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Empathy Quotient

Empathy Quotient (EQ)

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 Baron-Cohen at ARC (the Autism Research Centre) at the University of Cambridge.



The Empathy Quotient Is a Quiz That Can Tell You How Empathetic You Are
January 16, 2018
Written by Joanie Faletto

"How Empathetic
Empathy is a critical part of being a normal, socially functional human. But as you can probably imagine, measuring such an intangible thing is no small task. The Empathy Quotient (EQ) exists to do that. Developed in 2004, it's a 60-item questionnaire developed by Simon Baron-Cohen and Sally Wheelwright at the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. The two created this test because of the "precious few instruments for measuring individual differences in this domain," since it's important to be able to assess the level of social impairment in disorders like autism. That's not to say anyone can't zip through this questionnaire, however. You can take this self-report test yourself on the good ol' internet."



The empathy quotient: an investigation of adults with Asperger syndrome or high functioning autism, and normal sex differences.
Baron-Cohen
Wheelwright S.

Abstract

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. On each empathy item a person can score 2, 1, or 0, so the EQ has a maximum score of 80 and a minimum of zero. In Study 1 we employed the EQ with n = 90 adults (65 males, 25 females) with Asperger Syndrome (AS) or high-functioning autism (HFA), who are reported clinically to have difficulties in empathy. The adults with AS/HFA scored significantly lower on the EQ than n = 90 (65 males, 25 females) age-matched controls. Of the adults with AS/HFA, 81% scored equal to or fewer than 30 points out of 80, compared with only 12% of controls. In Study 2 we carried out a study of n = 197 adults from a general population, to test for previously reported sex differences (female superiority) in empathy. This confirmed that women scored significantly higher than men. The EQ reveals both a sex difference in empathy in the general population and an empathy deficit in AS/HFA.




Measuring Empathizing and Systemizing with a Large US Sample
  • "The concern of this paper is how empathizing and systemizing can be measured"
  • "A large number of people completed one of two versions of the empathizing quotient (EQ) and systemizing quotient (SQ).  "
  • "Empathizing is the ability to identify with other people's thoughts and feelings and to be able to respond to these mental states with appropriate emotions .
  • Systemizing is being interested in understanding, predicting, and constructing rule-based systems. "
The Empathy Quotient (EQ) (see test)
"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 Baron-Cohen at ARC (the Autism Research Centre) at the University of Cambridge.

Clinically, the empathy measurements provided by the EQ are used by mental health professionals in assessing the level of social impairment in certain disorders like Autism. However, since levels of empathy vary significantly between individuals, even between those without any mental health disorders, it is also suitable for use as a casual measure of temperamental empathy by and for the general population."


Sources

S Baron-Cohen, S Wheelwright. The Empathy Quotient: An Investigation Of Adults With Asperger Syndrome Or High Functioning Autism, And Normal Sex Differences. 34(2): J Autism Dev Disord 163-75. 2004.

VL Ruggieri. [Empathy, Social Cognition And Autism Spectrum Disorders]. 56 Suppl 1: Rev Neurol S13-21. 2013.

E Sucksmith, C Allison, S Baron-Cohen, B Chakrabarti, RA Hoekstra. Empathy And Emotion Recognition In People With Autism, First-degree Relatives, And Controls. 51(1): Neuropsychologia 98-105. 2013.

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