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IRI 1980

 

IRI - Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Davis, 1980)

Defines empathy as the
 “reactions of one individual to the observed experiences of another (Davis, 1983).” 


(DAVIS 1983)
 "The IRI consists of four subscales measuring four different dimensions of interpersonal reactivity (Davis, 1980). Davis' model views empathy as a set of distinct, but related constructs, two of which are cognitive dimensions and two of which are emotional:
  • (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 (Davis, 1983)

Although the IRI is used widely, it has clear limitations common to most assessments of empathy: the underlying theoretical model may be questionable and it may not adequately capture the complexities involved in the empathy process. Several factor analysis studies have been conducted to examine the IRI and few have confirmed the validity of Davis' four-factor model (Albiero et al., 2006; Litvack-Miller, McDougall, & Romney, 1997). Most analyses find that the original model does not provide an adequate data fit (Cliffordson, 2002; Poulos, Elison, & Lennon, 2004)"
 ROBERT PAUL BUTTERS (2010)



INTERPERSONAL REACTIVITY INDEX (IRI) 
"Davis, M. H. (1980). A multidimensional approach to individual differences in empathy. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 10, 85
"Defines empathy as the “reactions of one individual to the observed experiences of another (Davis, 1983).” 

28-items answered on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from “Does not describe me well” to “Describes me very well”. 

The measure has 4 subscales, each made up of 7 different items. These subscales are (taken directly from Davis, 1983): 
  • Perspective Taking – the tendency to spontaneously adopt the psychological point of view of others
  •  Fantasy – taps respondents' tendencies to transpose themselves imaginatively into the feelings and actions of fictitious characters in books, movies, and plays 
  • Empathic Concern – assesses "other-oriented" feelings of sympathy and concern for unfortunate others 
  • Personal Distress – measures "self-oriented" feelings of personal anxiety and unease in tense interpersonal settings "
 

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