Empathy Quotient

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Empathy Quotient, often abbreviated as EQ is a psychological self-assessment questionnaire measuring empathy levels in an individual. Its predominate clinical use is as a screening tool for Autism Spectrum Disorders in adults.[1] The questionnaire was developed by the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge, by Simon Baron-Cohen and Sally Wheelwright.[1]


The EQ contains 60 items of which 40 are clinically relevant and 20 are for distraction only. A 40-item version of the test containing only the relevant questions is also available, but may be less reliable in certain applications. Each item is a first person statement which the administree must rate as either Strongly Agree, Slightly Agree, Slightly Disagree, or Strongly Disagree. All questions must be answered.


The instrument is scored on a scale of 0 (being the least empathetic possible) to 80 (being the most empathetic possible). A useful cut-off of 30 was established when screening for Autism Spectrum Disorders.[1]

As EQ is not a test like an intelligence assessment, it makes no sense to report world-records. Only psychometric properties might be useful to interpret data, such as number of dimensions : some authors agrees with Lawrence et al. proposal of the relevance of three factors : cognitive empathy, emotional reactivity, social skills, that have some consensual validity.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Baron-Cohen, S; Wheelwright, S (2004). "The Empathy Quotient: An Investigation Of Adults With Asperger Syndrome Or High Functioning Autism, And Normal Sex Differences". J Autism Dev Disord 34 (2): 163–175. doi:10.1023/b:jadd.0000022607.19833.00.