Sunday, 10 July 2011

Empathy quotient

I read an article in today's Sunday Star-Times entitled Despicable me. It had nothing at all to do with the movie of the same name; instead, the article was referring to the author, Adam Dudding, and his apparently low score on the Empathy Quotient (EQ) test. Created by psychology professor Simon Baron-Cohen, the Empathy Quotient is intended to measure how easily you pick up on other people's feelings and how strongly you are affected by other people's feelings. There are sixty questions resulting in a score out of 80.

I thought I'd score somewhere slightly above average. You can take the test here. (Beware questions with double negatives; I had to read a few through several times to select the answer I wanted.) My score was 53, which is just above average and a little above the average score for women. The descriptor for this score is: "You have an above average ability for understanding how other people feel and responding appropriately. You know how to treat people with care and sensitivity." I'd say that's about right for me most of the time.

So how did others score? Infamous broadcaster Paul Henry proudly scored 24/80, which is considered low. This kind of score is also common among people with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism. Children's author Joy Cowley scored 62/80, which is above average. Although synergies between some scores and professions might seem obvious, this is not always the case. Former finance minister Ruth Richardson, with a score of 55/80 (above average) is an example of someone whose personal empathy differs to that requierd by her professional persona.

What's your EQ? Is it an accurate reflection of your personal empathy?


LatteJunkie said...

I got 62. :)

The Many Colours of Happiness said...

This looks really interesting, I'll have to try this when I get home!

Anonymous said...

I got a 9. Twice! I'm female and a humanities graduate with a special interest in ethics. Also I have ADHD which probably skews the results (I hope).

Anonymous said...

23. Then I went back and changed a few answers I wasn't sure of and got 30. Low, especially for a woman, but probably about right; I'm not much of a people person.