Sunday, May 30, 2010

Is Today's College Student Less Empathetic?

One study says so:
A total of 72 studies conducted between 1979 and 2009 were included in the current review.

The analysis indicated that relative to their late-1970s' counterparts, today's college students are less likely to make an effort to understand their friends' perspectives or to feel tenderness or concern for the less fortunate.

"Many people see the current group of college students -- sometimes called 'Generation Me' -- as one of the most self-centered, narcissistic, competitive, confident and individualistic in recent history," observed Konrath, who is also affiliated with the psychiatry department at the University of Rochester.
This is not my experience though. I think there are generational differences, but I also think that the bigger differences are the amazing changes in our society, which affect every generation, but youth at a faster rate. Therefore, I would say that all of our Western culture is less empathetic and not lay it just on the shoulders of youth and young adults.

We could all be more empathetic. But, in the final analysis being empathetic doesn't get you anywhere. It is when empathy leads to acting with charity, mercy, tenderness, and humility that it gets us somewhere - heaven.

No comments: