Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Tammy Gregersen, advisor


Empathy; Victims;


Previous research suggests that people are more empathetic when they are introduced to a victim with a face, or an identifiable victim, rather than a victim with no picture associated with him or her. This study will test the validity of these claims through the application of the Toronto Empathy Questionnaire in one control group and one experimental group to determine if putting a face to a name actually does increase empathetic reactions. In the field of English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching, such empathy is extremely important as mainstream teachers are frequently unaware of the plight of immigrants and refugees as a whole, or in the struggles of their individual students. In order to give ESL students the best education possible, teachers should be unified in the quest for empathy which ultimately results in greater learner success, both academically and emotionally. If the evidence garnered in this project confirms that empathetic reactions increase with identifiable, or pictured, victims, then it is possible that this method can be used to increase the empathy of mainstream teachers toward their students’ and their students’ families, therefore giving the students a better education and the help that they need and deserve.

Year of Submission



Department of Languages and Literatures

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (23 pages)



File Format