Questions to Ponder for June 5, 2002
Klein & Hodges; Abbey et al.

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. Did subjects really believe they had alcohol in the placebo condition? How can you know? Did subjects expectations about how much alcohol (as contrasted with their actual alcohol consumtpion have any effects in the study?

12. Were there differences in the way women rated themselves and their partners? Were there differences in the way men rated themselves and their partners? Were there differences in the way men rated their female partners and the way these women rated themselves? Were there difference in the way women rated their male partners and the way these men rated themselves?

13. What general effect did alcohol have on the way people's behavior was perceived? Did it affect perceptions of men and women differently?

14. How were target cues utilized, depending on the sex of the target and whether or not alcohol had been consumed?

15. Why was it notable that variables that affected ratings of sexuality, disinhibtion, and sexual behavior did not affect ratings of friendliness?