Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

School Name

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education



Major Advisor

Dr. Kathy Cooter


Using the Attribution and the Experiential Learning Theory seated within Constructivism, this study examined the effect of the poverty simulation, Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS), on empathetic attitude toward those who experience poverty. 778 participants represented the fields of education, health care, and social work. Measures of immediate and sustained empathetic attitude were conducted using the Basic Empathy Scale (BES) (Jolliffe & Farrington, 2006). Findings indicate that there is immediate empathetic attitude change for the participants, but no sustained empathetic attitude change. Some of the variables considered included gender, race, age, income, voluntary/in-voluntary and others. This study supports the need for further research related to the potential of a poverty simulation to create sustained empathy.