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Wharton Students Score Surprisingly High on Empathy Test


Photo from Pixabay / CC0

Since 2016, Penn completely overhauled its Wharton 101 curriculum. But a little-known part of this change? All Wharton freshman were required to take an empathy test. When asked why this addition was made, Vice Dean and Director of the Wharton School Lori Rosenkopf responded, “There's a lot of talk about how Wharton students are cold-hearted. However, I was skeptical of this blanket statement. So to combat this stereotype, we administered this empathy test, and I am happy to say the results are extremely positive.”

Rosenkopf was right. The results undeniably show that Wharton students have a deep sense of empathy and virtue, with most students scoring within the top one percentile. 

In the survey students were asked a total of 25 questions designed to show how caring a person truly is. Ten of these questions were multiple choice. The other 15 were true-false.

Highlights of the survey include:

  • 67% of Wharton students would donate a dollar at the grocery store to buy kids in Africa school supplies (if asked).
  • 72% of Wharton students logged volunteering hours for high school in order to graduate. 99.7% of them listed these hours on their Common Apps.
  • 81% of Wharton students know who Mother Teresa is (70% of the ones who knew said they got it through process of elimination).
  • 95% of Wharton students know what opportunity cost is.
  • 76% of Wharton Students have held the door open for somebody.

We're glad that rock-solid science has broken a truly harmful stereotype on our campus. As a community, we're clearly far too quick to judge others!