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Towards the development of a reliable instrument for the direct measurement of empathic competence among Ghanaian students

Adombire, M.A. (2021) Towards the development of a reliable instrument for the direct measurement of empathic competence among Ghanaian students.

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Abstract:Despite the importance of empathic competence in children's socio-emotional development, relatively little attention has been paid to direct assessment tools to measure this competence among students. Based on an existing Dutch prototype, this study aimed to develop a reliable international instrument for assessing the empathic competence of Ghanaian students aged 10 to 14 years in a situational context. The research design was cross-sectional with qualitative and quantitative data collection. Multistage sampling was used to sample the students (N=309). The quantitative data were analysed using test and item-level analyses, factor analysis, and descriptive statistics of student scores to investigate the reliability of the overall scale that measured empathic behaviour. Also, the differences in the student's empathic scores due to their background were investigated using an independent sample t-test. Qualitative data were inductively coded using the framework of competent action and themes from Kohlberg's moral reasoning to investigate the differences in the mental processes of two contrasting groups of students. The result of the study indicated that the reliability of the scale that measured empathic behaviour was highly acceptable. Test items on the scale of avoidance of ego-centric behaviour were, on average, more difficult than those that were on the scale of prosocial behaviour. Female students, on average, had higher scores on their overall empathic behaviour than male students. The cognitive lab results suggested that the students' mental processes during task performance could be traced back to their score on empathic behaviour. Future research could use the data from the study to investigate evidence of the validity of the scale. Also, psychometricians could use the data from the study to design a sophisticated scoring model.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Centraal Instituut voor Toetsontwikkeling (CITO), Arnhem, Netherlands
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
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