Friday, October 22, 2010

Empathy quotient test

Vox Day linked to an empathy quotient test that gives a score on how high or low you rate on the trait of empathy. He scored a 23 which is fairly low. Me, I scored a 47, average for a woman. I suppose mine should be higher, given that I am a psychologist. Perhaps this explains why I always liked doing forensic evaluations--they don't focus on empathy, but rather objectivity (at least, they are supposed to).

You can take the test here
and see how you score.


Blogger JBL said...

hmmm... 43, below average for a woman, and a lot lower than I would have predicted for myself.

I thought I was pretty empathetic.

Guess not.

9:47 AM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger kenlowder said...

Stupid test. OK I scored 22


9:55 AM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger kenlowder said...

And I don't have a problem with that ok.

9:56 AM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger Kim said...

25. Like that should come as a surprise.

As for the scale: if the average man's score (according to the testers) is higher than 30, then they must be attracting male respondents from Manhattan and Berkeley.

Hey, at least the test didn't prove that I'm a libertarian.

10:35 AM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger DADvocate said...

45 - I wonder about the validity of the test. How many of those attributes are a true measure of empathy? The attributes concerning my ability to perceive others' feelings, moods, etc wouldn't necessarily indicate empathy. I might have become expert at reading others in order to better manipulate them and take advantage of them.

10:46 AM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger RICHSISTAH said...

I scored 62. I didn't think it was going to be that high.

11:13 AM, October 22, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12. Like I care.

12:55 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said... you man....

12:56 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...


1:10 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger Unknown said...


That said, it's a bogus test.

"I can tune in to how someone else feels rapidly and intuitively."

Self evaluation is rarely accurate.

Which means (to me) those scoring at the extremes are deluded.

By the way, if that offends them, I further give a crap. See?

1:48 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger Todd said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:51 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger Sinner said...

LOL 16. (Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism score about 20)

1:52 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger Todd said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:57 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger Todd said...

An 11, hum...

and I really don't care what anyone thinks about that :-)

On a "Jung - Myers-Briggs" type of personality test I scored as INTJ. I wonder if there is any correlation.

1:59 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger Southern Man said...

Low twenties... like Todd I'm INTJ, and usually my I and J scores are up aginst the wall. I know I come up short in the empathy department but didn't think I was down there with the Asperger / autistic group.

2:52 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger BarryD said...

I found some of my answers to seem to contradict.

I wonder if age has anything to do with that? I am a sucker for dogs, and dogs know it. I cry at movies sometimes -- I can be emotionally hooked and manipulated.

But all too often I find myself, in real situations, with adult humans as opposed to puppies, thinking, "Aw suck it up! With that attitude, no wonder you're having a hard time."

It's not that I can't empathize with someone who's feeling down. Far from it. It's that I've BTDT and I know the way out -- and it's usually not the bleeding-heart way.

And I really don't have time for social situations that drain me, either. Come to me with a REAL problem, and you'll find a real friend with some history of my own that gives me the ability to truly know how you might feel, and to care.

But everyday crap? Sorry, can't be bothered with a lot of it. Once you've been through certain things, you can't help seeing certain "problems" people think they are having as immature and trivial.

So I found some of my answers to correlate more with life's lessons than with my actual ability to empathize. I might have been more "accurate" 20 years ago, when I hadn't been through much.

2:55 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger vivictius said...


3:22 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

There is a difference between empathy and sympathy. Sympathy means you feel sorry for someone and empathy means that you are able to see imagine yourself in someone elses shoes. I may not feel sorry for someone but I might be able to understand how they could have found themselves in specific situations or hold various opinions. As I get older I become more empathetic though less sympathetic if that makes any sense.

3:32 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger vivictius said...

The other ones were somewhat interesting, not sure the point in the Mind in the Eye test though (got a 26 on that).

Have a 34 on the Autism Spectrum Quotient and a 46 on the Systematizing Quotient.

