Tests and Measurements http://j.mp/111Kin1
How can we measure and test empathy? Below are all the empathy tests that
we have found so far. If you know of others do send then to us.
What is needed in this area is a design project to design more
measurements. If you're interested in creating such a team, let us know.
Empathy Questionnaires Table - Compiled by Jonathan Friesem
A handy table of different Empathy Questionnaires, located at the bottom
of this page. Wikipedia.org/Empathy#Measurement
"Research into the measurement of empathy has sought to answer a number
of questions: who should be carrying out the measurement? What should
pass for empathy and what should be discounted? What unit of measure (UOM)
should be adopted and to what degree should each occurrence precisely
match that UOM are also key questions that researchers have sought to
investigate.Researchers have approached the measurement of empathy from
a number of perspectives."
- Plato.standford.edu 'Psychologists distinguish between measurements of situational
empathy—that is, empathic reactions in a specific situation—and
measurements of dispositional empathy, where empathy is understood as
a person's stable character trait. Situational empathy is measured
either by asking subjects about their experiences immediately after
they were exposed to a particular situation, by studying the “facial,
gestural, and vocal indices of empathy-related responding. or by
various physiological measures such as the measurement of heart rate
or skin conductance. None of these measurements are perfect tools. '
'Empathic Civilization': Do We Have Empathy Or Are We
Just Good Rule Followers? As yet there is no fool-proof test of
empathy, yet given its growing importance within cognitive
neuroscience, it won't be long before there is one. The advent of
functional neuroimaging is making it possible to see beneath surface
behaviour, to establish if the typical neural circuitry for empathy is
(or is not) being employed, when someone says they care. Simon
A systematic review of tests of empathy in medicine
1 A systematic
review of tests of empathy in medicine 2 'Empathy is frequently cited as an important attribute in physicians
and some groups have expressed a desire to measure empathy either at
selection for medical school or during medical (or postgraduate)
training. In order to do this, a reliable and valid test of empathy is
required. The purpose of this systematic review is to determine the
reliability and validity of existing tests for the assessment of
medical empathy.' Empathy may be measured from three different
• Self-rating (first person assessment)
– the assessment of empathy using standardised questionnaires
completed by those being assessed.
• Patient-rating (second person
assessment) – the use of questionnaires given to patients to assess
the empathy they experience among their carers.
• Observer rating (third person
assessment) – the use of standardised assessments by an observer to
rate empathy in interactions between health personnel and patients,
including the use of 'standardised' or simulated patient encounters
to control for observed differences secondary to differences between
1. Making you feel at ease
2. Letting you tell your story
3. Really listening
4. Being interested in you as a whole person
5. Fully understanding your concerns
6. Showing care and compassion
7. Being positive
8. Explaining things clearly
9. Helping you to take control
10. Making a plan of action with you"
Dissociation of Cognitive & Emotional Empathy: Multifaceted Empathy
Test for Children & Adolescents 'Background:
Empathy, generally defined as the ability to understand and share
another peronßs emotional state, is a multidimensional construct,
consisting of cognitive (inferring mental states) and emotional
(observer's emotional response to another person's emotional state )
components. Both autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and conduct
disorders (CD) have been described as disorders with empathy
impairment. While most instruments assessing empathy focused rather on
one component of empathy, the Multifaceted Empathy Test (MET) was
designed to measure cognitive and emotional empathy simultaneously and
independently using a series of photorealistic stimuli.'
The Davis Interpersonal Reactivity Index 'The Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Davis,
1980, 1983) is a measure of dispositional empathy that takes as its
starting point the notion that empathy consists of a set of separate
but related constructs. The instrument contains four seven-item
subscales, each tapping a separate facet of empathy. The perspective
taking (PT) scale measures the reported tendency to spontaneously
adopt the psychological point of view of others in everyday life ("I
sometimes try to understand my friends better by imagining how things
look from their perspective"). The empathic concern (EC) scale
assesses the tendency to experience feelings of sympathy and
compassion for unfortunate others ("I often have tender, concerned
feelings for people less fortunate than me"). ' The
following statements inquire about your thoughts and feelings in a
variety of situations
1. I daydream and fantasize, with some
regularity, about things that might happen to me.
