Faculty Publications

Title

Gender, Empathy, and the Choice of the Psychology Major

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Teaching of Psychology

Volume

30

Issue

1

First Page

19

Last Page

24

Abstract

We compared male and female psychology majors to psychology minors and nonmajors to understand the trends in a growing major in which women outnumber men. A total of 451 psychology majors, minors, and nonmajors from 4 institutions completed a questionnaire measuring empathy, career goals, and perceptions of the importance of empathy for therapy. Perspective taking and a desire to enter a helping profession mediated the relation between gender and major, suggesting that personality contributes to the choice of a psychology major. Highly empathic students may choose psychology because they believe that empathy is important for success in clinical and counseling psychology. © 2003, Society for the Teaching of Psychology. All rights reserved.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2003

DOI of published version

10.1207/S15328023TOP3001_03

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