Relations among personality scales of aggression, violence, and empathy: Validational evidence bearing on the risk of eruptive violence scale

  • Mehrabian A
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Abstract

This study was designed to explore relations of emotional empathy (two scales) with aggression and violence (three scales). An initial study investigated validity of one of the violence scales, the Risk of Eruptive Violence Scale (REV), by comparing individual REV scores with individual histories of criminal violence for a sample of incarcerated juveniles. Validity of the REV was supported by a very strong correlation of .71 between REV scores and the amount of criminal violence in this homogeneous sample. The second study yielded positive intercorrelations among measures of aggression and violence, positive intercorrelations among measures of emotional empathy, and negative correlations (ranging from –.22 to –.50, P < .05) of measures of aggression and violence with measures of emotional empathy. Analyses of the five scales in terms of the Pleasure-Arousability-Dominance (PAD) Temperament Model helped explain similarities of the emotional empathy scales with other individual difference measures of prosocial orientation (e.g., affiliation). PAD analyses also explained some paradoxical effects of experimental "empathy arousal" on aggression toward victims.

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Authors

  • Albert Mehrabian

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