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Publication numberUS3764135 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 9, 1973
Filing dateDec 15, 1971
Priority dateDec 15, 1971
Publication numberUS 3764135 A, US 3764135A, US-A-3764135, US3764135 A, US3764135A
InventorsG Madison
Original AssigneeG Madison
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Empathy game
US 3764135 A
Abstract
An empathy game comprises several series of cards and means for counting empathic responses. The cards of one series are identity cards and each card of this series bears indicia corresponding to a role to be taken by a player in the course of play. The cards of another series are situation cards and each card of this series bears indicia corresponding to a situation with which the role-taking player is confronted. Two series of reaction cards are provided from which the role-taking player may select his reaction to the situation presented. Prior to the start of play, one series of reaction cards is dealt to a first player and the other series of reaction cards is dealt to a second player. To play the game, a player takes a card from a deck formed from the identity cards and another card from another deck formed from the situation cards, displaying both cards. The first player then chooses, and plays face down, a reaction card from one of the series of reaction cards previously dealt to him as his reaction to the situation presented by the situation card in the role indicated by the identity card. The other player then selects a reaction card from his set of reaction cards which he believes to correspond to the reaction of the first player. If he judges correctly, one accurate empathic reaction is scored on the counting means. The counting means may include a pair of rods which extend transversely across a playing board and are advanceable lengthwise therealong. Notched flanges extending lengthwise along the edges of the board are adapted to receive and disengageably hold the ends of the rods at discrete locations along the board. Transparent sheets extending from each end of the board with their free ends attached to said rods cover areas corresponding to the number of accurate scores as the rods are advanced from notch to notch.
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United States Patent 1 Madison EMPATHY GAME [76] Inventor: Grace L. C. Madison, 1828 Stanford PL, Edwardsville, 111. 62025 22 Filed: Dec. 15, 1971 21 Appl. No.: 208,268

[52] U.S. Cl. 273/1 R, 35/22 R, 116/120 R, 273/DlG. 26 v [51] Int. Cl. .L A63f 9/00 [58] Field of Search 273/1 R,94 R; 35/22 R, 32; 116/120; 235/90 [56] 7 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,766,987 10/1956 Seelbrede et al. 273/135 D 3,043,594 7/1962 -Seitz....-. 273/94 R 3,423,090 l/l969 Pfond. 273/94 R 2,587,242 2/1952 Stringer 273/94 R 3,124,358 3/1964 Weedman 35/22 R X Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant ExaminerPaul E. Shapiro Att0rney-Donald G. Leavitt et a1.

[57] ABSTRACT An empathy game comprises several series of cards and means for counting empathic responses. The

cards of one series are identity cards and each card of I this series bears indicia corresponding to a role to be taken by a player in the course of play. The cards of Oct. 9, 1973 another series are situation cards and each card of this series bears indicia corresponding to a situation with which the role-taking player is confronted. Two series of reaction cards are provided from which the roletaking player may select his reaction to the situation presented. Prior to the start of play, one series of reaction cards is dealt to a first player and the other series of reaction cards is dealt to a second player. To play the game, a player takes a card from a deck formed from the identity cards and another card from another deck formed from the situation cards, displaying both cards. The first player then chooses, and plays face down, a reaction card from one of the series of reaction cards previously dealt to him as his reaction to the situation presented by the situation card in the role indicated by the identity card. The other player then selects a reaction card from his set of reaction cards which he believes to correspond to the reaction of the first player. If he judges correctly, one accurate empathic reaction is scored on the counting means. The counting means may include a pair of rods which extend transversely across a playing board and are advanceable lengthwise therealong. Notched flanges extending lengthwise along the edges of the board are adapted to receive and disengageably hold the ends of the rods at discrete locations along the board. Transparent sheets extending from each end of the board with their free ends attached 'to said rods cover areas corresponding to the number of accurate scores as the rods are advanced from notch to notch.-

POINT OF VlEW PATENTED 9 I973 3,764,135

FIGI T 5\ 7W Y I T I-l T TL, .8 MT

THE PRINCIPAL OF A MOTHER THE LOCAL SCHOOL $3 23 WOULD LIKE To TALK To EMPATHY GAME BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to the field of games and, more particularly, to a novel game which is useful not only for entertainment purposes, but for measurement and development of empathy. I

Research psychologists have recognized that both the intellectual and emotional development of children is, in part, dependent on the empathic capacities of their parents and teachers. It has further been recognized that the satisfactory and successful conduct of affairs in the adult world, especially in the area of communications, is facilitated where the participants in these affairs have a high capacity for empathizing with other participants in the same affairs. A field where a particularly critical need for empathy exists is the field of psychotherapy. The study of empathy, particularly with a view towards discovery of systematic methods for developing it, has therefore been an important concern of psychological research.

