EMPATHIC ANGER,
SERVICE LEARNING,
& CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Ashley Hedgepath and Robert Bringle, Appalachian State
University
Pat...
EMPATHY AND SERVICE
LEARNING
Students who engaged in SL...
• Showed greater empathy and cognitive
complexity than comparis...
WHY SERVICE-LEARNING
IMPROVES EMPATHY
Students break the barriers between
themselves and the people with
different needs, ...
Observation
Empathic
Distress
Sympathetic
Distress
Empathic
Feeling of
Injustice
Empathic
Anger
Guilt over
Inaction
Empath...
EMPATHIC ANGER
Trait Empathic Anger
(TEA) Scale (Vitaglione &
Barnett, 2003)
“I get angry when a friend
of mine is hurt by...
METHODS
Participants: N = 152 students
Questionnaire:
REA—Hedgepath, Wall, & Bringle
Volunteer Functions Inventory:
Int...
MEASUREMENT
The Revised Empathic Anger (REA)
Scale
8-item self-report measure
“My anger towards inequality has motivated
m...
A civic-minded graduate is one who
a)is formally educated and
b)has the capacity and orientation to
work with others
c) in...
MEASUREMENTS
CMG Scale: 30-item self-report
measure of knowledge, skills,
dispositions, and behavioral
intentions
MEASUREMENTS
• transfer of resources to those in need
Charity
• working together to address a problem
Project
• empowering...
MEASUREMENT
Volunteer Functions
Inventory (VFI): self-report
measure examining the
functional motives for
volunteering (Cl...
MEASUREMENTS
Interpersonal
Reactivity Index
(IRI; Davis, 1983):
measure of
dispositional empathy
that takes the notion
tha...
MEASUREMENTS
Social Dominance
Orientation (SDO)
Scale: measure of
individual differences in
levels of group-based
discrimi...
MEASUREMENTS
Aggression: measure of physical
aggression, verbal aggression, anger and
hostility (Buss & Perry)
Physical
Ag...
RESULTS
(Wall, Hedgepath, & Bringle, 2013)
Correlations
Positive Negative
 Empathy
subscales (IRI)
 Aggression
 Altruis...
CORRELATIONS OF REA
WITH MORTON’S TYPES OF
SERVICE
Charity/
Direct
Service
.14
Projects
.26*
Social
Change/
Advocacy
.53**...
IMPLICATIONS
A new perspective on a motive for
service that has not been in the service
learning literature.
Although base...
“It is not enough for
people to be angry.
[…] The supreme
task is to organize
and unite people so
that their anger
becomes...
QUESTIONS ABOUT EMPATHIC ANGER
IN TEACHING
Have you seen empathic
anger in your work with
students?
QUESTIONS ABOUT EMPATHIC ANGER
IN TEACHING
Should empathic anger be
an educational objective in a
service learning course?...
QUESTIONS ABOUT EMPATHIC ANGER
IN TEACHINGHow should courses be
designed to develop
empathic anger?
How should reflection ...
DEVELOPING EMPATHIC
ANGER
Reflections
Community
Partners
Placement Documentaries
Music
Key Readings
FUTURE RESEARCH
QUESTIONS
Anger is produced when goals are
threatened, but the threat can be
overcome (Mackeun et al., 201...
FUTURE RESEARCH
QUESTIONS
What is the relationship between
empathic anger and prosocial behavior
(beyond behavioral intent...
FUTURE RESEARCH
QUESTIONS
What is the role of causal attributions in
the arousal of empathic anger on an
intergroup level?
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Empathic Anger, Service Learning, and Civic Education

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  • Learning through empathy is a powerful way to come to new understandings.Various research studies demonstrate ways in which SL motivates, inspires, and also strengthens empathy.Lundy-- Service-learning students demonstrated higher post-project empathy scores compared to other students. No differences between the groups' pre-project empathy scores, so the benefit of SL was not due to any preexisting differences between the groups. Only the SL students demonstrated a significant increase in empathy scores between the beginning and end of the semester. Scores actually went down for the other two groups. Thus the increase in empathy appears to be a positive outcome of students' SL experiencesWilson -- Students who interacted with people in need (made an emotional connection) and were motivated to help expressed a new understanding of the people and their needs. Not only did they identify with the people, but they felt compassion for them, and this emotional connection gave them the impetus to help.Once they had this connection, their stereotypes and naïve judgments were reduced. This is consistent with other research on empathy
  • Jeremy Rifkin:The walls separating classrooms and communities are breaking down. In the past 20 years, American high schools and colleges have introduced service-learning programs into the curriculum—a deeply collaborative learning experience. The exposure to diverse people from various walks of life has spurred an empathic surge among the nation's young people. Studies indicate that many students experience a deep maturing of empathic sensibility by being thrust into unfamiliar environments where they are called upon to reach out and assist others. Such experiences are often life-changing, affecting students' sense of what gives their lives meaning. Empathic Education: The Transformation of Learning in an Interconnected World by Jeremy Rifkin.  Personal development can be fostered by service-learning assignments that include opportunities to interact with people in need so that understanding through empathy is likely to be experienced.
