College Students Caring Less for Others

ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 4 (UPI) — U.S. college students are about 40 percent lower in empathy than college students of two or three decades ago, researchers found.

Researchers at the University of Michigan conducted the meta-analysis, involving 72 different studies of U.S. college students from 1979 to 2009.

“We found the biggest drop in empathy after the year 2000,” Sara Konrath, a researcher at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research said in a statement. “College kids today are about 40 percent lower in empathy than their counterparts of 20 or 30 years ago, as measured by standard tests of this personality trait.”

Compared with college students of the late 1970s, today’s college students are less likely to agree with statements such as “I sometimes try to understand my friends better by imagining how things look from their perspective” and “I often have tender, concerned feelings for people less fortunate than me,” the study found.

To test your own level of empathy and compare it to the average empathy level of college students, see

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science in Boston.

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