Predicting prejudice from empathy : a multiple regression analysis
Nesbitt, Kendra Dawn
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Past research has demonstrated that empathy can reduce prejudicial attitudes as it leads people to share a sense of common identity with other cultural groups (Stephan & Finlay, 1999) or by arousing feelings of injustice (Finlay & Stephan, 2000). However, the current volume of research largely centers around administering empathy-inducing scenarios to participants and then assessing levels of prejudicial attitudes as opposed to examining initial levels of empathy. In addition, there is a lack of research regarding modern prejudicial attitudes towards individuals of Aboriginal descent. The present study examines the predictive value of ethnocultural empathy, age, gender, and social desirability on the levels of those prejudicial attitudes. One hundred and sixty eight undergraduate students from the University of Saskatchewan completed a questionnaire, including the Scale of Ethnocultural Empathy (Wang, Davidson, Yakushko, Savoy, Tan, & Bleier, 2003), the Prejudiced Attitudes Towards Aboriginals Scale (Morrison, 2007), and Form C of the Marlowe Crowne Social Desirability Scale (Reynolds, 1982). The multiple regression analysis revealed that ethnocultural empathy and age were predictive of modern prejudicial attitudes toward Aboriginals. Participants with higher levels of ethnocultural empathy reported reduced levels of modern prejudicial attitudes. However, contrary to expectation, gender was not a significant predictor variable. Practical applications and limitations of these findings are discussed as well as directions for future research.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentEducational Psychology and Special Education
ProgramEducational Psychology and Special Education
SupervisorKelly, Ivan W.
CommitteeMcIntyre, Laureen; Claypool, Tim; Renihan, Patrick
Modern prejudice towards Aboriginals