Start Date

22-3-2019 12:00 PM

End Date

22-3-2019 12:15 PM

Department

Psychology

Program

PhD - Personality & Measurement

Year

1

Supervisor Name

Donald H. Saklofske

Supervisor Email

dsaklofs@uwo.ca

Abstract Text

Background: Although considerable research has examined situational factors inprosocial behaviour,prosocial traitsare poorly defined. The same labelsare appliedto different constructs, and different labels are applied to the same construct (e.g., “empathy,” “sympathy,” “compassion”).Furthermore, trait altruism lacks both a solid theoretical definition and adequate measures. The goal of this study is to semantically and statistically distinguish betweenprosocial constructs by developing a personality scale assessingprosocial tendencies.

Method: A review of literature, drawing from various domains, revealed three constructs that may compriseprosocial personality: empathy (recognizing, understanding, and sharing in others’ emotions), compassion (expressing concern for others, seeking toalleviate their suffering), and altruism (selflessly giving/helping). Conceptual definitions of each construct guided item generation, and expert ratersevaluated these itemsprior to administration. The sample will be approximately 300 students.

Planned Analyses: For construct validation, the scale will be compared with other measures of empathy, compassion, altruism,as well as measures of alexithymia, gratitude, and self-compassion. Exploratory factor analysis will examine the underlying factor structure of the items, anditems with poor psychometric properties will be discarded. Although itis expected that a three-factor structure will emerge,other factor solutions will be considered. The final scale will be approximately 30 items (10 per subscale).

Conclusion: Besides disentangling these constructs, the scale will also provide theoretical contrast to the Dark Triad/Tetrad. Future studies will attempt to replicate the factor structure of the scale and examine whether empathy, compassion, and altruism differentially predictprosocial behaviour.

In progress (data not fully collected)

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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Mar 22nd, 12:00 PM Mar 22nd, 12:15 PM

In search of the “prosocial personality”: Disentangling empathy, compassion, and altruism

Background: Although considerable research has examined situational factors inprosocial behaviour,prosocial traitsare poorly defined. The same labelsare appliedto different constructs, and different labels are applied to the same construct (e.g., “empathy,” “sympathy,” “compassion”).Furthermore, trait altruism lacks both a solid theoretical definition and adequate measures. The goal of this study is to semantically and statistically distinguish betweenprosocial constructs by developing a personality scale assessingprosocial tendencies.

Method: A review of literature, drawing from various domains, revealed three constructs that may compriseprosocial personality: empathy (recognizing, understanding, and sharing in others’ emotions), compassion (expressing concern for others, seeking toalleviate their suffering), and altruism (selflessly giving/helping). Conceptual definitions of each construct guided item generation, and expert ratersevaluated these itemsprior to administration. The sample will be approximately 300 students.

Planned Analyses: For construct validation, the scale will be compared with other measures of empathy, compassion, altruism,as well as measures of alexithymia, gratitude, and self-compassion. Exploratory factor analysis will examine the underlying factor structure of the items, anditems with poor psychometric properties will be discarded. Although itis expected that a three-factor structure will emerge,other factor solutions will be considered. The final scale will be approximately 30 items (10 per subscale).

Conclusion: Besides disentangling these constructs, the scale will also provide theoretical contrast to the Dark Triad/Tetrad. Future studies will attempt to replicate the factor structure of the scale and examine whether empathy, compassion, and altruism differentially predictprosocial behaviour.