Empathy versus reciprocity : mutually exclusive? : a study into the confounding effects of empathy and reciprocity on interpersonal conflict management training

by Yuen, Wing-chun

Abstract (Summary)
(Uncorrected OCR) A ItS I UACT I he purpose of (his thesis is to explore (lie elTeet of tlie two basic elements in imdccslnuding ollicrs, namely, empathy ' ':' ir,l )'} v.''. which is otlicr-orieiilcd. and reciproeilv 'j|[; j^ !/ V. which is sell-oriented. T.mpnlhy has been encouraged in Western society whereas rccipiocitv has been encouraged in Chinese society under the Confucius influence. This thesis attempts to answer these questions: How does lecipiocity relate to cmpalliy? Do training of empathy ;ind reciprocity achieve similar results, or do lhey generate totally different results'.' Which is the more cITcclive way lo teach understanding of others'' flic null hypothesis was that empathy and reciprocity were mutually exclusive, that is. (I) teaching empathy would increase empathy and dectease reciprocity of the participants, (2) teaching reciprocity would incicasc tccipiocity and dccicase empathy. A full day training of inlcr-pcisonal conflict management was given to three groups of police officers. I hey were given three different treatments, namely, empathy, rccipiocitv and control (stress management) respectively. Pre-assessmcnt and post-assessment were carried out in the form of role-playing with collaborator acting as the citizen f.mpathy and reciprocity were measured by the collaborator right after lole-plays, and by other raters using video-tapes of the role-plays, four scales were used: CarkhulTs f'mpathic Understanding in Inter-personal Piocesses, a self-developed iceipiocity Scale, and I lo's Other-Oriented facilitation and Self-Oriented Facilitation Scales ll was found that cmpalliy and reciprocity correlated with each other, and that teaching empathy resulted increase in both empathy and reciprocity skills; wheieas, teaching rccipiocitv icsulted only increase in reciprocity skill, and teaching stress management did not result in any changes I lie results showed that teaching empathy is more effective, and rccipiocitv could be a necessary condition for empathy, i
Bibliographical Information:


School:The University of Hong Kong

School Location:China - Hong Kong SAR

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:interpersonal conflict empathy reciprocity


Date of Publication:01/01/1996

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