Empathic Differences in Men Who Witnessed Animal Abuse

Empathic Differences in Men Who Witnessed Animal Abuse This study draws on diverse research results from investigating the relationship between experiences with nonhuman animal abuse and empathy. We examined whether 108 men with a history of animal abuse showed differences between cognitive (perspective-taking) and affective (emotional) empathy. The effects related to three levels (never, once, multiple times) of witnessing the killing of animals and witnessing the torture of animals. Individuals who witnessed abuse were higher in cognitive empathy than affective empathy. This supports previous findings for a “dissociation hypothesis,” which suggests exposure to animal abuse may mediate between emotional and cognitive empathy. Therefore, it may be beneficial for an individual to have the ability to detach cognitive from emotional empathy—particularly those in careers related to animal welfare and veterinary care. An absence of emotional empathy may also lead to a callous or dismissive attitude to people in need. We sought an appropriate balance of the two. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Society & Animals Brill

Empathic Differences in Men Who Witnessed Animal Abuse

Society & Animals, Volume 26 (1): 12 – Feb 20, 2018

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1063-1119
eISSN
1568-5306
D.O.I.
10.1163/15685306-12341461
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study draws on diverse research results from investigating the relationship between experiences with nonhuman animal abuse and empathy. We examined whether 108 men with a history of animal abuse showed differences between cognitive (perspective-taking) and affective (emotional) empathy. The effects related to three levels (never, once, multiple times) of witnessing the killing of animals and witnessing the torture of animals. Individuals who witnessed abuse were higher in cognitive empathy than affective empathy. This supports previous findings for a “dissociation hypothesis,” which suggests exposure to animal abuse may mediate between emotional and cognitive empathy. Therefore, it may be beneficial for an individual to have the ability to detach cognitive from emotional empathy—particularly those in careers related to animal welfare and veterinary care. An absence of emotional empathy may also lead to a callous or dismissive attitude to people in need. We sought an appropriate balance of the two.

Journal

Society & AnimalsBrill

Published: Feb 20, 2018

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