Because the capacity to empathize involves both the cognitive and emotional powers of man, and particularly because the achievement of empathy involves interaction between two or more'persons, psychologists have been faced with serious difficulties in even measuring empathy, much less providing systematic methods to develop it. Some techniques have been developed which provide an at least semi-quantitative indication of empathy. S. C. Mahoneys doctoral dissertation, The Literature Empathy Test, Development of a Procedure for Differentiating Between Good Empathizers and Poor Empathizers, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Microfilms, 1960, No. 60-2677, describes a pencil and paper empathy test in which reactions of a test individual, to various fictional characters, are translated into a test score. RIF. Dymond, in her article Personality and Empathy, Journal of Consulting Psychology, I950, Vol. 14, pages 343-350, describes a test involving a trait-rating scale. In accordance with Dymonds test, a test individual is required to rate himself and another test individual on six traits and to predict how he would be rated by the other. The accuracy with which each test individual predicts how another test individual has rated him provides a measurement of the.

individuals capacity to empathize.

Mahoneys Literature Empathy Test method is admittedly limited by the fact that it requires college level academic ability and is significantly related to the ability to read. Dymonds work, on the other hand, emphasizes the importance of role-taking in the determination of empathic capability and further suggests that empathic ability is reciprocal in nature, ie; it is easier to empathizewith someone who has good empathic ability than to empathize with someone who does not.

While the above-described efforts are illustrative of the fact that the measurement and stimulation of empa-, thy are both matters of substantial importance, progress in this field has been limited. A need has existed for new and improved tools for measuring empathy. For the study of empathy to provide the maximum benefit in the area of clinical psychology, moreover, a further need exists for tools and methods useful in stimulating and'developing empathy.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the object of the present invention to provide a game whose scoring depends on the empathic reaction of the players. It is also an object of the invention to provide such a game which is enjoyable to play and can I be used for recreational purposes. It is a further object of the invention to provide such a game wherein the results of play are indicative of the empathic capabilities of the players. And it is an additional object of the invention to provide such a game by use of which the empathic capabilities of players are stimulated and developed. Other objects and features will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.

Briefly, therefore, the present invention is directed to a game adapted for recreational use and for the measurement and development of empathy. The game comprises several series of cards, and means for counting empathic responses. The cards of one series are identity cards, each bearing indicia corresponding to an identity which represents the role which a player is to assume. The cards of another series are situation cards, each bearing indicia corresponding to a situation with which the player is confronted. The cards of two additional series are reaction cards, bearing indicia corresponding to the reactions which the player may choose for a situation presented. One series of reaction cards is allocated to one player, and the other series of reaction cards is allocated to another player. To play the game, a first player takes and displays a card from a deck formed from the series of identity cards to establish his role for play. He then takes and displays a card from a deck formed from the series of situation cards to establish the situation with which he is confronted for the play. Following this, he selects from his series of reaction cards the card which most closely corre-' sponds to the reaction which he has to the play situation in the role of the play identity. The indicia on this card is temporarily hidden from the second player who then selects from his series of reaction cards the card corresponding to what he believes the reaction of the first player to be. The reaction cards are then compared and an accurate empathic reaction is scored for the second player on the counting means, if the reaction card selected by him corresponds to the reactio card selected by the first player.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view showing a game board and counting means useful in playing the game of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the game board and counting means;

FIG. 3 shows a typical identity card;

FIG. 4 shows a typical situation card; and

FIG. 5 shows a typical reaction card.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The empathy game of this invention isbased on Carl Rogers. theory of personality and, is designed to promote understanding on the part of a player of both himself and of others. The game is suitable and enjoyable for recreational play alone, but possesses further utility in being adapted for the measurement and stimulation of empathic capability. Four basic assumptions underlie the design of the empathy game: (1) role-taking ability is a suitable operational definition of empathic ability; (2) ability to predict anothers response while he is role playing is a suitable measure of role'taking 3 ability; (3) experience and practice in predicting anothers response will increase this ability; and (4) use of a game situation utilizing positive reinforcement and immediate feedback methods will make this practice enjoyable.

As noted above, it has previously been known that role-playing is useful in the measurement and development of empathy. This fact is further exemplified by the use of role-playing in the training of psychotherapists, with trained judges rating sessions for amounts of empathy. There has been some question, however, as to whether the improvement noted after such training represents a basic improvement in empathic capacity, or whether it simply relates to the verbal acquisition of empathic responses. By use of prewritten response cards, identical for each player, the empathy game of this invention eliminates this variable from the roleplaying situation.

