FACULTY RESEARCH: Can Empathy Offset Low Bystander Efficacy? Effectiveness of Domestic Violence Prevention Narratives in India?

Dr. Sid Muralidharan co-authored ā€œCan Empathy Offset LowBystander Efficacy? Effectiveness of Domestic Violence Prevention Narratives in India.ā€ (Journal of Health Communication, 2019)


Domestic violence stems from deeply rooted patriarchal norms and directly conflicts with humanitarian standards. Given that this issue impacts women across the world, many countries have initiated campaigns to heighten awareness and fight this epidemic. Based on Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), we explored whether narrative health messages might prompt bystanders to intervene (e.g., calling a helpline number) when they encounter domestic violence. Using a sample of participants from India, we found that narratives had a stronger impact on attitude toward the ad and reporting intention than non-narratives and such effects were mediated by feelings of empathy. More importantly, the mediating effects of empathy were significantly greater when bystander efficacy was low rather than high.

Click for the full publication: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10410236.2019.1623645