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Wayne Duncan

Doctor of Education
Study Completed: 2011
College of Education


Thesis Title
Understanding the nature and function of empathy in synchronous multimedia conferencing

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Mr Duncan explored empathy, or the interpretation of the internal frame of another, within a relatively new online collaboration tool; synchronous multimedia conferencing (SMC). Using case study methodology from within the lens of a hermeneutic perspective, he investigated conferencing participants’ heuristic understandings of empathy. The findings indicated that participants’ experiences and understandings appeared to be influenced by a number of factors including respondents’ degree of engagement and the richness of their multimedia conferencing experiences. Themes identified in the research led to the development of an exploratory model of empathy in SMC that facilitated the development of a range of additional participant models. These models suggested that multifaceted relationships exist between the participant, the physical environment, and the social environment, bound together through empathic interaction.

Professor Margaret Walshaw
Associate Professor Jenny Poskitt