A Mile in My Pointe Shoes: Influence of Empathy and Expertise on Visual Discrimination

Berl, Erin [Browse]
Senior thesis


Taylor, Jordan A. [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Psychology [Browse]
Class year
Summary note
Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes is a commonly accepted phrase revealing the generally accepted societal value of empathy, but how does empathy interact with the previous knowledge or expertise that everyone has? Examined in the context of dance, this question drives the present study on how action observation or perception might be influenced by action execution or performance. Overall, this study focuses on two main questions: 1. how does action execution affect action perception in the context of dance? 2. How might empathy influence the effects of action execution on action observation and perception? An empirical study was conducted, which provided evidence for the power of expertise on visual sensitivity and discriminability, but did not find significance for the influence of empathy or the interaction of empathy and expertise. Potential limitation, implications, and future directions of these findings and this research are discussed. Keywords: action observation, action execution, dance, empathy, expertise.

Supplementary Information