Referring now to the drawings, there is shown at H a game board which defines an area in which empathic responses may be scored in the course of a game. individual counting members 3 are constituted by elongate rods which extend transversely across the width of board 1 and are movable lengthwise along the board. Sheets 5, preferably transparent and of different colors, extend from each end 7 of board 1, and each of sheets is attached at its free end to one of rods 3. Upwardly projecting flanges 9 extend along the longitudinal edges of the board and include notches 11 in their top surfaces which are adapted to receive and disengageably hold rods 3 at discrete locations along the board corresponding to the score obtained in the course of play.

Card 13 is an identity card showing a role to be assumed by a player in the course of play. Card H5 is a situation card which indicates a situation with which a player is confronted in playing the role of card 13. Card 17 is a reaction card illustrating one reaction which a player may have to the situation with which he is confronted in play.

In counting successful empathic responses made by an individual during play of the game, that player's counting rod 3 is advanced from a zero position in the notch nearest the end 7 from which the sheet attached to the rod extends. With each successful score, the rod is moved one notch farther toward the opposite end of the board. Thus, as an individuals score increases, a proportionate increase is realized in the area of board 1 covered by the sheet trailing that player's score counting rod. This area is also referred to as the player's frame of reference." When the sum of the accurate responses scored by the two players in a game becomes large enough, the two sheets overlap and thus the frames of reference of the two players overlap, indicating a certain degree of mutual understanding. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, where the sheets are transparent and of different color, the overlapping area assumes a third color which is different from the color of either of the two sheets, but corresponds to the combination of those two colors.

To play the game, a deck is formed from the series of identity cards, and a second deck is formed from the series of situation cards. One of the series of reaction cards is dealt to one player, and the other series of reaction cards to the other player.

At the outset of play, one player takes a card from the identity deck and lays it face up on the game board. This card sets forth the role which that player is to assume for that play, for example, "mother." The same player then takes a card from the situation deck and places this card face up on the board. This card establishes the situation with which the player as mother" is confronted in the play, for example, who is told the Principal of the local school would like to talk to her." The first player must then select a card from his series of reaction cards which represents the reaction he would have to such a situation, in such a role. He then plays this card which might, for example, state prepare to move," face down on the board.

The burden is now on the second player to analyze what he believes the reaction of the first player to have been and to play a card from his series of reaction cards which corresponds to that reaction. The two reaction cards played are then compared to determine whether the second players analysis is accurate. lf it is, he makes a score and advances the counting rod attached to the sheet extending from his end of the board one notch forward toward the opposite end of the board causing both the area traversed by his rod and the area covered by the sheet attached thereto to increase in proportion to his score. A players end of the board is also considered to correspond to his point of view," and thus advancement of his counting rod represents progression toward the other's point of view, and cmpathic reaction.

The second player then takes his turn in taking an identity card and situation card, laying them face up. Considering the role he is to assume and the situation with which he is confronted as indicated by the cards thus taken, he selects a reaction card and plays it face down. The first player attempts to match the second player's reaction card by analyzing the second player and judging his probable reaction to the situation.

Play continues until all of the identity cards are exhausted. As play progresses and scores are made, the counting rods are advanced lengthwise down the board in mutually opposite directions with the area covered by the trailing transparent sheets also indicating the score and representing the frame of reference of the player to whose score they correspond. if the sum of the scores of the two players is sufficiently high, the sheets will overlap.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention the number of discrete positions, i.e., notches for receiving the counting rods is one less than the total number of identity cards to be played. Thus, the maximum score is achieved when a player's counting rod is advanced to the notch next to the last from the opposite player's end or point of view. It is not possible to advance all the way to the last position since it is never possible to completely empathize with anothers point of view.

It will be understood that counting arrangements other than the means described above can be used for scoring the empathy game. For example, pegs could be advanced along a series of holes in a board, a pointer could be arranged to slide along a scale, a digital score indicator could be provided, etc.

The following example illustrates the invention.

EXAMPLE From a group of college freshmen who were given the Literature Empathy Test (LET) described by Mahoney, 54 were selected whose LET scores differed by one standard deviation, or more, from the mean. 27 of these students had scores which were one standard deviation or more greater than the meanaccording to the LET test, andthe other 27 had scores which were one standard deviation or more below the mean. The 54 students were divided into three groups for playing of the empathy game of the invention. Group 1 consisted of high LET scorers paired with high LET scorers, Group 2 consisted of high LET scorers paired with low LET scorers, and Group 3 consisted of low LET scorers paired with low LET scorers.

