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Behavioural and Neuroscientific Sex Differences in Empathy
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Empathy is a multidimensional phenomenon that consists of both emotional and cognitive components. This paper gives an overview of behavioural and neuroscientific sex differences in empathy, as well as potential explanations to those results. Research indicates existence of sex differences in both emotional and cognitive empathy, although inconsistent findings suggest both female superiority as well as male superiority. Gender roles, social desirability, as well deficiencies in measurement and imprecise conceptualizations of empathy is argued as contributors to found sex differences. With a restricted amount of research on sex differences in empathy, inconsistent findings as well as a great proportion of critique towards both the research field of empathy as well as towards focus on sex differences; the authors argue that presented sex differences in empathy must be interpreted with a great caution.

Keywords: empathy, sex, gender difference, behaviour, neuroscience 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 72 p.
Keyword [en]
empathy, sex, gender difference, behaviour, neuroscience
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-11523OAI: diva2:854092
Subject / course
Cognitive Neuroscience
Educational program
Psychological Coach
2015-05-20, G211, Högskolevägen, 541 28, Skövde, 20:28 (English)
Available from: 2015-10-09 Created: 2015-09-15 Last updated: 2015-10-09Bibliographically approved

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fulltext(1023 kB)84 downloads
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Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

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Sterner, Elin
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School of Bioscience

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