evolution of Altruism.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 276.1654 (2009): 13-9. Web.

Lion, Sébastien, and Sylvain Gandon. “Life History, Habitat Saturation and the Evolution of Fecundity and Survival Altruism.” Evolution 64.6 (2010): 1594-606. Web.

Nowak, M. A. (Martin A. )., and Roger Highfield. Supercooperators : Altruism, Evolution, and Why we Need each Other to Succeed. 1st Free Press hardcover ed. ed. New York: Free Press, 2011. Print.

Smith, Adam. “Cognitive Empathy and Emotional Empathy in Human Behavior and Evolution.” The Psychological Record 56.1 (2006): 3. Print.

Empathy in Those with Autism Spectrum Disorders

In this class we have discussed the limitations of empathy, but we have yet to talk about predispositions to limited empathy. There is a common impression that people with Autism Spectrum Disorders are unable to feel empathy at all. I have always been interested in this generalization because Autism Spectrum Disorder describes a range of conditions, which in many ways cannot be lumped together under one name. In this research paper I am interested to look at if it is true that people with Autism Spectrum Disorder are unable to feel empathy, or if there is a barrier with communication within themselves and to others.

One possible source that I have found is SAGE Journals “Not knowing what I feel: Emotional empathy in autism spectrum disorders”. This study tracked physiological response with self-reported responses to distressing videos. They found that the physiological responses between the experimental and control groups were similar even though there was disparity in the self-report. This supports my hypothesis that for some the disconnect might not be in feeling empathy, but instead in interpreting and expressing empathy.

About 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders, which means that it is far from rare. The understanding of how empathy is related to Autism Spectrum Disorders is crucial for researchers and caretakers alike.

Possible Sources:

Aan het Rot, Marije, and Koen Hogenelst. “The Influence of Affective Empathy and Autism Spectrum Traits on Empathic Accuracy.” Ed. Angela Sirigu. PLoS ONE 9.6 (2014): e98436. PMC. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

Kennett, Jeanette. “Autism, Empathy and Moral Agency. (Philosophical Abstracts).” The Review of Metaphysics 55 (2002): 673. Print. 14 Nov. 2016

Lombardo, Michael V. et al. “Self-Referential Cognition and Empathy in Autism.” Ed. Paul Zak. PLoS ONE 2.9 (2007): e883. PMC. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

Montgomery, Charlotte B. et al. “Do Adults with High Functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome Differ in Empathy and Emotion Recognition?” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 46 (2016): 1931–1940. PMC. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

Trimmer, Emily, Skye McDonald, and Jacqueline Ann Rushby. “Not Knowing what I Feel: Emotional Empathy in Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Autism (2016)Print.14 Nov. 2016

Works Cited:

“Autism Spectrum Disorder: Data & Statistics.” July 11, 2016 Web. 15 Nov. 2016

Trimmer, Emily, Skye McDonald, and Jacqueline Ann Rushby. “Not Knowing what I Feel: Emotional Empathy in Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Autism (2016)Print.14 Nov. 2016

Game Our Ways Into Globalization

Video games play a crucial portion in our modern culture. Around 155 million Americans regularly play video games. Scholars have been examining the effects of violent/prosocial video games on people over various age range and reports back on the changes in human behavior caused by the content of the video games they play. While different researchers show both stat that testifies violent video games desensitizes and prosocial games increase empathy in people and stats that demonstrate no particular significance in the relationship between game content and behavior, most of the sources establish prosocial and nonviolent gaming positively correlates with social connectedness and civic engagement, including the more recent reports.

Empathy is crucial in building strong relationships. As our world become more interconnected through a few examples we’ve raised in class including being emerged in similar types of cultures (literature, visual arts, and performance arts), utilizing congruent media platforms (Fox News, Facebook, New York Times) and personal devices (Phones, computers, fax machines), it becomes more and more of a human responsibility to develop fuller empathetic responses for the greater good; from understanding the unspoken parts of one’s communication with others to seeing the world in higher resolution including the suffering humanity from another continent. We learn from multiple examples how the global technology connections can be harmful or helpful for the thrive of humanity depending upon people’s methods and skills to empathize. Now how can we use video games to teach empathy and limit the opposite in our community? What kind of impacts will empathetic growth contribute toward global unity? What does it mean for people if they become better leaders, followers, and more importantly, better friends?

Potential Scholarly Sources:

Greitemeyer, Tobias, Silvia Osswald, and Markus Brauer. “Playing Prosocial Video Games Increases Empathy and Decreases Schadenfreude.” American Psychological Association 796-802 10.6 (2010): n. pag. Web.

Funk, Jeanne B., Heidi Bechtoldt Baldacci, Tracie Pasold, and Jennifer Baumgardner. “Violence Exposure in Real-life, Video Games, Television, Movies, and the Internet: Is There Desensitization?” Journal of Adolescence 39th ser. 27.23 (2004): n. pag. Science Direct. Web.

Anderson, Craig A. “Violent, Nonviolent, and Prosocial Gaming Effects on Teens’ Civic Engagement.” K. Dill (Ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology, New York(2014): n. pag. Oxford University Press. Web.

