Five-Point Scale to Measure Empathy

Several scales have been developed to measure empathy. The Empathy Quotient test, for example, can measure how easily one picks up on the feelings of others and how much one is affected by those feelings. This test shows that women typically have greater empathy than men, and that those with Asperger’s or high-functioning autism typically demonstrate a lower capacity for empathy.

Another test, Carkhuff’s five-point scale, can be applied to all human relations, but it is effective at measuring the use of empathy by therapists in session. It is based on observable behavior and attempts to eliminate the ambiguity of previous scales.

Level 1 (nonempathic behavior): The therapist responds in a way that ignores the message of the person in treatment.

Level 2 (nonempathic behavior): …