2. I often have tender, concerned feelings for people less fortunate
3. I sometimes find it difficult to see things from the "other guy's"
point of view.
4. Sometimes I don't feel very sorry for other people when they are
Toronto Empathy Questionnaire,
by Nathan Spreng+
"In order to formulate a parsimonious tool to assess empathy, we used
factor analysis on a combination of self-report measures to examine
consensus and developed a brief self-report measure of this common
factor. The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire (TEQ) represents empathy as a
primarily emotional process. In three studies, the TEQ demonstrated
strong convergent validity, correlating positively with behavioral
measures of social decoding, self-report measures of empathy, and
negatively with a measure of Autism symptomatology. Moreover, it
exhibited good internal consistency and high test-retest reliability.
The TEQ is a brief, reliable, and valid instrument for the assessment of
(has lists of other self-report measures of empathy
Emotion Specific Empathy Questionnaire,
by Sally Olderbak
"Empathy refers to the thoughts and feelings of one individual in
response to the observed (emotional) experiences of another individual.
Empathy, however, can occur toward persons experiencing a variety of
emotions, raising the question of whether or not empathy can be emotion
specific. This paper discusses theoretical and empirical support for the
emotion specificity of empathy. We present a new measure, the Emotion
Specific Empathy questionnaire, which assesses affective and cognitive
empathy for the six basic emotions. This paper presents the measure's
psychometric qualities and demonstrates, through a series of models, the
discriminant validity between emotion specific empathies suggesting
empathy is emotion specific. Results and implications are discussed."
The Empathy Quotient: An Investigation of Adults with Asperger Syndrome
or High Functioning Autism, and Normal Sex Differences
Simon Baron-Cohen and Sally Wheelwright
"Empathy is an essential part of normal social functioning, yet there
are precious few instruments for measuring individual differences in
this domain. In this article we review psychological theories of empathy
and its measurement. Previous instruments that purport to measure this
have not always focused purely on empathy. We report a new self-report
questionnaire, the Empathy Quotient (EQ), for use with adults of normal
intelligence. It contains 40 empathy items and 20 filler/control items.
Development and validation of the Basic Empathy Scale 'In developing the Basic Empathy Scale (BES), 40 items measuring
affective and cognitive empathy were administered to 363 adolescents
in Year 10 (aged about 15). Factor analysis reduced this to a 20-item
scale that was administered 1 year later to 357 different adolescents
in Year 10 in the same schools. Confirmatory factor analysis verified
the two-factor solution. Females scored higher than males on both
affective and cognitive empathy'
Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy,
A 20-item questionnaire measuring components of empathy among physicians
in patient-care setting. The Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE)
was developed by researchers at the Center for Research in Medical
Education and Health Care (CRMEHC) at Jefferson Medical College to
measure empathy among physicians, health professionals and medical
Article as PDF with 20 questions (98 KB)
I try to imagine myself in my patients’ shoes
when providing care to them.
My understanding of my patients’ feelings gives
them a sense of validation that is therapeutic in its own
An important component of the relationship with my
patients is my understanding of the emotional status
of themselves and their families.
"Describes a scale
developed to measure an individual's ability to detect and describe the
immediate affective state of another (affective sensitivity or empathy).
The scale consists of multiple-choice items used with a series of short
videotaped excerpts from actual counseling sessions. Data are presented
indicating the scale's reliability, the extent of the content, and the
concurrent and predictive validity. The scale is unaffected by pre- or
posttest practice effect. Indications are that high scores on the scale
are a necessary but not a sufficient condition of counselor
effectiveness. Some technical limitations are present in the scale, but
it shows promise of being an appropriate model for a more refined
empathy as ‘‘the intellectual or imaginative apprehension of another’s
condition or state of mind (Hogan, 1969).’’ 64-item scale.
