Emotions and empathy of college students while reading digital texts

Bergamin, Per and Werlen, Egon (2016) Emotions and empathy of college students while reading digital texts. In: 23rd Annual Meeting Society for the scienAfic Study of Reading - SSSR, 13th - 16th July 2016, Porto, Portugal.

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Purpose. The role of emoAons while processing informaAon on digital devices is an upcoming issue in reading research. The results of actual research are rather heterogeneous. One reason could be found in the individual differences of emoAonal empathy. We assume that differences in emoAonal reacAons can be based on various levels of empathy. Therefore we hypothesize that, while reading the same texts with different sources of emoAonal inducAon, individuals with higher empathy show more intense emoAons as well as more conformity with the induced emoAon. Method. In an experiment with college students (N=100; 85% female; average age: 17.5 years) we varied the inducAon of valence in the text content, the readability of the text and the available screen size. EmoAonal reacAons have been measured with an automated facial recogniAon system. AVer having read the texts emoAonal empathy has been observed and classified by data of the TEQ (Toronto Empathy QuesAonnaire) and by emoAonal mimicry reacAons while looking at a sequence of pictures (faces and nature) using again the automated facial recogniAon system.

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