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Abstract

Researchers have increasingly become interested in the empirical examination of virtue (Fowers, Carroll, Leonhardt, & Cokelet, 2020). Virtues, such as gratitude and forgiveness, have been found to lead to prosocial behaviors (Garcia-Vazquez, Valdes- Cuervo, Martinez-Ferrer, & Parra-Perez, 2020). The recent resurgence of interest in virtue is a result of wanting to understand why some individuals choose to engage in prosocial behaviors while others choose not to engage in such behaviors (Fowers et al., 2020). Research on virtues, such as wisdom, have suggested that certain virtues are learned through experience (Williams & Nusbaum, 2016). Therefore, it is important to examine which kinds of experiences can increase empathy in adults, as well as other virtues that are related to prosocial attitudes (i.e., wisdom). Literature exists on the psychological benefits of studying abroad, such as self- esteem (Mohajeri Norris & Gillespie, 2009), and creativity (Lee, Therriault & Linderholm, 2012). The aim of the study was to examine whether studying abroad increases civic virtues and psychological factors that may impact these virtues. Results indicated that participants that studied abroad had significantly higher levels of empathy, epistemic humility, and cultural competence than participants that did not study abroad.

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