Document Type

Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Embargo Period

8-26-2017

Degree Program

Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2017

Month Degree Awarded

September

Advisor Name

Nilanjana Dasgupta

Co-advisor Name

Bernhard Leidner

Third Advisor Name

Brian Lickel

Fourth Advisor Name

Kirby Deater-Deckard

Abstract

When people learn about a large-scale crisis, they often feel more compassion for its victims when they can fixate on a single, identifiable victim, compared to many victims - a phenomenon known as ‘compassion fade.’ However, throughout the growing compassion fade literature, researchers have mostly given a face to large groups using a single child - a face which may be particularly stirring because children are seen as both likable and incapable of fending for themselves. I conducted two experiments to determine whether the magnitude of this phenomenon varied as a function of characteristics of the victims - namely, how stereotypically likable or capable they are. While these studies indicated that likability stereotypes, rather than capability stereotypes, are more likely to moderate the ‘fade’ of compassion and helping intentions, further replication is necessary to verify these findings.

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