Exploring the Empathy - Aggression Relationship, and Gender Related Differences in Greek College Students


  • Nathasha S. Sharma Psychology Department of Hellenic American University /Hellenic American Education Center




The present study examined the inverse relationship between empathy (cognitive and affective) and forms of aggression (physical, verbal, anger and hostility). Previous research has continuously argued that empathy mitigates forms of aggression in individuals due to cognitive perspective taking and emotional sharing with others, that buffer hostile behaviour towards one another. However, there is a gap in the literature regarding this association in Greek culture. This correlational analysis examined empathy using the widely known multifaceted Davis Interpersonal Reactivity Index and aggression was explored using the multi-dimensional Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire in a sample of 92 Greek undergraduate college students from two private institutions in Athens, Greece. Gender effects on aggression and empathy levels were investigated as well. The results revealed that cognitive and emotional empathy indeed demonstrates a negative relationship with direct physical aggression. However, other forms of aggression such as verbal aggression, hostility and anger were positively associated with personal distress and Empathic fantasy majorly linked to Greek emotional regulation difficulties. Females displayed higher Empathic fantasy scores compared to males. A cultural perspective was adopted in exploring the results considering norms, gender roles, collective regulation capacities and societal conditioning, offering links to previous literature and theories.


Empathy, Aggression, Gender, Greek, Emotional regulation


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How to Cite

Sharma, N. S. (2021). Exploring the Empathy - Aggression Relationship, and Gender Related Differences in Greek College Students. Journal of Psychological Research, 3(2), 45–67. https://doi.org/10.30564/jpr.v3i2.3124


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