Questions to Ponder for March 14, 2001
Klein & Hodges; Abbey

1. What is empathic accuracy? How well does the definition of empathic accuracy fit your definition of empathy in general? What other components might you add?

2. What factors have previously been found to affect empathic accuracy?

3. Do Klein and Hodges propose that men's and women's performance on empathic accuracy tasks are due to ability differences or motivational differences? Why is this an important distinction? How has men's and women's performance differed in past studies?

4. Why did Klein and Hodges use a female target in Study 1? What are the two manipulated variables in Study 1?

5. How is empathic accuracy measured?

6. What variable is manipulated in Study 2?

7. Which condition(s) in Study 2 showed a sex difference?

8. Why did feedback produce the results it did? (Note: I don't have a good answer to this; good suggestions would be greatly appreciated!)

9. In the Klein and Hodges paper, motivation to be accurate improved men's ability to read other people. What different motivation may be affecting their ability to read women in the Abbey article?

10. Do Abbey's findings fit with evolutionary psychology ideas about gender differences? How? Do you think Abbey views the gender differences she found as biologically based or as the result of socialization?

11. On which dimensions did male and female participants' ratings of the female actors differ?

12. Were these same differences found in the ratings of the male actor? What are the implications of this result for Abbey's initial theory?

13. What differences were found in the observers' and actors' ratings? Is this difference strictly self-serving?