With the popular explosion of zombies in recent years, today’s youth may be much more likely to survive a zombie outbreak than previous generations. But it turns out, they’re also more likely to kill you to save their own skin when the dead rise. Reviewing three decades of compiled data, researchers found that college students are less empathetic towards their fellow man than ever before.

Sara Konrath of  the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research explains:

“College kids today are about 40 percent lower in empathy than their counterparts of 20 or 30 years ago, as measured by standard tests of this personality trait.”

Defined as the act of understanding and being sensitive to the feelings of another person without having those feelings fully communicated, empathy is what allows us to be kind to strangers in need, sacrifice our personal wants for the good of friends and neighbors, and place common interest in front of selfish greed. Serial killers and other dangerous sociopaths are commonly found to have a complete lack on empathy.

Though we’ve already discussed the very real threat that other humans will represent, Konrath’s findings serve as yet another reminder that in a zombie outbreak your life will be in grave danger long before you see your first walking corpse.



  1. Its simple. Just talk some sense into them. They can’t harm you if they are trying to figure out to kill you or let you live. If they are gamer, its best to kill them, because most of the gamer now today are noobs.

  2. It’s this generation of college kids that wil BE the zombies. They’ll all turn after the third week of taking whatever psychiatric medication pill that becomes the fad to prescribe. GenX learned to toughen up or commit suicide … either way, it’s a non pharmachological solution.

  3. I was born in 1968 and deal with college kids on a daily basis. I see their failings constantly but it’s impossible to say they’re worse than Generation X. Subjectively we might see the 1980s as a time when unicorns farted magical moonbeams but according to any objective source, starting with FBI records, Gen Xers were the more violent and cruel than any other time period. Baby Boomers weren’t as destructive but they were at least as lazy and stupid as today’s generation.

    Subjectively, as an old fart I’ll yell at young punks to get off my lawn but objectively data doesn’t lie.

  4. As a GenXer, it’s a little shocking that college-aged kids today are supposedly less empathetic than we were made out to be. I have to say, though, we really were self-sufficient as kids and a little tougher. It’s not a generalization. I’m a parent, and if I parented like they did in the ’70s, I’d be arrested. We were thrust out into the world even by good parents. What that has to do with empathy, I don’t know. I know that I saw a kid fall through the ice when I was 8 with no adults around, and the other kids playing on thin ice (no credit to myself) rescued him. No one got a medal, it wasn’t on the news, no neglect charges filed. When my kid was 8, he never played on thin ice. Never had to save another kid’s life before dinner. Those kids would have done all right in a zombie apocalypse, I think.

  5. I anyone really surprised? We’ve raised a generation of special little snowflakes, who think the world revolves around them. That self-esteem is all important regardless if they’ve never done anything to earn it. They won’t do anything unless they’re constantly praised for doing the bare minimum. I have to hire University students all the time. This generation is the most lazy and useless yet.

    As far as who you trust in a zombie outbreak. Family only. Blood is less likely to turn on you.

    • Massive over-generalisation there. As a first year uni student myself I’d say you’ve just got a small minority there, everyone I work alongside here is completely devoted to their work. We’re not content with the bare minimum, else we’d all be happy with thirds.

      But yes, turning on people may be your best chance to survive, and if it comes to it I know I would.

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