A Quantitative and Qualitative Evaluation of a Growth Group Program for Empathy Training


Empathy can be conceptualized as three components: cognitive capacity, emotional capacity, and expressive and communicative motive. A growth group program is designed to comprise these three components of empathy. Mu wave (8-13 Hz band) in human electroencephalography (EEG) is a signature of mirror neurons which involve in social functions such as empathy and theory of mind. This study aims to investigate whether a growth group can improve the performance and change the activity of the mirror neuron system. Among twenty-seven undergraduate students selected from a class of taking a general education course, fifteen students are randomly assigned to the experimental group to attend a growth group. Twelve students are randomly assigned to the control group to attend a regular psychology class. After ten times of meetings, both control and experimental groups receive the measures of an empathy scale and then EEG. Participants’ feeling and thoughts after the meeting were recorded for a qualitative analysis. The results show that the experimental group performs better than the control group on the testing scores of empathy scale. Mu wave suppression measured from Cz electrode site is significantly larger in the experimental group compared to the control group, indicating that mirror neurons are more active under the condition of self-movement in the experimental group. The qualitative data show that participants feel more confident with using empathic skills in their daily life. The conclusion is that a growth group for empathy training can change the behavior and the brain to some extent.

Author Information
Yi-Hsing Hsieh, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2023
Stream: Counselling

This paper is part of the ACE2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
Full Paper
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window

To cite this article:
Hsieh Y. (2024) A Quantitative and Qualitative Evaluation of a Growth Group Program for Empathy Training ISSN: 2186-5892 The Asian Conference on Education 2023: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2186-5892.2024.40
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2186-5892.2024.40

Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Research

Posted by James Alexander Gordon