Empathy, government intervention, marginalized voices, social empathy, social well-being


Throughout history, government policy and programs have played integral roles in shaping social services. This article reports the findings of a study that explored the relationship between interpersonal empathy and attitudes toward government intervention among college students. Findings suggest that increased levels of empathy are associated with more positive attitudes toward government intervention. This relationship is even stronger for participants from marginalized identity groups. Nurturing empathy among those engaged in social welfare policy-making may support government efforts that are in the best interest of communities they are intended to help.

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