The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire
"Scale development and initial validation of a factor-analytic solution
to multiple empathy measures. In order to formulate a parsimonious tool
to assess empathy, we used factor analysis on a combination of
self-report measures to examine consensus and developed a brief
self-report measure of this common factor. The Toronto Empathy
Questionnaire (TEQ) represents empathy as a primarily emotional process.
In three studies, the TEQ demonstrated strong convergent validity,
correlating positively with behavioral measures of social decoding,
self-report measures of empathy, and negatively with a measure of Autism
Empathy Test (BEES)
The Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES) measures both of the
aforementioned components of Emotional Empathy (i.e., vicarious
experience of others' feelings; interpersonal positiveness) in a
balanced way. It is a completely new scale and is based on a substantial
amount of research evidence derived with an earlier scale developed in
Then there is the Accurate Empathy Scale, devised by
Truax and others for use by raters (Truax, 1967). Even small portions
of recorded interviews can be reliably rated by this scale. The nature
of the scale may be indicated by giving the definition of Stage 1,
which is the lowest level of empathic understanding, and Stage 8,
which is a very high (though not the highest) degree of empathy.
Here is Stage 1: Therapist seems completely
unaware of even the most conspicuous of the client's feelings. His
responses are not appropriate to the mood and content of the
client's feelings. His responses are not appropriate to the mood and
content of the client's statements and there is no determinable
quality of empathy, hence, no accuracy whatsoever. The therapist may
be bored and disinterested or actively offering advice, but he is
not communicating an awareness of the client's current feelings (Truax,
1967, pp. 556-7).
Stage 8is defined
as follows: Therapist accurately interprets all the client's present
acknowledged feelings. He also uncovers the most deeply shrouded of
the client's feeling areas, voicing meanings in the client's
experience of which the client is scarcely aware ... He moves into
feelings and experiences that are only hinted at by the client and
does so with sensitivity and accuracy. The content that comes to
life may be new but it is not alien. While the therapist in Stage 8
makes mistakes, mistakes do not have a jarring note but are covered
by the tentative character of the response. Also the therapist is
sensitive to his mistakes and quickly alters or changes his
responses in midstream, indicating that he more clearly knows what
is being talked about and what is being sought after in the client's
own explorations. The therapist reflects a togetherness with the
patient in tentative trial and error exploration. His voice tone
reflects the seriousness and depth of his empathic grasp.
(Truax,1967, p. 566)."
"Experienced therapists offer a higher degree of empathy
to their clients than less experienced, whether we are assessing this
quality through the client's perception or through the ears of
qualified judges (Barrett- Lennard, 1962; Fiedler, 1949, 1950a; Mullen
and Abeles, 1972). Evidently therapists do learn, as the years go by,
to come closer to their ideal of a therapist, and to be more
The degree of empathy which exists and will exist in
the relationship can be determined very early, in the fifth or even
the second interview. Such early measurements are predictive of the
later success or lack of success in therapy (Barrett-Lennard, 1962;
Tausch, 1973). The implication of these findings is that we could
avoid a great deal of unsuccessful therapy, by measuring the
therapist's empathy early on."
"Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory
(Expert from Carl Rogers Empathic:
An Unappreciated Way of Being)
There is the Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory, to be filled out by
the parties to the relationship, in which empathy is defined
operationally by the items used. Some of the items from this instrument,
indicating the range from empathic to non-empathic, follow:
He appreciates what my experience feels like to me.
He understands what I say from a detached, objective
point of view.
"Clients are better judges of the degree of empathy than are
Perhaps then it is not too surprising that therapists prove to be
rather inaccurate in assessing their own degree of empathy in a
relationship. The client's perception of this quality agrees rather
well with that of unbiased judges listening to the recordings, but the
agreement between clients and therapists, or judges and therapists, is
low (Rogers, Gendlin, Kiesier and Truax, 1967, Chs. 5, 8). Perhaps, if
we wish to become better therapists, we should let our clients tell us
whether we are understanding them accurately!"
