Evaluation 2019: Paths to the Future of Evaluation: Contribution, Leadership, and Renewal

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Empathy as a tool for an inclusive future of evaluation

Session Number: 2455
Track: Arts, Culture, and Museums
Session Type: Panel
Tags: Empathy
Session Chair: Emily A Kalnicky [Evaluation and Research Specialist - Minnesota Zoo]
Presenter 1: Emily A Kalnicky [Evaluation and Research Specialist - Minnesota Zoo]
Presenter 2: Jeanine Pollard [Research and Project Manager for the Center for Empathy and the Visual Arts - Minneapolis Institute of Art]
Time: Nov 14, 2019 (10:30 AM - 11:15 AM)
Room: Hilton Symphony II

Abstract 1 Title: Empathy for wildlife does not end there: focus on broader personal and institutional changes
Presentation Abstract 1:

Within the Aquarium and Zoo world there has been a recent emphasis on fostering an emotional response in participants, specifically empathy for wildlife. However, fostering an emotional response in our programs and organization is highly sensitive to the unique background and experiences an individual has had in their lifetime. I will provide specific examples from my work to start a conversation about how designing and evaluating programs focused on fostering an emotional connection to wildlife is one step on the continuum to being inclusive, culturally relevant, and accessible to all. Specifically, I will showcase how evaluating an emotional response, such as empathy, can transcend the evaluation plan itself, leading to personal and institutional changes.


Abstract 2 Title: Moving Beyond Self-Report: Designing an Empathy Measure in an Art Museum
Presentation Abstract 2:

The Center for Empathy and the Visual Arts (CEVA) at Minneapolis Institute of Art researches and explores the power of art to foster empathy among museum visitors. In collaboration with the Social Interactions Lab at the University of California Berkeley, CEVA developed an Empathy Test, designed to be administered to visitors before and after experiencing an empathy themed tour. This pre/post test is unique because it does not rely on visitor self-report. Instead, visitors complete tasks that measure their ability in 3 areas: emotion recognition, perspective taking, and empathic feeling. I will present the Empathy Test and describe the design process, which was often informed by our team’s empathy for our visitors. I will also share the qualitative empathy measures that we paired with the quantitative Empathy Test. 


Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

As evaluators, fostering our ability to include emotions, such as empathy not only in our interactions with clients, colleagues, or participants, but also in our evaluation plans themselves, can lead to a future of evaluation that is more inclusive, accessible, and representative of a diversity of opinions. We will start by differentiating between the three different types of empathy: cognitive, affective, and motivational/compassionate concern, and we will then give specific examples of how we are applying empathy into our work as evaluators. The specific examples will focus on our evaluation plans, assessments, and also on capacity building and institutional changes. We will provide examples of validated measures of empathy and discuss the difference in state versus trait empathy, and why this matters to clients, organizations, and evaluators. Incorporating affective elements, such as empathy, into our work as evaluators can have a profound change not only on the evaluator, but also the institutions, clients, and audiences we work with.



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Cancellation Policy: Refunds less a $50 fee will be granted for requests received in writing prior to 11:59 PM EDT October 11, 2019. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 11, 2019 all sales are final. For Evaluation 2019, international attendees and presenters who encounter complications due to the international travel environment will have up to 30 days after the event to request a refund and submit appropriate documentation. No administrative fee will apply for approved international requests.