Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Craig Bowman

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Rights Information

© 2012 Blake T. Bennett


The current study seeks to link traditional forms of empathy induction with new research that suggests videogames can be used as an experiential method of induction. One hundred-nine college students, sixty-four females and forty-six males, were used in a 2x2x2 design, the independent variables being prosocial/neutral videogame, empathic/neutral instructions, and gender. Dependent variables were both questionnaire responses to a fictional story and an opportunity to be realistically altruistic. Participants played either a prosocial or neutral videogame, received either empathic or neutral reading instructions, and then read a vignette depicting a difficult situation faced by the writer. They then rated their reactions on a 7-point Likert scale before being asked to donate time to a local charity. A marginally significant result of gender was found in that females generally responded more strongly than males, and no other results were significant. These finding were different than previous research.