"The Empathy Quotient (EQ)
is a 60-item questionnaire (there is also a shorter, 40-item version)
designed to measure empathy in adults. The test was developed by Simon
Autism Research Centre) at the University of Cambridge."
Reflective Empathic Listening Test
We do a process called empathy circles. In this process, one person (John) shares a story, experience, feeling, etc with someone
else (Jane). Jane reflects back what she hears John say. John
says if he feels he has been heard or not. This validation is a test of
empathy. Does the person feel they have been empathized with and
Emotion Test will
give you the most accurate and complete analysis of your ability
to recognize emotions in others. It only takes about 30 minutes
to complete, and it has 80 questions.'
designed for those who are pressed for time. It takes about 8
minutes to complete, and it has 20 questions'
Assessing EQ: Measuring your empathy
Emotional intelligence (empathy) is the capacity to recognize
and, to some extent, share feelings (such as sadness or
happiness) that are being experienced by another person. Someone
may need to have a certain amount of empathy before they are
able to feel compassion.
'Mind Reading is a unique reference work covering the entire spectrum
of human emotions. Using the software you can explore over 400
emotions, seeing and hearing each one performed by six different
Affective Empathy with Pictorial Empathy Test (PET) (measurem.pdf)
"Pictorial Empathy Test (PET) consists of 7 pictures of people in
distress. Subjects were asked to rate their emotional arousal in a
five-point scale. It was hypothesized that seven pictures all showed
variance in one latent trait, affective empathy. The fit of
one-latent-factor model was assessed using structural equation
modeling. PET s validity was assessed with tests of other
theoretically related and unrelated concepts, such as self-reported
empathy, social intelligence, intuitive thinking and gender role
orientation. Correlations between PET scores and other scales were
assessed to determine the validity of PET. Also, relationships between
PET scores, participants sex and gender role orientation were analyzed
using mediation analysis. "
In a group of
people, if one person yawns, the first person to catch the yawn
would be the most empathic.
A recent report from The Wall Street Journal’s
Journal columnist Robert Lee Hotz, on empathy in primates and other
animals (”Tracing the Origins of Human Empathy”). (Yawning, mirroring, Frans de Wal, Kevin Ochsner, brain
studies, mirror neurons, identifying with certain close groups)
It has long been known that yawning is contagious among
humans. Scientific studies have started to link contagious yawning
with the emotional response known as empathy. Try watching this
short video and count how many times you yawn.
Why is yawning contagious?
Video: Yaaawwwwwn* Did just reading the word make you feel like
yawning yourself? Known as contagious yawning, the reasons behind this
phenomenon have been attributed to both the physiological and
psychological. It's been observed in children as young as four and
even in dogs! Claudia Aguirre visits the many intriguing theories that
might explain contagious yawning.
Draw the Letter E on our forehead test
Then ask him to take that
extended finger and draw a capital E on his forehead. Does he draw the
letter so that it faces him – that is, backward to a person looking at
him? Or does he draw the letter so that the viewer can read it?
Neither way is right or wrong. But the direction of that letter might
tell you something about the disposition of that leader. [the
more empathic person draws it so others can read it]
Self-rating & Self Assessment Tests
Empathy Quiz at Greater Good
"The quiz contains a total of 28 questions. Please answer them as
honestly as possible--there are no right or wrong answers. The first
22 will be used to measure your level of empathy; the last six will
be used by our research team to understand how empathy relates to
factors like gender, birth order, and political orientation. "
each of the following 60 statements very carefully and state how
strongly you agree or disagree with it. When you've answered all
the questions, press the 'Get score' button at the bottom to see
your results. Professor Simon Baron-Cohen test'
Changes in Dispositional Empathy in American College Students
Over Time: A Meta-Analysis
Personality and Social Psychology Review Sara H. Konrath,
Edward H. O'Brien, Courtney Hsing "The current study examines
changes over time in a commonly used measure of dispositional
empathy. A cross-temporal meta-analysis was conducted on 72
samples of American college students who completed at least one
of the four subscales (Empathic Concern, Perspective Taking,
Fantasy, and Personal Distress) of the Interpersonal Reactivity
Index between 1979 and 2009"
perspective taking: A multidimensional approach
HGSE Assistant Professor Hunter Gehlbach
Gehlbach and HGSE doctoral students Maureen Brinkworth, Ming-Te Wang, and
Christopher Wynne have developed a test to measure perspective taking ability –
and they inviteyouto
try it. Watch this video of a conversation between Gehlbach and Brinkworth, and
then answer the short list of yes-or-no questions below. Then click thesubmitbutton,
and find out how skillfully you can recognize the feelings that underlie other
people's words, gestures, and expressions.
