First Advisor

Hess, Robyn S.

Document Type


Date Created



College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, School Psychology, School Psychology Student Work


The current study examined the effect of neoliberalism on the expression of empathy among 40 undergraduate college students. Participants were divided across three groups: two treatment groups who were exposed to either a neoliberal or critical primer and a control group with no exposure to a primer. Individuals were randomly assigned to each condition prior to completing three empathy measures: The Empathic Concern and Perspective Taking subscales of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, and the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test. Mean scores were analyzed using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and revealed no significant differences between groups, indicating the primers did not impact empathy scores. Similarly, demographic factors of age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religious or political affiliation had no impact on empathy scores. The findings suggest that with this sample population, the cultural effects of neoliberalism did not negatively affect empathy. As these findings contradict a pattern of data present in two pilot studies that informed it, as well as other studies aimed at assessing the effects of discrete components of neoliberalism, further research is indicated.


Neoliberalism, Empathy


166 pages

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Copyright is held by the author.