Individual Differences in Sympathy and Empathy Responses to Media and Drama Advertisements

This research examines differences in individuals’ sympathy/empathy responses to media artifacts, such as books and movies, in relation to sympathy/empathy responses to drama commercials. We begin with clarification of the sympathy/empathy constructs and their application to media and advertising contexts. A convoluted history has led to a semantic muddle in which the terms “sympathy” and “empathy” have become so intertwined that no two researchers necessarily define them in the same way (Langfeld 1920 [1967]). Unstable usage is traceable to a varied research heritage from fields as disparate as psychology, aesthetics, theology, literary criticism, and moral philosophy or ethics (Morrison 1988). The consequence is a lack of threaded discourse not only among fields, but also within consumer behavior research.


Jennifer Edson Escalas and Barbara B. Stern (2006) ,"Individual Differences in Sympathy and Empathy Responses to Media and Drama Advertisements", in LA - Latin American Advances in Consumer Research Volume 1, eds. Silvia Gonzalez and David Luna, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 26-28.


Jennifer Edson Escalas, Vanderbilt University, USA
Barbara B. Stern, Rutgers University, USA


LA - Latin American Advances in Consumer Research Volume 1 | 2006

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