Empathy is a core ingredient to caring and successful relationships. The ability to perceive and respond to another has profound implications for a variety of relationship dynamics and can contribute to reducing violence, enhancing collaboration, supporting innovation. This dissertation contains contributions across the theoretical, design, and empirical dimensions of empathy development. Theoretically, a framework for supporting the development of empathy in youth through the exploration of emotion and identity is discussed. From the design aspect, Shaundra Bryant Daily presents the concept of an Empathy Development Environment, and an instantiation, Beyond the Looking. Beyond the Looking consists of interactions in the real and digital worlds that engage learners in exploring concepts of identity and emotion in both individual and community respects. Also in the design vein, she has envisioned and implemented a platform called Affect as Index which supports conversations around emotion that were previously intangible. Finally, empirically, she presents three cycles of a design-based research study seeking to answer questions related to the design of the system, the environment, and the impact on empathy cultivation.
Host/Chair: Rosalind W. Picard
Mitchel ResnickCarl Marci, MD