Perspective Taking, Environmental Concern and the Moderating Role of Dispositional Empathy

This article examines the impact of visual images and perspective taking on concern for environmental problems. Participants in the experiment were 193 university students. Results replicated earlier results showing that perspective taking, combined with images of animals harmed by nature, caused an increase in biospheric environmental concerns. In addition, results showed that the empathic dimension of personal distress moderated the relationship between kind of image and kind of perspective on both biospheric and egoistic environmental concerns. Results about the lack of other moderating effects are discussed.