Empathy has both both affective and cognitive features. Affective empathy relates to coming to “feel” how another person is feeling; cognitive empathy relates to “knowing” another person’s internal state including their thoughts and feelings. Previous research (e.g., Strayer & Roberts, 1989) revealed evidence of affective empathy and cognitive empathy in older but not younger children. Montague and Ulmer (2014) suggested that the stimulus presentations used in prior studies may not have been valid for use with young children. To this end, they created video presentations of preschool-aged children to use as stimulus presentations. Using these, they found that preschool-aged children demonstrated affective empathy using the more relevant videos
My project is a continuation of Montague and Ulmer’s larger research project. I will examine Cognitive Empathy. This is the second part of a two-semester project. In the spring 2016 semester, I transcribed the child participants’ verbal responses (verbatim) from video recordings and learned Strayer and Roberts’ (2004) Empathy Continuum scoring manual (modified for young children by Montague & Ulmer, 2013). In the fall 2016 semester, I will code the transcripts using the modified coding scheme that I have now learned, and I will enter and analyze the data using SPSS.
Holness, Kimberlee V. and Montague, Diana, "Cognitive Empathy in Preschool-Aged Children" (2016). Undergraduate Research. 11.