In The Science of Evil, Simon Baron-Cohen reports research that found that artists are more empathetic than scientists and engineers. I replicated this with GSS data. Respondents were asked how well does the following statement describe them: "Sometimes I don't feel very sorry for other people when they are having problems." Answers ranged from "does not describe very well" (1) to "describes very well" (5). I reverse-scored the answers so that high numbers reflect high empathy. Here are the means (sample size = 124):
Mean empathy score
This is four-tenths of a standard deviation difference--a medium-size gap--but it is not statistically significant.