Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Jeffrey Green

Second Advisor

Jennifer Joy-Gaba

Third Advisor

Daniel Berry

Fourth Advisor

Terri Sullivan

Fifth Advisor

Sharon Zumbrunn


Empathy, the ability to feel and/or understand another’s emotional state, plays a significant role in interpersonal interactions, mitigating hostility and enhancing affiliation and helping. However, empathy also biases interpersonal reactions. For example, at the group level empathy can become amplified towards members of their ingroup and blunted towards individuals in outgroups, a term called parochial empathy. Currently, no validated measures of parochial empathy at the dispositional level exist, and development of such a scale would be important to understanding the role of group-based emotions in prejudice and discrimination against outgroups. I conducted five studies to develop and validate a self-report Trait Parochial Empathy Scale (TPES) that could measure tendencies to respond with parochial empathy across any set of group membership categories. Study 1 assessed the factor structure of the TPES through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses while Study 2 attempted to replicate the Study 1 factor structure and assess concurrent and divergent validity of the TPES using attitudinal measures. Study 3 assessed the temporal consistency of the TPES. Study 4 examined whether the TPES could be flexibly used across a variety of groups by assessing its relation to various outcomes across different ingroup and outgroup combinations. Finally, Study 5 assessed the ability of the TPES to predict in vivo behavior.


© Anna Maria C. Behler

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