Japanese Journal of Social Psychology
Online ISSN : 2189-1338
Print ISSN : 0916-1503
ISSN-L : 0916-1503
The effect of critical thinking ability and orientation on empathic accuracy
Ayane YazawaYoshiya FurukawaKen’ichiro Nakashima
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2020 Volume 36 Issue 1 Pages 16-24


Although previous studies suggest that critical thinking may be beneficial to interpersonal relationships (e.g., Hirooka et al., 2000), no empirical studies investigated this effect. Therefore, to investigate the same, we focused on empathic accuracy as an important factor in establishing and maintaining good interpersonal relationships. One hundred and forty-three individuals participated in our web experiment and survey via a crowdsourcing service. We measured critical thinking ability and orientation using the Japanese Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal and the critical thinking orientation scale. We conducted the Asian Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test to assess participants’ empathic accuracy. We also measured systematic thinking skills using the Cognitive Reflection Test as a relevant variable. Multiple regression analysis showed that empathic accuracy was positively related to critical thinking ability, but not to critical thinking orientation and systematic thinking. These results suggest that critical thinking ability, especially reasoning ability, may be particularly important for increasing empathic accuracy toward nonverbal information.

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© 2020 The Japanese Society of Social Psychology
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