University of Twente Student Theses


The Effect of Change of Perspective on Empathy through Virtual Reality

Teernstra, M.A. (2023) The Effect of Change of Perspective on Empathy through Virtual Reality.

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Abstract:Ethnic profiling is a social problem that gained attention in recent years, due to a number of high-profile incidents primarily in the United States. This research paper studies possible avenues that could help preventing ethnic profiling. This study looks at the effect of change of perspective (CoP) on state empathy, by comparing police officers to students. Trait empathy and psychological flexibility are studied as additional variables to look for individual differences between the participants. With the use of a Virtual Reality (VR) training targeting ethnic profiling of police officers, 38 police officers and 38 students were studied and afterwards half of the participants of each group viewed a video containing a CoP. This study found support for the main effect of CoP on state empathy and this effect appears to be stronger for students. In the additional analysis some effects of gender, reflection, satisfaction and field of study on state empathy were discovered. Finally, no effect is discovered of trait empathy and psychological flexibility on state empathy.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:10 humanities in general, 70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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