Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Empathic Differences in Men Who Witnessed Animal Abuse

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

“Dissociation Effect” between Cognitive and Affective Empathy

image of Society & Animals

This study draws on diverse research results from investigating the relationship between experiences with nonhuman animal abuse and empathy. We examined whether 108 men with a history of animal abuse showed differences between cognitive (perspective-taking) and affective (emotional) empathy. The effects related to three levels (never, once, multiple times) of witnessing the killing of animals and witnessing the torture of animals. Individuals who witnessed abuse were higher in cognitive empathy than affective empathy. This supports previous findings for a “dissociation hypothesis,” which suggests exposure to animal abuse may mediate between emotional and cognitive empathy. Therefore, it may be beneficial for an individual to have the ability to detach cognitive from emotional empathy—particularly those in careers related to animal welfare and veterinary care. An absence of emotional empathy may also lead to a callous or dismissive attitude to people in need. We sought an appropriate balance of the two.

Affiliations: 1: University of Windsor


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Alterman A. I., McDermott P. A., Cacciola J. S., Rutherford M. J. 2003"Latent structure of the Davis Interpersonal Reactivity Index in methadone maintenance patients" Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral AssessmentVol 25 4 257 265 [Crossref]
2. Arluke A. 2002"Animal abuse as dirty play" Symbolic InteractionVol 25 4 405 430 [Crossref]
3. Arluke A., Levin J., Cartier L., Ascione F. R. 1999"The relationship of animal abuse to violence and other forms of antisocial behavior" Journal of Interpersonal ViolenceVol 14 9 963 975 [Crossref]
4. Baldry A. C. 2003"Animal abuse and exposure to interparental violence in Italian youth" Journal of Interpersonal ViolenceVol 18 3 258 281 [Crossref]
5. Baron-Cohen S., Wheelwright S. 2004"The empathy quotient: An investigation of adults with asperger syndrome or high functioning autism, and normal sex differences" Journal of Austism and Developmental DisordersVol 34 2 163 175 [Crossref]
6. Daly B., Morton L. L. 2003"Children with pets do not show higher empathy: A challenge to current views" AnthrozoosVol 16 4 298 314 [Crossref]
7. Daly B., Morton L. L. 2006"An investigation of human-animal interactions and empathy as related to pet preference, ownership, attachment, and attitudes in children" AnthrozoosVol 19 2 113 127 [Crossref]
8. Daly B., Morton L. L. 2008"Empathic correlates of witnessing the inhumane killing of an animal: an investigation of single and multiple exposures" Society & AnimalsVol 16 243 255 [Crossref]
9. Davis M. H. 1980"A multidimensional approach to individual differences in empathy" JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in PsychologyVol 10 85
10. DeGue S., DeLillo D. 2009"Is animal cruelty a “Red Flag” for family violence?: Investigating co-occurring violence toward children, partners, and pets" Journal of Interpersonal ViolenceVol 24 6 1036 1056 [Crossref]
11. Felthous A. R., Kellert S. R. 1986"Violence against animals and people: Is aggression against living creatures generalized?" Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry LawVol 14 55 69
12. Fernandez A. M., Dufey M., Kramp U. 2011"Testing the psychometric properties of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (iri) in Chile: Empathy in a different cultural context" European Journal of Psychological AssessmentVol 27 3 179 185 [Crossref]
13. Flynn C. P. 1999"Animal abuse in childhood and later support for interpersonal violence in families" Society & AnimalsVol 7 161 172 [Crossref]
14. Henry B. C. 2004a"Exposure to animal abuse and group context: Two factors affecting participation in animal abuse" AnthrozoosVol 17 4 290 305 [Crossref]
15. Henry B. C. 2004b"The relationship between animal cruelty, delinquency, and attitudes toward the treatment of animals" Society & AnimalsVol 12 3 185 207 [Crossref]
16. Henry B. C. 2006"Empathy, home environment, and attitudes toward animals in relation to animal abuse" AnthrozoosVol 19 1 17 34 [Crossref]
17. Hensley C., Tallichet S. E. 2005"Learning to be cruel?: Exploring the onset and frequency of animal cruelty" International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative CriminologyVol 49 1 37 47 [Crossref]
18. Herzog H. A. 2010 Some we love, some we hate, some we eat: Why it is so hard to think straight about animals New York Harper
19. Herzog H. A., Betchart N. S., Pittman R. B. 1991"Gender, sex role orientation, and attitudes toward animals" AnthrozoosVol 4 184 191 [Crossref]
20. Kellert S. R., Felthous A. R. 1985"Childhood cruelty toward animals among criminals and noncriminals" Human RelationsVol 38 12 1113 1129 [Crossref]
21. Lawrence E. J., Shaw P., Baker D., Baron-Cohen S., David A. S. 2004"Measuring empathy: Reliability and validity of the Empathy Quotient" Psychological MedicineVol 34 911 924 [Crossref]
22. McPhedran S. 2009"A review of the evidence for associations between empathy, violence, and animal cruelty" Aggression and Violent BehaviorVol 14 1 4 [Crossref]
23. Merz-Perez L., Heide K. M., Silverman I. J. 2001"Childhood cruelty to animals and subsequent violence against humans" International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative CriminologyVol 45 556 573 [Crossref]
24. Miller K. S., Knutson J. F. 1996"Reports of severe physical punishment and exposure to animal cruelty by inmates convicted of felonies and by university students" Child Abuse and NeglectVol 21 1 59 82 [Crossref]
25. Muncer S. J., Ling J. 2006"Psychometric analysis of the Empathy Quotient (eq) scale" Personality and Individual DifferencesVol 40 1111 1119 [Crossref]
26. Pagani C., Robustelli F., Ascione F. R. 2010"Investigating animal abuse: Some theoretical and methodological issues" AnthrozoosVol 23 3 259 276 [Crossref]
27. Patterson-Kane E. G., Piper H. 2009"Animal abuse as a sentinel for human violence: A critique" Journal of Social IssuesVol 65 3 589 614 [Crossref]
28. Paul E. S. 2000"Empathy with animals and with humans: Are they linked?" AnthrozoosVol 13 4 194 202 [Crossref]
29. Paul E. S., Serpell J. A. 1993"Childhood pet keeping and humane attitudes in young adulthood" Animal WelfareVol 2 321 337
30. Tallichet S. E., Hensley C., Singer S. D. 2005"Unraveling the methods of childhood and adolescent cruelty to nonhuman animals" Society & AnimalsVol 13 2 91 107 [Crossref]
31. Taylor N., Signal T. D. 2005"Empathy and attitudes to animals" AnthrozoosVol 18 1 18 27 [Crossref]
32. Thompson K. L., Gullone E. 2006"An investigation into the association between the witnessing of animal abuse and adolescents’ behavior toward animals" Society & AnimalsVol 14 3 221 243 [Crossref]
33. Thompson K. L., Gullone E. 2008"Prosocial and antisocial behaviors in adolescents: An investigation into associations with attachment and empathy" AnthrozoosVol 21 2 123 137 [Crossref]

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Society & Animals — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation