Empathy Quiz

Empathy is the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. Research suggests that empathic people tend to be more generous and concerned with others’ welfare, and they also tend to have happier relationships and greater personal well-being. Empathy can also improve leadership ability and facilitate effective communication.

Empathy Quiz But research also suggests that people differ in the extent to which they experience empathy. So how empathic are you?

The following quiz will help you find out. It draws from three scientifically validated scales that researchers have created to measure empathy: the Toronto Empathy Questionnaire, developed by Nathan Spreng and his colleagues; the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, developed by Mark Davis; and the Emotion Specific Empathy Questionnaire, developed by Sally Olderbak and her colleagues.

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.

When you're done, you'll receive your empathy score, along with feedback interpreting this score and tips for strengthening your empathy skills. We'll report next month on what all the scores suggest about the Greater Good community.

1. I easily feel sad when the people around me feel sad.

I easily feel sad when the people around me feel sad.

2. Before criticizing somebody, I try to imagine how I would feel if I were in his/her place.

Before criticizing somebody, I try to imagine how I would feel if I were in his/her place.

3. It is difficult for me to understand what makes my friends happy.

It is difficult for me to understand what makes my friends happy.

4. It upsets me to see someone being treated disrespectfully.

It upsets me to see someone being treated disrespectfully.

5. When someone else is feeling excited, I tend to get excited too.

When someone else is feeling excited, I tend to get excited too.

6. I have tender, concerned feelings for people less fortunate than me.

I have tender, concerned feelings for people less fortunate than me.

7. I sometimes find it difficult to see things from the other person’s point of view.

I sometimes find it difficult to see things from the other person’s point of view.

8. I find that I am “in tune” with other people’s moods.

I find that I am “in tune” with other people’s moods.

9. If I’m sure I’m right about something, I don’t waste much time listening to other people’s arguments.

If I’m sure I’m right about something, I don’t waste much time listening to other people’s arguments.

10. If someone tells me about an event that made him/her happy, I can easily understand why that event made him/her happy.

If someone tells me about an event that made him/her happy, I can easily understand why that event made him/her happy.

11. I try to look at everybody’s side of a disagreement before I make a decision.

I try to look at everybody’s side of a disagreement before I make a decision.

12. I become irritated when someone cries.

I become irritated when someone cries.

13. I can easily think about events that will make my friends happy.

I can easily think about events that will make my friends happy.

14. I sometimes try to understand my friends better by imagining how things look from their perspective.

I sometimes try to understand my friends better by imagining how things look from their perspective.

15. I get a strong urge to help when I see someone who is upset.

I get a strong urge to help when I see someone who is upset.

16. I believe that there are two sides to every question and try to look at them both.

I believe that there are two sides to every question and try to look at them both.

17. When I see that my friend is sad about something, I easily feel sad as well.

When I see that my friend is sad about something, I easily feel sad as well.

18. I have a hard time predicting what situations will make other people happy.

I have a hard time predicting what situations will make other people happy.

19. When I’m upset at someone, I usually try to put myself in his/her shoes for a while.

When I’m upset at someone, I usually try to put myself in his/her shoes for a while.

20. When I see someone being taken advantage of, I feel protective towards him/her.

When I see someone being taken advantage of, I feel protective towards him/her.

21. I remain unaffected when someone close to me is happy.

I remain unaffected when someone close to me is happy.

22. I enjoy making other people feel better.

I enjoy making other people feel better.

23. What is your gender?

What is your gender?

24. What is your age?

What is your age?

25. Please indicate your birth order in relation to your siblings (if any).

Please indicate your birth order in relation to your siblings (if any).

26. Please select your ethnic background (if you identify with more than one ethnicity, select the one you identify with the most, or select multiethnic).

Please select your ethnic background (if you identify with more than one ethnicity, select the one you identify with the most, or select multiethnic).

27. How would you describe your political views?

How would you describe your political views?

28. Please provide your best estimate of your annual household income (before taxes).

Please provide your best estimate of your annual income (before taxes).

Adapted from: Spreng, R. N., McKinnon, M. C., Mar, R. A., & Levine, B. (2009). “The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire.” Journal of Personality Assessment, 91(1), 62-71.

Davis, M. H. (1980). “A multidimensional approach to individual differences in empathy.” JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 10, 85.

Olderbak, S., Sassenrath, C., Keller, J., & Wilhelm, O. (2014). “An emotion-differentiated perspective on empathy with the emotion specific empathy questionnaire.” Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1-14.

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