Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Sophie Kathryn 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

My name is Sophie Kathryn. I’m 21 years old from North Dublin. I am a 2023 graduate from Applied Psychology in IADT, specializing in the technology and user experience path. I am passionate about mental health and youth advocacy. I am a National Advocate for Research and Evaluation at Jigsaw.

Project Description

I conducted my major research project using a quantitative design method with an online survey to investigate the relationship between Empathy, Gratitude and Prosocial Behaviour. I have always had an interest in social psychology and wished to explore this area especially as there was a great increase in Irish peoples' levels of prosocial behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic (Ipsos MRBI & Volunteer Ireland, 2020).

Project Objectives

The current study aimed to examine the relationship between empathy, gratitude, and prosocial behaviour levels. 280 adults participated in an online survey (via Qualtrics) shared through social media platforms. Participants answered questions from the Toronto Empathy Scale (Spreng et al., 2009), GQ-6 (McCullough et al., 2002), and the Prosocial Scale for Adults (Caprara et al., 2005)

Project Outcomes

A multiple linear regression was conducted where a significant model emerged. Empathy and gratitude were found to be both strong predictors of prosocial behaviour levels. The current study corroborates the findings of the empathy-altruism hypothesis (Batson, 2011) and other studies finding close relationships between empathy, gratitude, and prosocial behaviour (Emmons & McCullough, 2003; Kamas & Preston, 2021; Kim et al., 2018; Pang et al., 2022). These findings help communities to understand the importance of the variables at hand. Prosocial behaviour has been shown to increase social connectedness, increase wellbeing (Brown et al., 2012; Helliwell et al., 2018). This study has shown positive practical implications for future researchers and people within their communities.

Thesis Title

Investigating the relationship between Empathy, Gratitude and Prosocial Behaviour.