Smith, Nathan J., “Does Video Game Content Matter? An Examination of Two Competing Ideas” (2015). All Theses and Dissertations. Paper 6026.

Scelsa, Valerie L., “The Effect of Aggressive and Prosocial Video Games on Aggressive and Prosocial Behavior”. Senior Theses, Trinity College, Hartford, CT 2014. Trinity College Digital Repository, http://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/theses/416

Empathy for Bullies

As most people know, bullying has been a serious issue for many years now. While I am not necessarily looking to stop bullying through my research project, I am looking to examine the causes behind it. In seeing these motives, I hope to answer the question of whether or not people can empathize with bullies. Despite the fact that these bullies do some terrible things, perhaps they deserve some empathy in addition to shunning and disapproval. There could be some factors, such as the way a bully was treated growing up or some traumatizing experience that leads to the negative acts a bully commits. I understand that this topic is fairly similar to the question Adam Morton poses of whether or not we can empathize with those who commit atrocious acts, but I am looking to take a different approach on the topic, looking more at school aged kids than older people. Especially with the incredible advance in technology and social media use, this issue is as pressing as ever with younger people, and I feel like it will be a fitting topic to explore. Furthermore, I feel that this topic poses a controversial question that can only be well-answered with ample supporting evidence. Some of the sources that I will consider using are cited below.

External Sources:

Brank, Eve M., Lori A. Hoetger, and Katherine P. Hazen. “bullying.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science, vol. 8, 2012., pp. 213-230

Jolliffe, Darrick, and David P. Farrington. “Is Low Empathy Related to Bullying After Controlling for Individual and Social Background Variables?” Journal of Adolescence, vol. 34, no. 1, 2011., pp. 59-71

Moon, Byongook, Hye-Won Hwang, and John D. McCluskey. “Causes of School Bullying: Empirical Test of a General Theory of Crime, Differential Association Theory, and General Strain Theory.” Crime & Delinquency, vol. 57, no. 6, 2008., pp. 849-877

Prasad, Ron. “Empathy and Compasion for Bullies.” Empathy and Compassion for Bullies. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.

Warden, D., and S. Mackinnon. “Prosocial Children, Bullies and Victims: An Investigation of their Sociometric Status, Empathy and Social Problem-Solving Strategies.” BRITISH JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 21, no. 3, 2003., pp. 367-385

Empathy Across Borders

Wars have been a prominent feature throughout history. From the Crusades to the World Wars to the conflict in the Middle East, war has seemingly happened nonstop through our past, present, and future. Different cultures have constantly fought and different borders have constantly been disputed. Why is this? The scholarly sources I have picked delve into the effects and relationship of empathy with war, race, culture, religion, and ethnicity. I specifically would like to look at past events of war but also at the modern day example of the middle east. The conflict in the middle east is very much based in religion. I would like to examine how a lack of empathy for people of a different race, culture, religion, and ethnicity lack empathy for each other. The fact that so many conflicts are over these, that so many people are willing to kill each other over these, there must be a lack of empathy. This topic is very relevant to this class. In class we discussed what empathy was and the effects of empathy on different parts of society. Specifically, we often looked at the effects of empathy on race. Empathizing across borders would sometimes require empathizing with different races. Our class showed that this is often difficult to do. A great example of this was Atticus Finch in Go Set a Watchman (this is not in my works cited because I most likely will not use it in my research paper). This obviously was not across a physical border, though I will investigate if the same applies across physical borders in the real world.

Can people empathize across borders? Whether these borders are borders of race, culture, religion, or ethnicity is empathy possible? These are introductory questions I would like to explore. My critical question is “Is this lack of empathy what leads to war?” I hope to find more sources and examples to back up my thesis that this lack of empathy across borders is what leads to conflict and war.

Potential Scholarly Sources:

Casebeer, William D. “Identity, Culture and Stories: Empathy and the War on Terrorism.” Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology 9.2 (2008): 653. Web.

Chiao, Joan Y., and Vani A. Mathur. “Intergroup Empathy: How does Race Affect Empathic Neural Responses?” Current Biology 20.11 (2010): R478-80. Web.

Chung, Rita Chi‐Ying, and Fred Bemak. “The Relationship of Culture and Empathy in Cross‐Cultural Counseling.” Journal of Counseling & Development 80.2 (2002): 154-9. Web.

Hoffman, Martin L. “Empathy, Justice, and the Law.” Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives. Ed. Amy Coplan and Peter Goldie. Oxford, UK: Oxford UP, 2011. 230-54. Print.

Neumann, DL, GJ Boyle, and RCK Chan. “Empathy Towards Individuals of the Same and Different Ethnicity when Depicted in Negative and Positive Contexts.” Personality and Individual Differences 55.1 (2013): 8-13. Web.

Stover, William James. “Teaching and Learning Empathy: An Interactive, Online Diplomatic Simulation of Middle East Conflict.” Journal of Political Science Education 1.2 (2005): 207-19. Web.