Gender, Empathy, and the Choice of the Psychology Major
Teaching of Psychology
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
DOI of published version
Harton, Helen C. and Lyons, Patrick C., "Gender, Empathy, and the Choice of the Psychology Major" (2003). Faculty Publications. 3345.