First Advisor

Robert Gould

Date of Publication

Spring 9-3-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Conflict Resolution


Conflict Resolution




Empathy, Conflict management -- Methodology, Music -- Social aspects, Storytelling -- Psychological aspects



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 93 pages)


The Story and Song Centered Pedagogy (SSCP) is a workshop that uses songs, stories and reflective questioning to increase empathy. This preliminary study tested the prediction that being exposed to the SSCP would increase empathy using, the Emotional Concern (EC) and Perspective Taking (PT) subscales of the renowned Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) (Davis, 1990). Subjects self-reported their answers to the IRI before and after undergoing the SSCP intervention. Comparing their pre and post intervention results, no statistically significant changes were noticed for the EC and PT scales (p-value = 0.7093 for EC; p-value = 0.6328 for PT). These results stand in direct tension with the anecdotal evidence gathered from 10 years of action research that shows that the SSCP impacts audiences' ability to empathize. This opens the door for additional research with more rigorous methodology and a larger sample size which will allow for more interpretative analysis. These results also probe the concern about whether the IRI is the most suitable tool to quantitatively measure the empathetic responses caused by the SSCP and evidenced by action research.


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