'Please answer ALL of the questions below and when you are done, you
will see a screen with your score on it. You will learn how you
compare to almost 14,000 college students on empathy. '
Empathy quotient test
Read each of the following 60 statements very
carefully and state how strongly you agree or disagree with it. When
you've answered all the questions, press the 'Get score' button at the
bottom to see your results.
Systemizing quotient test
Read each of the following 60 statements very
carefully and state how strongly you agree or disagree with it. When
you've answered all the questions, press the 'Get score' button at the
bottom to see your results.
'The following test measures one's empathy
level. Empathy is the ability to feel and comprehend other people's
emotions. An empathic person performs an active effort to get in tune
with another person, leaving out personal aptitudes such as sympathy,
antipathy, fondness and moral judgments.'
Test how self-compassionate you are
'Please read each statement carefully before answering. To the left of
each item, indicate how often you behave in the stated manner, using
the following scale'
you an Empath? Take the test and find out!
'This test scores you on several categories, including: whether you
are an Out of Control Healer, how well you use your own Empathic
Protection Tools, how much you Unconsciously Mirror other people, and
how Logical vs Intuitive you are. '
What’s your EQ (empathy quotient)?
'This quiz, adapted from a common psychological test of empathy,
gauges two key empathy types: concern for others and perspective (the
ability to imagine someone’s point of view). For each question, pick a
number from 1 to 5, then tally your scores.'
Self-Assessment 3.10: Assessing Your Emotional Empathy
"The source of this scale is: M. H. Davis, "A multidimensional
approach to individual differences in empathy," JSAS Catalog of
Selected Documents in Psychology, 10 (1980), p. 85.
This self-assessment is designed to help you to estimate your
propensity for emotional empathy. It includes 7 statements, and you
are asked to indicate the degree to which each statement does or does
not describe you very well. You need to be honest with yourself to for
a reasonable estimate of your level of perspective taking."
The parental empathy measure: a new approach to assessing child
maltreatment risk. Kilpatrick
"A new operational definition of parental empathy and a new
instrument, the Parental Empathy Measure (PEM), are introduced. With a
sample of 103 parents (50 registered maltreating, 32 matched
distressed, and 21 matched controls), the PEM demonstrated good
internal consistency, very good interrater reliability, good construct
validity, and very good concurrent validity."
"Clients are better judges of the degree of empathy than are
therapists. (Expert from Carl Rogers
An Unappreciated Way of Being. This is related to therapists being
bad judges of their quality and degree of empathy. This could be
applied to anyone)
Perhaps then it is not too surprising that therapists
prove to be rather inaccurate in assessing their own degree of
empathy in a relationship. The client's perception of this quality
agrees rather well with that of unbiased judges listening to the
recordings, but the agreement between clients and therapists, or
judges and therapists, is low (Rogers, Gendlin, Kiesier and Truax,
1967, Chs. 5, 8). Perhaps, if we wish to become better therapists,
we should let our clients tell us whether we are understanding them
"BACKGROUND: Few measures exist to examine
therapist empathy as it occurs in session.
AIMS: A 9-item observer rating scale, called the Therapist Empathy
Scale (TES), was developed based on Watson's (1999) work to assess
affective, cognitive, attitudinal, and attunement aspects of therapist
empathy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the inter-rater
reliability, internal consistency, and construct and criterion
validity of the TES.