I was diagnosed as Dyslexic when I was a kid (back in the late 70s) but there wasn't much attention paid to things like Autism or Aspergers up here then and thankfully no one had even heard of ADHD.

3:53 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger Armed Texan said...

29 myself. The test seems to confuse the ability to understand other people's state of mind and condoning it. I understand my four year old's state of mind when she throws a temper tantrum, but I am not about to comfort her and teach her that it is OK to give in to uncontrolled emotion. The test asked two questions about offending people. Neither of which go to whether I can tell if someone is offended, but whether I agreed with them. I rarely agree with someone getting offended as I see taking offense and broadcasting it as a tool of manipulation.

4:42 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

the test is designed to see if you are able to understand how others are responding internally.

nlp, which i`m trained in, teaches methods to be able to do this reasonably accurately.

part of the reason why i scored highly is because of that training, and partly because i`m psychic....or psychotic....however you spell it.

5:29 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger highlander said...

56 - high for a guy.

Grew up with an uninvolved father and an angry mother. Divining what was going on in my mother's head was a matter of survival.

5:29 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

highlander, in psychological terms that`s refered to as hypervigilant.

me too, except it ws my father you had to watch closely.

makes me good at nlp and tests like that.

5:41 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger DADvocate said...

There is a difference between empathy and sympathy.

Cham - Excellent point. I'm not all that sympathetic a person.

5:51 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger Misanthrope said...


I'm sending this to my sister. She might enjoy it.

6:00 PM, October 22, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

38. In some ways I would have thought I'd get higher, but in other ways I'm not surprised. I just don't give a shit about people's self-inflicted problems, which is what most "problems" people have are. Well, I guess I've just proven why I got a bit of a low score, lol. I don't want to listen to people's stupid complaining about stupid shit. :P

The test seems to confuse the ability to understand other people's state of mind and condoning it.


7:53 PM, October 22, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and I'm an INFJ, so you'd think I'd score a bit higher than that!

8:35 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger Bullitt315 said...

I got a 10.... I can't be that socially retarded but I expected under a 30

9:14 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger RuyDiaz said...

50--pretty high for a guy, but I actually expected higher.

As others have said, the test seems to weight together the ability to understand others, put yourself in their shoes, and so on, with the desire to reassure them. In some instances, reassuring is important, but in others it is best to get them understand how their behavior is hurting them, and how to change for their own good.

Similarly, the questions about whether you use logic to solve your problems are suspect. Feeling the pain of a loved one is an extra motivation to think logically, not an excuse to shut down critical thinking.

9:45 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger Master Doh-San said...


Silly test anyway.

9:49 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

Lol, so if I got a 7 does that mean that I'm sub-autistic?

10:10 PM, October 22, 2010  
Blogger David Foster said...

Too reliant on self-evaluation; does not seem to measure how empathetic a person really is but rather how empathetic they *say* they are on various measures.

Has any work been done to validate this test, or is it simply a collection of questions someone thought up?

8:14 AM, October 23, 2010  
Blogger Ern said...

12, but I stayed up late last night studying for it.

8:41 AM, October 23, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

David, the test is interesting in itself. Is one proud and delighted when they feel they can sense how someone else feels or are they proud and delighted that they don't care how anyone else feels? Some of the commenters here are receiving low scores on this self-test. One can make some assumptions about what they perceive is important to them and their segment of society.

8:49 AM, October 23, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

44. I can't believe it. I was trying to be on my best behavior, evidently. I definitely need to improve my "asshole quotient."

Some incredible things have occurred in the middle of my life that may have changed my thought patterns. Sorry, men. I hope I have not shamed us.

9:33 AM, October 23, 2010  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

since i was very young i could always tell what people were thinking even if they were saying something different.

this caused me substantial distress occasionally as a child because adults are expected to be truthful, right?

for example; i was on the second level of a double decker bus with my mum and i was laughing as a man walked along pretending to be spastic. my mum got upset saying that it wasn`t nice to laugh at those less fortunate than yourself.
i couldn`t convince her that the man was pretending until his friend came along and he stopped walking funny.

i knew he wasn`t quite walking disabled enough to be really spastic, and got his joke,

i was four or five at the time.

there are different types of people in the world. alan watts said that there are prickly people and there are gooey people.

i think this is a good test to make a distinction in that regard.

malcolm gladwell called it "thin-slicing". the ability to know without knowing.

