Title

Cognitive empathy in intercultural interactions: The roles of lay theories of multiculturalism and polyculturalism

College

College of Liberal Arts

Department/Unit

Psychology

Document Type

Article

Source Title

Current Psychology

Volume

38

Issue

1

First Page

165

Last Page

176

Publication Date

2-1-2019

Abstract

© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York. The intergroup lay theories of polyculturalism and multiculturalism have been hypothesized to play an important role in facilitating better intergroup relations. In two studies, we investigate the consequences of polyculturalism and multiculturalism on participants’ cognitive empathy for actors in a hypothetical intercultural interaction. Study 1 involves a scenario with Korean student experiencing language difficulties in the classroom and a Filipino professor who willingly provided assistance. Study 2 involves the same scenario but with a Filipino professor who declines to extend help to the Korean student. Hierarchical regression analyses reveal that multiculturalism predicts cognitive empathy for the Korean student in Study 1 and polyculturalism predicts cognitive empathy for the professor in both studies. The findings provide support for the role of lay theories of culture and its impact on cognitions about groups, and more importantly, for the distinct relationships between the two lay theories that emphasize either cultural differences or cultural connections.

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Digitial Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1007/s12144-017-9599-3

Disciplines

Psychology

Keywords

Multiculturalism; Cultural pluralism; Affective education; Empathy

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