METHOD: Raters evaluated therapist empathy in 315 client sessions
conducted by 91 therapists, using data from a multi-site therapist
training trial (Martino et al., 2010) in Motivational Interviewing
CONCLUSIONS: The TES demonstrates excellent inter-rater
reliability and internal consistency. RESULTS indicate some support
for a single-factor solution and convergent and discriminant validity.
Future studies should examine the use of the TES to evaluate therapist
empathy in different psychotherapy approaches and to determine the
impact of therapist empathy on client outcome."
Carl Rogers mentions a rating of therapists empathy by a panel of 83
other therapists. I don't know what the criteria they used was.
Mentioned in Empathic:
An Unappreciated Way of Being
"Raskin (1974) showed that
when the recorded interviews of six experienced therapists were rated
by other experienced therapists, the differences on twelve variables
were significant at the .001 level, and empathy was second in the
extent of difference. The outstanding characteristic of the client-
centered therapist was his empathy. Other approaches had as their
outstanding characteristic their cognitive quality, or
therapist-directedness, and the like. So, though therapists regarded
empathic listening as the most important element in their ideal, in
their actual practice they often fall far short of this. In fact the
ratings of the recorded interviews of these six expert therapists by
83 other therapists came up with a surprising finding. In only two
cases did the work of the experts correlate positively with the
description of the ideal therapist. In four cases the correlation was
negative, the most extreme being a -.66! So much for therapy as it is
Physiology and Neurobiology of Empathy
Dr. Carl Marci will discuss aspects of empathic connection using the
latest findings from his research with peripheral measures of central
nervous system activity. Additional studies using neuroimaging to
understand the latest in empathy research will also be presented.
Carl D. Marci, MD, Director of
Social Neuroscience for Psychotherapy Research Program, Massachusetts
General Hospital; Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Measuring Oxytocin Levels
Oxytocin Enhances Amygdala-Dependent, Socially Reinforced
Learning and Emotional Empathy in Humans 'Oxytocin (OT) is
becoming increasingly established as a prosocial neuropeptide in
humans with therapeutic potential in treatment of social, cognitive,
and mood disorders. However, the potential of OT as a general
facilitator of human learning and empathy is unclear. ...A general
conclusion from our results is that treatment with an OTR agonist
may be a useful therapy in enhancing socially motivated learning and
emotional empathy in men. '
Telltale Signs You’ve Got the ‘Love Hormone’ Gene?
Research has shown that people with two G variants of the gene are more
empathetic and “prosocial,” showing more compassion, cooperation and
positive emotion. In contrast, those with the at least one A version of
the gene tend to be less empathetic, may have worse mental health and
are more likely to be autistic.
also seem to be involved in empathy, a much more complex and
ambiguous aspect of observing others. This idea has prompted a
great deal of excitement and speculation, as some look to
empathy as one of the most fundamental and unique things that
make us human.
describes our ability to understand and feel another's emtions
as our own, giving rise to such sayings as 'I feel your pain.'
As we will see, this is not just a figure of speech, but appears
to have a basis in neural physiology.
Kristin Neff - Self-Compassion.org Test
'Please read each statement carefully before answering. To the left of each
item, indicate how often you behave in the stated manner, using the
( ) 1. I'm disapproving and judgmental about my own flaws and
...( ) 26'
The Development and Validation of a Scale to Measure Self-Compassion
'This article defines the construct of self-compassion and describes
of the Self-Compassion Scale. Self-compassion entails being kind and
toward oneself in instances of pain or failure rather than being
perceiving one’s experiences as part of the larger human experience
seeing them as isolating; and holding painful thoughts and feelings
awareness rather than over-identifying with them'
Voight-Kampff test attempts to distinguish androids from human
beings by autonomic responses to questions that should elicit an
empathic response. Because it seeks to gather and measure
biological information for security purposes, the empathy
testing procedure is a kind of
biometric identification system.'
Blade Runner: Voight-Kampff
"Is this to be an empathy test? Capillary dilation of the so
called blush response. Fluctuation of the pupil? Involuntary
dilation of the iris?
