Date of Award

8-1-1980

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Abstract

The problem involved in this study was to determine the effects of two different training modalities upon the empathic skills of 42 undergraduate college students who had selected some helping profession as a career goal. An experimental design was developed wherein the 42 subjects were randomly assigned to two experimental groups and a control group. One experimental group was given 16 hours of didactic instructions in empathy skills, the other experimental group was subjected to 16 hours of training in meditation. The control group participated in music listening activities during the training period. Post-test empathy scores for the two experimental groups were compared to each other and to the control group.

It was also posited that different interpersonal skills may exist within a single individual in comparable amounts. This probability led to efforts to determine the relationship between empathic ability and extra-sensory perception, which is the ability to perceive through other than the usually identified senses. To obtain the ESP scores the Zener ESP Test was administered to the three groups of subjects. The next step was to find the coefficients of correlation between the ESP scores and the empathy scores.

The data of the study were analyzed in the following manner: 1. Group means were computed for the empathy test scores and ESP scores of the subjects. 2. A re-test reliability coefficient was computed for the empathy test scores of all subjects. 3. A randomized block analysis of variance was computed and the appropriate significance levels were determined. 4. The empathy test mean scores for each group were analyzed by the t-test of significance. 5. A Pearson Product Moment Correlation was computed for the empathy test scores and the ESP scores of each group independently. 6. A Pearson Product Moment Correlation was computed for the empathy test scores and the ESP scores of the total group.

Findings

Testing of the hypotheses of the study resulted in the following findings: 1. A t-ratio of .66 with 13 degrees of freedom p > .519 was not significant at the .05 level when the mean empathy scores of the empathy group and the control group were compared. 2. A t-ratio of 2.31 with 13 degrees of freedom and p > .038 was significant at the .05 level when the mean empathy scores of the meditation group and the control group were compared. 3. A t-ratio of .88 with 13 degrees of freedom and p < .395 was not significant at the .05 level when the mean empathy scores of the meditation group and the empathy group were compared. 4. An F-ratio of 1.338 was not significant at the .05 level, for the empathy scores of the empathy, meditation, and control group. 5. An r of -.06 with p >.42 was not significant when the empathy scores and the ESP scores of the empathy group were correlated. 6. An r of -.425 with p > .065 was not significant when the empathy scores and the ESP scores of the meditation group were correlated. 7. An r of -.51 with p <.03 was significant when the empathy scores and the ESP scores of the control group were correlated. 8. An r of -.37 with p <.008 was significant when the empathy scores and the ESP scores of all subjects were correlated.

Conclusions

Within the limitations of the study the following conclusions may be drawn: 1. The null hypothesis of no significant difference between the empathy scores of the empathy group and the control group is accepted. Subjects trained in empathy did not earn significantly higher scores than subjects who did not receive training, 2. The null, hypothesis of no significant difference between the empathy scores of the meditation group and the control group is rejected. Meditation training indicates a trend toward influencing higher empathy performance for subjects trained in the technique, 3. The null hypothesis of no significant difference between the empathy scores of the empathy group and the control group is accepted. Empathy training did not have a significant effect on empathy scores. 4. The null hypothesis that there is no significant difference between the mean empathy scores of the empathy, meditation, and control group is accepted. There were no significant inter action effects of the total group of subjects. 5. The null hypothesis of no significant correlation between the empathy scores and the ESP scores of the empathy group is accepted. Subjects on the whole did not show similar levels of performance on the empathy test and the ESP test. 6. The null hypothesis of no significant correlation between the empathy scores and the ESP scores of the meditation group is accepted. There is no relationship between the empathy test performance and the ESP test performance of the subjects who received meditation training. 7. The null hypothesis of no significant correlation between the empathy test scores and the ESP test scores of the control group is rejected. There is a positive relationship between the empathy test performance and the ESP test performance of the subjects in the control group. 8. The null hypothesis of no significant correlation between the empathy test scores and the ESP test scores of the empathy, meditation and control groups combined is rejected. There is a positive relationship between the empathy test performance and the ESP test performance of the total group of subjects in the study.

Share

COinS