Honors Projects


Kaylee RiesFollow


Psychophysical numbing, compassion fading, and the singularity effect are strongly affecting the world amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Empathy motivated prosocial behavior is not consistent with the drastic number of lives lost due to COVID-19. The current study evaluated participants for situational empathy levels post exposure to either COVID-19 death statistics or a personal reflection on loss due to COVID-19. Alongside empathy, vaccination status was measured as a potential moderator on the relationship between medium of exposure to mortality information and empathy levels in the sample. 68 students were considered for this study. There was not a significant relationship between situational empathy and exposure to COVID-19 mortality information. Higher degree of vaccination significantly and uniquely predicted higher situational empathy scores.



First Advisor

Abby Braden

First Advisor Department


Second Advisor

Wesley R. Barnhart

Second Advisor Department


Third Advisor

Monica Longmore

Third Advisor Department


Publication Date

Spring 4-24-2023

Included in

Psychology Commons