The first few of these studies aimed to simply test and then replicate whether believing that empathy is malleable is related to more empathy. It is. They found that individuals who reported beliefs that empathy was malleable, rather than fixed, also reported putting forth more effort and persistence in interactions with others. For example, people who reported that the capacity for empathy is malleable were more likely to strongly agree with statements such as, "When I disagree with someone, I try to understand their emotions," or "When I do not understand someone's feelings right away, I put effort into trying to understand them." So there was strong enough evidence that believing that empathy is malleable was related to the amount of effort people put into being empathic.
1. Read an article about how empathy is malleable + disagreeing with someone about an important issue
2. Read an article about how empathy is malleable + disagreeing with someone about an unimportant issue