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188 ROLAND M. P E E K AND GORDON W.

OLSON

correlation between intellectual level and number of figures recalled. It therefore ap-
pears that the B-G recall is quantitatively associated with intellectual efficiency but
not necessarily with intellectual ability.
A preliminary survey of the few exceptions t o the above general findings (those
cases with high CQ-low recall and those with low CQ-high recall) reveals a number
of personal history items and personality factors (as evidenced on the MMPI) which
appear t o differentiate between the two groups.
REFERENCES
1. AARONSON,
B. S., NELSON,S. E., AND HOLT,S. On a relation between Bender-Gestalt recall and
Shipley-Hartford scores. J . clin. Psychol., 1953, 9, 88.
2. Manual of Directions and Scoring Key, Shipley-Institute of Living Scale for measuring intellect-
ual impairment. Hartford, Conn.: The Institute of Living, 1946.
3 PEEK,R. M., AND QUAST,W. A Scoring System for the Bender-Gestalt Test. Hastings, Minn.
(Box 292) and Minneapolis, Minn. (2810 42nd St. W.): Authors, 1951.
4. WELSH,G. S. An anxiety index and an internalization ratio for the MMPI. J . consult. Psychol.,
1952, 16, 65-72.

EMPATHY OR PROJECTION?
RICHARD C . COWDEN
Veterans Administration Hospital, Gulfport,Miss.

PROBLEM
An attempt has been made recently by Dymond to measure empathy by means
of the TAT(’) and later by developing an empathy scale@). She “Pro-
jection seems t o be an antithetical process to empathy since projection involves the
attribution of one’s own wishes, attitudes, and behavior t o something or someone
other than the self.” This study considers the following problems:
1. To what extent is one person, familiar with a second person, able to
predict how that second person will answer the questions on the California
Test of Personality? (Empathy)
2. To what degree is this prediction more projective than empathic? That
is, is the individual’s prediction of another related more t o his attitude toward
himself than toward the other person he is rating?
3. Is there any difference as t o sex in the ability t o empathize?
Empathy is defined as temporary identification with a person for the purpose of
anticipating what that person is going t o do in certain situations. In terms of the
present problem, it is the ability of one person to predict how his or her marital
partner will answer the questions on a personality inventory. By projection is
meant attributing one’s own qualities to another. I n terms of the present problem,
it is the degree to which a person’s prediction of his mate’s responses on a personality
inventory corresponds more to his own responses than to his mate’s own responses.
PROCEDURE
The method consisted in having twenty-nine married couples fill out twice the
California Test of Personality, Form A, for adults. The subjects were married for a t
least one year and had at least one year of college. None of the subjects were over
thirty-five years of age. They were not asked t o give any identifying information
but merely t o specify who was answering the questions and for whom they were
being answered. They were given an addressed, stamped envelope with which to
mail the completed inventories to the author. The material received consisted of the
following:
EMPATHY OR PROJECTION 189

A. Husband answers own inventory.


B. Husband answers inventory as he thinks his wife did.
C. Wife answers own inventory.
D. Wife answers inventory as she thinks her husband did.

Empathy Projection
--___-___________-
Group r P r12.8* P r P rs.1* P
--_____________--
Females .56** .01 .37 .10 .55** .01 .35 *lo
Males .70t .01 .52 .01 .76t ,01 .63 .01
*Projection partialed out. *Empathy partialed out.
**Correlation between A & D. **Correlation between A & B.
tcorrelation between B & C. tcorrelation between C & D.

TABLE
2. CORRELATION
BETWEEN HUSBAND’S
AND WIFE’S
SELF-RATINQ
(A AND C) ON ALL CATEGORIES

Category I r l p
Self-Adjustment .05
Social Adjustment
Total Score

The argument might be raised that the items on the inventory are such that
they would be answered correctly whether or not the ratee was known. However, if
this were so then a random matching would be expected to produce results which
would approach those obtained from the married couples. All of these correlations
were negative. This suggests that the significant results obtained are not simply a
function of the inventory but rather an actual measurement of one person’s knowl-
edge of another.
190 RICHARD C. COWDEN

The most interesting element to come from this study is the possibility that
empathy and projection, as defined in this study, are not necessarily contradictory.
In this study, they appear to exist side by side and are coexistent. Projection is not
an antithetical process t o empathy as Dymond believes. The high degree of similar-
ity between self ratings (Table 2) helps t o explain how empathy and projection can
exist side by side. For example, if an individual actually were able to predict ac-
curately how his mate would answer the inventory, this might well co-exist with high
projection as measured here; e.g., relationship between an individual’s self-rating and
his rating for the mate. That is, the degree of similarity of responses between the
couple would show up as projection even though empathy was actually involved. A
comparison of Tables 1and 2 reveals this. Thus this similarity would appear as pro-
jection because of the method used in measuring it in this experiment.
Another result of interest is the differences obtained between the scores on self-
adjustment and on social adjustment. The females showed relatively less insight
into their husband’s actions or attitudes in the realm of social adjustment (P, .25)
and their greatest projection occurred in this area (P, .02). This might be explained
by the fact that the inventory is loaded with questions concerning work and com-
munity relations. It is in this area that the females might be expected to show the
least insight into their husband’s attitudes and feelings. That is, they would be less
able to identify themselves temporarily with their husbands in this area. It may be
that the husband has greater opportunity t o observe his wife, than she t o observe
him, in this area.
Notcutt and S i l ~ a (suggest
~) that the greatest success in predictability should
be in those areas in which the greatest similarity of behavior or attitudes exists. The
results for females in the present study do not confirm this; the results obtained on
the males do support this. If one recalls that the males do much more projecting
(P .Ol) than the females (P .lo), the results of Notcutt and Silva can be explained in
terms of projection rather than insight or success in prediction.

SUMMARY
This study consisted of having twenty-nine married couples answci’r a personal-
ity inventory for themselves and also one in which they attempted to predict how
their marital partner would answer the questions. The degree of accuracy of pre-
diction was considered a measure of empathy. Also, the amount of projection waa
determined. In general, the males were far superior t o the females in ability to pre-
dict and showed greater insight than the females. The males also did more pro-
jection. These results suggest that empathy and projection are not necessarily con-
tradictory and tend t o co-exist.

REFERENCES
1. DYMOND, R. F. A preliminary investigation of the relation of insight and empathy. J . consult.
Psychol., 1948, 12,228233.
2. DYMOND, R. F. A scale for the measurement of empathic ability. J . consult. Psychol., 1949, 13,
127-133.
3. DYMOND, R. F. Personality and empathy. J . consult. Psychol., 1950, 14,343-351.
4. NOTCUTT, B. AND SILVA,A. L. M. Knowledge of other people. J . abnorm. SOC. Psychol., 1951,46,
30-38.