On a scale of state empathy during message processing

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52 Scopus citations


State empathy during message processing was conceptualized as a process where perception of the characters' state automatically activates the recipient's vicarious experience of their state, situation, and object, which automatically primes and generates the associated automatic and somatic responses that precede persuasion outcomes. It was proposed that there are three dimensions within state empathy: affective, cognitive, and associative empathy. A 12-item scale was developed as a measurement instrument. Confirmatory factor analyses of data from two samples, one of college students (N=289) and the other of the general public (N = 189), showed that the scale was unidimensional on the second order. The scale exhibited good internal and external consistency, convergent, and discriminant validity. The scale also had good reliability. Implications for future research and health communication were discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-524
Number of pages21
JournalWestern Journal of Communication
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication


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