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The relationship between subconstructs of empathy and general cognitive ability in the context of policing
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Police Education Unit at Umeå University.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9861-3144
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science. Faculty of Education and Social Work, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4625-4853
2022 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 13, article id 907610Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Empathy has been widely theorized as an important ability in professions such as policing, in which to perform well individuals require multiple and interacting abilities, not least when resolving conflict situations. Even so, there are few studies investigating how subconstructs of empathy relate to other constructs such as general cognitive ability. The purpose of this paper is to establish, after evaluating psychometric properties, relationships among measures of empathy and cognitive ability in a sample of Swedish police students (n = 157).

Design/methodology/approach: Multiple latent variable models of how the different measures work to predict tasks that can be seen as proxies for the ability to understand another person’s situation and intentions are evaluated to determine the most robust relationship(s) within the data.

Findings: We find support for the psychometric properties reported in previous studies with the used instruments. We also find support for perspective-taking, a cognitive empathy subconstruct predicting the ability to recognize emotions, and also the affective part of empathy, predicting general cognitive ability. These findings are discussed at length in the paper.

Originality/value: This research adds more knowledge to the issue of how general cognitive ability relates to cognitive empathy and other subconstructs of empathy or Theory of Mind.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A., 2022. Vol. 13, article id 907610
Keywords [en]
cognitive empathy, policing, general cognitive ability, latent variable model, subconstructs
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-201539DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.907610ISI: 000899262000001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85144307961OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-201539DiVA, id: diva2:1716991
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2016-04842Available from: 2022-12-07 Created: 2022-12-07 Last updated: 2023-09-05Bibliographically approved

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Inzunza, MiguelBrown, Gavin T. L.Stenlund, TovaWikström, Christina

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Police Education Unit at Umeå UniversityDepartment of applied educational scienceDepartment of Psychology
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