  • Although psychologists have examined anger primarily as a motivator of aggressive behaviors (for reviews, see Bell & Baron, 1990; Berkowitz, 1989), recent findings by Tangney and her colleagues (Tangney, Hill-Barlow, et al., 1996; Tangney, Wagner, Hill-Barlow, Marschall, & Gramzow, 1996; see also Martin et al., 1999) have indicated that people respond to feelings of anger in a variety of ways, many of which are not only nonaggressive, but positive and constructive.sympathetic distress:when the cause is beyond the victim's control; e.g., accidentsInjustice: when a discrepancy exists between the victim's character & the victim's fateEmpathic anger: when someone else is the cause.
  • Give a fish. Teach to fish. Make room at the riversocial psychologist UrieBronfenbrenner (1979) lamented that it had become possible "for a person 18 years of age to graduate from high school without ever having had to do a piece of work on which somebody else truly depended [..] and without ever having comforted or assisted another human being who really needed help” ... He concluded, "No society can long sustain itself unless its members have learned the sensitivities, motivations and skills involved in assisting and caring for other human beings." young people's disengagement with the social and political world has become more serious over the past several decades. The result for these youths is incivility and apathy as well as a lack of confidence that they can make a difference to others and to the world as a whole.These findings are alarming because our democratic culture and social wellbeing depend on the renewing energy of young people who have the sensitivities and vision to help create a better world. Indeed, the very fabric of our national community depends on the degree to which we care about and treat each other with respect and civility.Nurturing a democratic culture and a civil society was the central mission of public education at its inception. Although we often pay lip service to this goal today, we have not invested the necessary energy, thoughtfulness or financial support to ensure its effective implementation.
  • Perspective Taking –Fantasy Empathic Concern –Personal Distress –
  • Since the process of experiential learning includes being reflective and forming new understandings, there is an expectation that someone involved in this type of learning will be changed and have new perspectives. SL also involves reflection with the added component of students serving to meet community needs. Research has shown that reflection is critical to the learning process associated with SL ([5] Eyler and Giles, 1999). Both the SL students and the BD students did reflective writing and discussion. In fact, the BD groups spent four class sessions in reflective discussion about the book while the SL students were excused from those classes. So if reflection alone was the primary influence for the development of perspective, empathy, and self-knowledge, the results should have shown that the BD group gained more in these understandings. But since the SL students expressed more of each type of understanding, there must be other factors that are critical.
  • Empathic Anger, Service Learning, and Civic Education

    1. 1. EMPATHIC ANGER, SERVICE LEARNING, & CIVIC ENGAGEMENT Ashley Hedgepath and Robert Bringle, Appalachian State University Patti Clayton, PHC Ventures and UNC Greensboro 2014 PACE Conference February 5, 2014 University of North Carolina Wilmington
    2. 2. EMPATHY AND SERVICE LEARNING Students who engaged in SL... • Showed greater empathy and cognitive complexity than comparison groups (Courneya, 1994) • Reported greater acceptance of cultural diversity (Melchoir, 1999; Berkas, 1997) •Reported higher postproject empathy scores compared to other students (Lundy, 2007) •Were significantly more likely to express empathy in their reflective writing than the students who did not participate in SL (Wilson, 2011)
    3. 3. WHY SERVICE-LEARNING IMPROVES EMPATHY Students break the barriers between themselves and the people with different needs, diversity of culture, and opportunities. They don't limit themselves to feeling and thinking about empathy only. Instead, they act on it, and this action allows empathy to integrate as a real attitude.
    4. 4. Observation Empathic Distress Sympathetic Distress Empathic Feeling of Injustice Empathic Anger Guilt over Inaction Empathy: an individual’s (a) emotional reaction that is congruent with another person’s feelings; and (b) concern for the welfare of that person (e.g., Hoffman, 2000; Batson et al., 1997; Eisenberg, 1986; Krebs, 1975; Stotland, 1969) HOW EMPATHY IS SHAPED BY CAUSAL ATTRIBUTION
    5. 5. EMPATHIC ANGER Trait Empathic Anger (TEA) Scale (Vitaglione & Barnett, 2003) “I get angry when a friend of mine is hurt by someone else.” “I feel angry for other people when they have been victimized by others.” Findings: Empathic anger is unique from empathy as sadness Reliable effects of empathic anger on prosocial desires
    6. 6. METHODS Participants: N = 152 students Questionnaire: REA—Hedgepath, Wall, & Bringle Volunteer Functions Inventory: Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Empathy) – Davis Social Dominance Orientation – Pratto et al. Aggression questionnaire – Beck & Perry
    7. 7. MEASUREMENT The Revised Empathic Anger (REA) Scale 8-item self-report measure “My anger towards inequality has motivated me to take action against it.” “Problems like social injustice make me mad, so I volunteer to help resolve them.”
    8. 8. A civic-minded graduate is one who a)is formally educated and b)has the capacity and orientation to work with others c) in a democratic way d)to improve the community DEFINITION OF A CIVIC MINDED GRADUATE
    9. 9. MEASUREMENTS CMG Scale: 30-item self-report measure of knowledge, skills, dispositions, and behavioral intentions
    10. 10. MEASUREMENTS • transfer of resources to those in need Charity • working together to address a problem Project • empowering the disenfranchised to change the system Social Change Morton’s Types of Service
    11. 11. MEASUREMENT Volunteer Functions Inventory (VFI): self-report measure examining the functional motives for volunteering (Clary & Snyder) Protective Motives • a way of protecting the ego from the difficulties of life Values • a way to express ones altruistic and humanitarian values Career • a way to improve career prospects Social • a way to develop and strengthen social ties Understanding • a way to gain knowledge, skills, and abilities Enhancement • a way to help the ego grow and develop
    12. 12. MEASUREMENTS Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI; Davis, 1983): measure of dispositional empathy that takes the notion that empathy consists of a set of separate but related constructs. the tendency to spontaneously adopt the psychological point of view of others Perspectiv eTaking Tendency to transpose themselves imaginatively into the feelings and actions of fictitious characters in books, movies, and plays Fantasy "other-oriented" feelings of sympathy and concern for unfortunate others Empathic Concern "self-oriented" feelings of personal anxiety and unease in tense interpersonal settings) Personal Distress
    13. 13. MEASUREMENTS Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) Scale: measure of individual differences in levels of group-based discrimination (Pratto et al.)  “Some groups of people are simply inferior to other groups.”  “It’s OK if some groups have more of a chance in life than others.”  “To get ahead in life, it is sometimes necessary to step on other groups.”
    14. 14. MEASUREMENTS Aggression: measure of physical aggression, verbal aggression, anger and hostility (Buss & Perry) Physical Aggression • Given enough provocation, I may hit another person. Verbal Aggresion • I often find myself disagreeing with people Angry Aggression • I have trouble controlling my temper. Hostility • I am suspicious of overly friendly strangers
    15. 15. RESULTS (Wall, Hedgepath, & Bringle, 2013) Correlations Positive Negative  Empathy subscales (IRI)  Aggression  Altruism  Social Dominance Orientation  Past Involvement w/ Community Orgs  The CMG Scale
    16. 16. CORRELATIONS OF REA WITH MORTON’S TYPES OF SERVICE Charity/ Direct Service .14 Projects .26* Social Change/ Advocacy .53** .14
    17. 17. IMPLICATIONS A new perspective on a motive for service that has not been in the service learning literature. Although based on anger, it is distinct from aggressive responses Empathic anger is clearly aligned with concern for others
    18. 18. “It is not enough for people to be angry. […] The supreme task is to organize and unite people so that their anger becomes a transforming force.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    19. 19. QUESTIONS ABOUT EMPATHIC ANGER IN TEACHING Have you seen empathic anger in your work with students?
    20. 20. QUESTIONS ABOUT EMPATHIC ANGER IN TEACHING Should empathic anger be an educational objective in a service learning course? a)If so, how can it be developed?
    21. 21. QUESTIONS ABOUT EMPATHIC ANGER IN TEACHINGHow should courses be designed to develop empathic anger? How should reflection be structured for empathic anger?
    22. 22. DEVELOPING EMPATHIC ANGER Reflections Community Partners Placement Documentaries Music Key Readings
    23. 23. FUTURE RESEARCH QUESTIONS Anger is produced when goals are threatened, but the threat can be overcome (Mackeun et al., 2010)  If the threat is perceived as too large to reasonably overcome, the result is often motivational ambivalence (Cameron & Payne, 2009) So… What is the relationship between self- efficacy and the arousal of empathic anger?  How can we help students feel more efficacious?
    24. 24. FUTURE RESEARCH QUESTIONS What is the relationship between empathic anger and prosocial behavior (beyond behavioral intention or self- reports)?
    25. 25. FUTURE RESEARCH QUESTIONS What is the role of causal attributions in the arousal of empathic anger on an intergroup level?

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