Paterson, Nicole Susanne
A preliminary investigation into empathic responding after traumatic brain injury: and clinical research portfolio.
D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.
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Introduction: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can cause difficulties in the ability to empathise; however, research that investigates specific models of empathy in a TBI sample has not been forthcoming. This study investigates difficulties with empathy after TBI using Eisenberg’s Empathy Related Responding Model.
Design: A between-subject design was used with two groups of 19 participants. The groups were matched for age, gender and years of education.
Methods: There were three primary outcomes measures. These were an empathy task devised for this study, the Basic Empathy Scale and the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale.
Results: Groups did not differ in affective empathy, sympathy and personal distress on the empathy task. The groups did differ on the sadness emotion for the cognitive empathy task. These results were consistent with the results for the BES and BEES.
Discussion: The TBI group have difficulties with empathic responding. In addition, cognitive empathy appears to mediate distress but not sympathy. The need for further research to investigate the results of this preliminary study is discussed.
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