Isidora Benitez Janezic

Université Laval

Department of Information and Communication
Program: PhD
Supervisor: Penelope Daignault
Start: 2016

Title: Antecedents of empathic responding: The case of antidiscrimination public service advertisements

Several researchers have suggested that interventions successful at improving intergroup attitudes are the ones that create empathy for discriminated groups (Batson & Ahamd, 2009). There is also evidence for the persuasive impact of an empathic response to media interventions (PSAs). Empathy has usually been induced by instructing participants to either imagine how another person feels or to imagine how they would feel in a similar situation. While this method is effective in generating empathy, it limits the possibility of discovering other antecedents that could play an important role in triggering empathic responses. The aim of this project is to explore antecedents of empathic responding other than perspective taking instructions. With this goal in mind, we take into consideration antecedents that are person specific on the one hand (e.g. empathy as a personality trait). On the other hand, we take into account antecedents that are environment specific – stimulus related (i.e. message features).