Cross-cultural validation of the empathy quotient in a French-speaking sample.

Department of Psychiatry for Adolescents and Young Adults, Institut Mutualiste Montsouris, University Rene Descartes, Paris, France.
Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie (Impact Factor: 2.48). 08/2008; 53(7):469-77.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Empathy Quotient (EQ) is a self-report that was developed to measure the cognitive and affective aspects of empathy. We further evaluated its validity in 2 studies.
The psychometric qualities of the French version of the EQ, and its correspondence with 2 other measures of empathy (Interpersonal Reactivity Index and the Empathy Scale of the Impulsiveness-Venturesomeness-Empathy Questionnaire), and with dimensions of the emotional state (depression and anxiety), were evaluated in a sample of 410 students (201 men and 209 women). Second, the clinical validity of the EQ was investigated in participants expected to have dysfunctional empathy. For this purpose, EQ scores of 16 people with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) were collected.
The EQ showed satisfying internal, convergent, test-retest and discriminant validity. The confirmatory factorial analyses suggested a 3-factor structure offered a good fit to the data. The women's superiority in empathy was replicated. As expected, the ASD EQ scores were very low.
This study provides further evidence that the EQ is reliable in this population and should be recommended to estimate empathy problems, notably in individuals with troubled interpersonal interaction patterns.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Emotion effects in reading have typically been investigated by manipulating words' emotional valence and arousal in lexical decision. The standard finding is that valence and arousal can have both facilitatory and inhibitory effects, which is hard to reconcile with current theories of emotion processing in reading. Here, we contrasted these theories with the contextual-learning hypothesis, according to which, sensitivity to a specific emotion - disgust in the present study - rather than valence or arousal affects lexical decision performance. Participants were divided into two groups (high versus low disgust sensitivity). Results showed that participants with high disgust sensitivity showed an inhibitory effect, whereas participants with low-disgust sensitivity showed a facilitatory effect. Individual differences in lexical decision performance were predicted by disgust sensitivity but not valence, arousal, or general emotion sensitivity. These findings highlight the need to focus on individual differences both in studies and theories of emotion processing in reading.
    Cognition 08/2012; 125(2):333-8. · 3.63 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study assessed the dimensionality of the Empathy Quotient (EQ) using two statistical approaches: Rasch and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA). Participants included N=658 with an autism spectrum condition diagnosis (ASC), N=1375 family members of this group, and N=3344 typical controls. Data were applied to the Rasch model (Rating Scale) using WINSTEPS. The Rasch model explained 83% of the variance. Reliability estimates were greater than .90. Analysis of differential item functioning (DIF) demonstrated item invariance between the sexes. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) of the residual factor showed separation into Agree and Disagree response subgroups. CFA suggested that 26-item model with response factors had the best fit statistics (RMSEA.05, CFI .93). A shorter 15-item three-factor model had an omega (ω) of .779, suggesting a hierarchical factor of empathy underlies these sub-factors. The EQ is an appropriate measure of the construct of empathy and can be measured along a single dimension.
    Personality and Individual Differences - PERS INDIV DIFFER. 01/2011; 51(7):829-835.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the present study we examined psychometric properties of the Serbian translation of the Empathy Quotient scale (S-EQ). The translated version of the EQ was applied on a sample of 694 high-school students. A sub-sample consisting of 375 high-school students also completed the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), another widely used empathy measure. The following statistical analyses were applied: internal consistency analysis, explanatory (EFA) and confirmatory (CFA) factor analyses, and factor congruence analysis. Correlation with IRI and gender differences were calculated to demonstrate validity of the instrument. Results show that the Serbian 40-item version of EQ has lower reliability (Cronbach's alpha = .782) than the original. The originally proposed one factor structure of the instrument was not confirmed. The short version with 28 items showed better reliablity (alpha= .807). The three-factor solution (cognitive empathy, emotional reactivity, and social skills) showed good cross-sample stability (Tucker congruence coefficient over .8) but the results of CFA confirmed the solution proposed in the reviewed literature only partially. The mean scores are similar to those obtained in the other studies, and, as expected, women have significantly higher scores than men. Correlations with all subscales of IRI are statistically significant for the first two subscales of EQ, but not for the "social skills." We concluded that the Serbian version of the "Empathy Quotient" is a useful research tool which can contribute to cross-cultural studies of empathy, although its psychometric characteristics are not as good as those obtained in the original study. We also suggest that a 28-item should be used preferably to the original 40-item version.
    Psihologija 01/2012; 45942(3):257-276. · 0.28 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 30, 2014