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Trait Parochial Empathy Scale (TPES)

Lauren McLeod, Dept. of Psychology, and David Lansdell, with Dr. Jennifer Joy-Gaba, Dept. of Psychology

The goal of the research was to build and test a new scale regarding parochial empathy - a previously un-measured aspect of social interaction. Parochial empathy is the tendency to exhibit intergroup empathy bias (greater empathic concern for members of one's ingroup). Thus, the Parochial Empathy scale (TPES) measures how much an individual aids members of an outgroup compared to their willingness to aid their ingroup. Upon scale design, the TPES went through several validation measures. In the current study, participants were shown a pair of scripted videos given by college Democrat and Republican groups. Ostensibly, these groups were located on campus and were vying for donations from the participants. After viewing the message, participants were asked to determine how much money should be given to each group. Results revealed that the TPES suggests that participants donated more money toward their reported political identification (i.e., their ingroup) compared to the outgroup.

Publication Date


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Anna Behler, Ph.D.

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Jennifer Joy-Gaba, Ph.D.


Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

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VCU Undergraduate Research Posters


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Trait Parochial Empathy Scale (TPES)