Do you notice joy in others? Can you share in their happiness, even when you’re having a hard time? When a friend is successful, do you feel uplifted or find inspiration in their accomplishments, rather than feeling resentment or envy?
If so, you’re experiencing sympathetic joy, which scientists sometimes also call appreciative joy, empathic joy, or (more broadly) positive empathy. In Buddhist psychology, sympathetic joy is one of the four core virtues or “brahmavihāras” (along with equanimity, loving-kindness, and compassion), and research has found that might come with substantial benefits. Witnessing another’s joy can activate your own brain’s reward pathways, which means their happiness is rubbing off on you. Sharing joy might strengthen your sense of connection with other people and your willingness to help them out.
This quiz aims to measure your tendency to experience sympathetic joy. It’s based on the Appreciative Joy Scale developed in 2016 by a team of psychologists at universities in China, Hong Kong, and Australia.
Please answer the 13 questions below honestly; there are no right or wrong answers. The last seven questions are about you, and will be used to explore how sympathetic joy relates to factors like age and gender.
When you're done, you'll get your score, learn more about the benefits of sympathetic joy, and find resources to strengthen your ability to share in other people’s happiness.
Any responses submitted here will never be shared with any organization outside the Greater Good Science Center under any circumstances, ever. All responses are anonymized and only used in aggregate for evaluation purposes.
Take The Quiz
Adapted from the Appreciative Joy Scale.