Pre-service teachers' empathy and cognitions: Statistical analysis of text data by graphical models

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This research examines empathic dispositions of 178 pre-service teachers. We analyzed open ended responses to animated narrative vignette simulations (ANVs), which served as stimulated experimental situations depicting students in victim and perpetrator scenarios. Empathy was examined by addressing the following questions: (1) Do participants' responses differ over vignettes? (2) What is the dimensionality of the empathy construct? (3) Is word count an indicator of empathy? (4) Is there a dispositional effect? (5) To what extent do pre-service teachers express empathy? After the text responses of pre-service teachers were coded, log-linear and log-multiplicative association models, which have graphical representations, were used to analyze the data and to develop a context dependent measure of empathy. The results suggest that a single latent variable underlies the responses, and from our measurement model, very few teachers expressed empathy toward the victim in the ANVs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-82
Number of pages35
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Concern
  • Empathy
  • Graphical models
  • Latent variables
  • Log-linear models
  • Log-multiplicative association models
  • Narratives
  • Simulations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education


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