Each pair of players played the empathy game once and the scores were recorded. Each of the 54 students was also given four sub-tests of the Wechsler Adult lntelligence Scale, specifically, information, Comprehension, Block Design, and Picture Arrangement. A significant negative correlation was found between the scores attained on the empathy game and the difference between verbal and performance scores, defined as verbal minus performance, on the Wechsler test. A correlation factor of -0.23 was calculated which, with 53 of freedom, indicated a correlation with 95 percent confidence.

To determine whatvariables had the greatest influence on the empathy game scorers, a multiple regression analysis was made using sex, the four Wechsler subtest scores, and the Wechsler verbal minus performance difference scores as predictors. in the group which made high scores in the empathy game of this invention, significant correlations with the Comprehension and Picture Arrangement scores on the Wechsler test were found. Comprehension accounted for 8 percent of the variance in high empathy game scores, while Picture Arrangement accounted for 7 percent, each representing a correlation with 95 percent confidence.

In view of the above, it will be seen that the several objects of the invention are achieved and other advantageous results attained. I

As various changes could be made in the above product without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

What is claimed is:

l. A game adapted for recreational use and for the measurement and development of empathy comprising a series of identity cards each bearing indicia corresponding to an identity which represents the role which a player is to assume; a series of situation cards each bearing indicia corresponding to a situation with which the .player is confronted; two series of reaction cards bearing indicia corresponding to the reactions which the player may choose for the situation presented; and means for counting empathic responses including a game board defining an area each end of which corresponds to a players point of view," individual counters for first and second players comprising elongate members extending transversely across the width of said board and advanceable lengthwise of said board across the area defined thereby to record a score, and means oppositely disposed at discrete positions along said board for receiving the said members and disengageably holding said members at discrete locations along said board, whereby a first player takes and displays a card from a deck formed by said series of identity cards to establish his role for a play, then takes and displays a card from a deck formed from said series of situation cards to establish the situation with which he is confronted for the play, then selects from his series of reaction cards the card which most closely corresponds to the reaction he has to the play situation in the role of the play identity, the indicia on said card being temporarily hidden from a second player, the second player then selects from his series of reaction cards the card corresponding to what he believes the reaction of the first player to be, the reaction cards are then compared and, if the reaction card selected by said second player corresponds to the reaction card selected by said first player, an accurate empathic reaction is scored for said second player by advancing his counter from the end of the board representing his own point of view" to the end of the board representing said first player's point of view so that, as play progresses, the proportion of the game board area traversed by a players counter corresponds to his total score and any overlapping traversal of the two individual counters corresponds to the extent of mutual empathy achieved by the players in the course of play.

2. A game as set forth in claim 1 including flexible sheets whose widths-are substantially the same as the width of said board, one of said sheets extending longitudinally from one end of said board and having one of said members attached to the free end thereof and the other of said sheets extending longitudinally from the opposite end of said board and having the other of said members attached to the free end thereof, whereby the area of said board covered by a sheet as the counting member is advanced during play corresponds both to the number of accurate reactions of a player and to his frame of reference and the extent of overlap of the two sheets corresponds to the degree of mutual empathy of the players.

3. A game as set forth in claim 2 wherein said sheets are transparent and of different colors so that the area of overlap assumes a third color difierent from but corresponding to the combination of the other two colors.

4. A game as set forth in claim 1 wherein said means for receiving said members is constituted by upwardly projecting flanges extending along the longitudinal edges of said board with notches in the top surfaces of said flanges for receiving the ends of said members.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4443010 *Jan 18, 1982Apr 17, 1984Larwood Laurie GPsychic connection game
US5775700 *May 14, 1997Jul 7, 1998Hornia; LesterPartnering game and method of playing same
US6029975 *Jan 11, 1996Feb 29, 2000Siemers; Donna L.Psycho-social game that measures emotional distance between players' responses
US6394453Feb 29, 2000May 28, 2002Donna L. SiemersPsycho-social game that measures emotional distance between players' responses
US6685187 *Feb 2, 1999Feb 3, 2004Beverly KlineTherapeutic role-playing board game
US7238025 *Oct 3, 2003Jul 3, 2007Lawrence Edwin WilkersonSystem and method for determining empathy
WO2000033927A1 *Dec 10, 1999Jun 15, 2000Osmany HorniaPartnering game and method of playing same
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/459, 116/222, 273/DIG.260
International ClassificationA63F1/00, A63F9/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F9/00, Y10S273/26, A63F1/00
European ClassificationA63F9/00, A63F1/00