Mind & Body

The Empathy Quotient Is a Quiz That Can Tell You How Empathetic You Are

We all like to think we're pretty understanding, empathetic individuals. But how would you feel putting that claim to the test? The Empathy Quotient is a questionnaire you can take right now that can perhaps reveal your empathy — or lack thereof.

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.

Do Rollercoasters Make You Nervous?

The questionnaire presents 60 statements and asks you to rank each statement: strongly agree, slightly agree, slightly disagree, or strongly disagree. Included in the items are lines like: "I am at my best first thing in the morning," "I don't consciously work out the rules of social situations," "I would be too nervous to go on a big rollercoaster," " I can't relax until I have done everything I had planned to do that day," and "I like to do things on the spur of the moment."

After you rank all the items, the questionnaire scores your answers out of a possible 80 points. According to the test, scores of 30 or less indicate a lack of empathy common in people with Autism or Asperger's syndrome. The higher the score, the greater your empathy. Take the test online right here, and hit "score my answer" at the bottom to check out your results.

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For a fascinating read on the science and psychology of empathy, check out "Mirroring People: The Science of Empathy and How We Connect with Others" by Marco Iacoboni. We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.

Written by Joanie Faletto January 16, 2018

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