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2016 - Abstract: Empathic Features and Absorption in Fantasy Role-Playing.

by Hawke Robinson published Jan 13, 2016 04:50 PM, last modified Jan 13, 2016 04:48 PM
Rivers A1, Wickramasekera IE 2nd2, Pekala RJ3, Rivers JA4. Am J Clin Hypn. 2016 Jan;58(3):286-94. doi: 10.1080/00029157.2015.1103696.

Pubmed Abstract Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26675155

(PAY WALL) Link to full text on tandofline.com : http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00029157.2015.1103696?journalCode=ujhy20

This study examined the levels of empathy and absorption of individuals who regularly play fantasy and science fiction role-playing games. A hypothesis was developed that higher levels of empathy would be found in individuals who fantasy role-play based upon previous research in hypnosis such as J. R. Hilgard's (1970) imaginative involvement hypothesis, research into the "fantasy prone" personality type (Wilson & Barber, 1981), and the empathic involvement hypothesis (Wickramasekera II & Szlyk, 2003). The participants in the current study were 127 fantasy role-players who volunteered and completed the Davis Interpersonal Reactivity Index (empathy) and the Tellegen Absorption Scale (absorption). The results demonstrated that those who play fantasy role-playing games scored significantly higher than the comparison group on the IRI scale of empathy, confirming the hypothesis that fantasy role-players report experiencing higher levels of empathic involvement with others. Correlational analysis between the measures demonstrated a significant positive correlation between empathy and absorption (r = .43, p < .001). These results collectively suggest that fantasy role-players have a uniquely empathically-imaginative style. The results also confirm and extend previous findings on the relationship between empathy and absorption as predicted by the Empathic Involvement Hypothesis (Wickramasekera II & Szlyk, 2003).

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