11:46 AM, October 23, 2010  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

....and i don`t think this ability is special, i just think that we are trained out of the ability...especially men.

consumer society needs people to go to sleeeeeeeep.

11:48 AM, October 23, 2010  
Blogger Ern said...

Self evaluation is rarely accurate.

Which means (to me) those scoring at the extremes are deluded.

Do you think that people are more likely to evaluate themselves as more empathetic than they are, less so, or just inaccurately with no strong tendency in either direction? I'm not looking to argue with you; I really just want to know what you think.

6:50 PM, October 23, 2010  
Blogger Ern said...

i don`t think this ability is special, i just think that we are trained out of the ability...especially men.

That would make it rather a rare trait. From my reading (and I'm, admittedly, not an expert), between 25% and 50% of the variability in most personality traits is explained by heredity.

6:52 PM, October 23, 2010  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

ern, i think that it is a rare trait, and one that is less evident in men.

i was thinking earlier about asperger`s and how it`s been removed from the dsm and re-absorbed into the blurry fog of autism spectrum disorder on the direction of types who would score quite low on the test in discussion here.

as an aside, jung had some interesting things to say about the anima and animus, the female traits in a man and the male traits in a woman, much of which get`s overshadowed by the bias toward freud in psychoanalysis.

certainly the female traits in a man are de-selected in a paternalistic technological society as useless at the same time that male traits in women are being advocated.

8:29 PM, October 23, 2010  
Blogger bmmg39 said...

A 33. I had thought it would be higher when I finished. Almost all my answers were in the middle two sections.

11:21 PM, October 23, 2010  
Blogger Gospace said...

13. As if I care...

2:29 PM, October 24, 2010  
Blogger Gospace said...

And just for grimns and giggles, I just looked up and took a Jung - Myers-Briggs test. INTJ, like the other low scorers here. High on the T.

2:37 PM, October 24, 2010  
Blogger fboness said...

INTJ 53. I sense (in my decidedly empathic way) that an unusually high percentage of INTJ post here.

1:52 AM, October 25, 2010  
Blogger pockosmum said...

59.....ISFJ here.

5:15 AM, October 25, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

Did they have these empathy test 50 to 100 years ago? If so I would like to see how the average score might mimic the marriage rate.

7:43 AM, October 25, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

INFP, 59. I posted this several days ago but it was lost and so I have been quietly grieving alone.


12:58 PM, October 25, 2010  
Blogger Master Doh-San said...

Also an INTJ here.

3:22 PM, October 25, 2010  
Blogger tweell said...

15, which fits as I am a high-functioning autistic, according to two psychiatrists.

12:34 PM, October 26, 2010  
Blogger vivictius said...

Odd to see so many INTJs here since it is one of the most rare MBTI assessments (only INFJ is less common). I can see why Ns might be more interested in psychology though.

Not sure how accurate the Myers-Briggs actually is, it does seem to be rather consistent though. I've taken it many times over the last 20 years or so and have always been listed as ISTJ.

1:04 PM, October 26, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to Jung / Keirsey tests, I am: INTJ, 100% NT, I've even done the test under my real name and not my usual screen name / avetar, even took screenshots as evidence, because I'm super tired of MBTI stigma and their trivialization of human behavior, compare it with the Zodiac/star signs, evidence is barely 70% which is unacceptable and I can not believe people take it seriously

11:10 PM, September 29, 2011  
Blogger hephaestus said...

I came away from the test with a score of 31. I exhibit no signs of Aspergers as I can easily pick up on what others are thinking and feeling... it's just to a large extent according to the test questions I don't care. So I'm wondering what kind of person does this test make me?

6:27 PM, January 07, 2013  

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