"Hogan (1969), created the Hogan Empathy Scale, "the intellectual or
imaginative apprehension of another's condition or state of mind without
actually experiencing that person's feelings" (p. 308).
Mehrabian and Epstein (1972), created the Questionnaire Measure of Emotional
Empathy, "the heightened responsiveness to another's emotional experience" (p.
Davis, the creator of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, which employs both
cognitive and emotional approaches to the study of empathy (Davis, 1983;
Thornton & Thornton, 1995). “a set of constructs having to do with the
response of one individual to the experiences of another” (1994, p.12).
multi-component response, involving the following four stages:
(a) perspective-taking, which is the ability to adopt the
viewpoint of another person;
(b) fantasy, which is the ability to transpose oneself into the
feelings of a fictitious character;
(c) empathic concern, which are feelings of concern for
another person; and
(d) personal distress, which are self-oriented feelings of distress
Hoffman (2001) “an emotional response that is focused more on another
person's situation or emotion than on one's own” (p. 62).
Marshall conceptualized empathy sequence of stages:
(a) emotional recognition, which is the ability to discriminate the
emotional state of another person;
(b) perspective taking, which is the ability to see situations from
(c) emotion replication, which is replication of the observed emotion; and (
d) response decision, which is decision making that is based on the feelings
Hodges and Meyer (2007) propose three main components of emotional empathy.
The first is feeling the same emotion as another person (sometimes
attributed to emotional contagion, e.g., unconsciously "catching" someone
else's tears and feeling sad
The second component, personal distress, refers to one's own feelings of
distress in response to perceiving another's plight, which may or may not
mirror the emotion that
the other person is actually feeling.
The third emotional component, feeling compassion for another person, is the
one most frequently associated with the study of empathy in psychology. It
is often called empathic concern
and sometimes sympathy.
Several reviews of instruments to measure empathy are provided in the
literature (Albiero, 2009; Jolliffe & Farrington, 2006b; Mehrabian, 1997).
Carkhuff and Truax Empathy Scales(Truax
& Carkhuff, 1967). This scale is completed by an observer or team of
observers as they watch participants respond to a stimulus person or in a
role-play setting. scale originally developed as a nine-point scale
(Carkhuff, 1969) as a five-point empathy scale with a
rating of one representing low levels of empathic responding and five as
high levels of empathy.
One of the most commonly used empathy scales
self-report empathy scales
Hogan Empathy Scale(Hogan,
Questionnaire Measure of Emotional Empathy(Mehrabian
& Epstein, 1972),
Interpersonal Reaction Index (Davis, 1980),and
the Basic Empathy Scale (Jolliffe & Farrington (2006b).
Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI).The
IRI consists of four subscales measuring four different dimensions of
interpersonal reactivity (Davis, 1980).
two of which are cognitive dimensions and two of which are
(a) fantasy, which is the tendency to project one's self
into the feelings and actions of fictitious characters portrayed in
movies, book, etc;
(b)perspective taking, which is the tendency to
spontaneously adopt another person's psychological viewpoint;
(c) empathic concern, which consists of other-oriented
feelings of sympathy and concern for unfortunate others and;
(d) personal distress, which consists of self-oriented
feelings of personal anxiety and unease in charged interpersonal settings
Hogan Empathy Scale (HES), which assesses primarily cognitive empathy, and
the QMEE, which measures the emotional component of empathy,
Basic Empathy Scale (BES), a new scale for measuring empathic responsiveness
inclusive and multidimensional definition of empathy,
emotional congruence (affective empathy)
and the understanding of another person's emotion
An indication of the comprehensive nature of this
definition of empathy is reflected in the fact that the BES measures
empathic responsiveness to positive emotions, whereas previous
questionnaires had mainly detected responsiveness to negative emotions.
Responsiveness to other people's positive emotions can represent a
crucial aspect of empathy assessment during this developmental period.
Jolliffe and Farrington (2006b)"