My son, Zack, sent me this e-mail in response to my query as to whether young people are really less empathetic than their predecessors:

Without knowing the details of the study, it’s really hard to judge how accurate it is. If it’s empathy for the struggles of minorities, I think young people are much more empathetic, if for no other reason than minorities are more integrated than in past generations. And with the increased ratio of minorities in this country, that too should make young people more empathetic.

However, when it comes to having empathy for opposing points of view, especially political views, the study may be right. It is my general feeling that people are, on average, not very interested in even hearing opposing points of view, let alone trying to empathize with them.