The Role Of Empathy In College Students

As the world continues to globalize, we will increasingly encounter individuals who come from different backgrounds. To effectively interact and peacefully cohabit with diverse individuals, we must develop empathy - the ability to understand and share the feelings of another (Oxford Dictionaries, 2016.). Unfortunately, the empathetic dispositions of American college students have decreased since the 1980s (Konrath, O’Brien, & Hsing, 2011). To reverse this trend, college students should take an empathy course that allows them to learn about empathy’s significant role in society and to actively exercise their empathy through assignments and classroom activities.
Empathy is a useful skill to possess because it is a key tool for tackling issues prevalent across the globe. Empathy can be used to ease
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It can be used to develop effective solutions that tackle poverty (Segal, 2008) or decrease racism (Pagani & Robustelli, 2010). By simply possessing emotional intelligence, college students increase their chances of succeeding in personal and professional endeavors because of successful interpersonal relationships (Brackett, Rivers, & Salovey, 2011). Empathy can be taught (Hatcher, Nadeau, Walsh, Reynolds, Galea, & Marz, 1994; Sagkal, Turnuklu, & Totan, 2012). In this empathy course, students will take the Interpersonal Reactivity Index test (Davis, 1983) at the beginning and end of the course to measure the effectiveness of the course. The following are the units the course will focus on:
Emotional Intelligence
Development of Empathy
Applications of Empathy
Limitations of Empathy
Synthesis - Exercising Empathy The Emotional Intelligence unit focuses on providing

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