Nezlek, J. B., Feist, G. J., Wilson, F. C., & Plesko, R. M. (2001). Day-to-day variability in empathy as a function of daily events and mood. Journal of Research in Personality, 35, 401-423
Twice a week for up to ten weeks, 103 participants provided measures of their daily empathy, mood (NA and PA), and they described the events that occurred each day. Multilevel random coefficient modeling analyses found that daily empathy covaried positively with the impact of daily positive and negative social events and with daily positive and negative affect. Empathy did not covary with achievement related events. Analyses that simultaneously included empathy, mood, and events suggested that daily NA mediated relationships between daily empathy and daily negative social events. Moreover, daily empathy did not covary with daily depressogenic thinking, need for cognition, nor self-esteem, suggesting that empathy is distinct from these constructs.