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: 2.41). 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.

Download full-text


Available from: Gayannée Kedia, Jul 05, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Data from developmental psychology suggests a link between the growth of socio-emotional competences and the infant's sensitivity to the salience of social stimuli. The aim of the present study was to find evidence for this relationship in healthy adults. Thirty-five participants were recruited based on their score above the 85th or below the 15th percentile of the empathy quotient questionnaire (EQ, Baron-Cohen and Wheelwright, 2004). Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to compare neural responses to cues of social and non-social (monetary) reward. When compared to the high-EQ group, the low-EQ group showed reduced activity of the brain s reward system, specifically the right nucleus accumbens, in response to cues predictive of social reward (videos showing gestures of approval)—but increased activation in this area for monetary incentives. Our data provide evidence for a link between self-reported deficits in social proficiency and reduced sensitivity to the motivational salience of positive social stimuli.
    Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 03/2013; DOI:10.1093/scan/nst033 · 5.88 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Social cognition is described as the processes underlying interpersonal relationships. The crucial role of these processes in rehabilitation, especially in adult psychiatry, has raised needs of clinical assessment in this particular cognitive domain. However, social cognition is a multidimensional construct which has been studied in numerous recent international researches. This review is aimed at inventorying available tools in French language for social cognition assessment in adults, and at drawing recommendation for practice in clinical neuropsychology. Results show that despite the lack of available tools, the assessment of social cognition is feasible in several dimensions, such as facial emotion recognition, theory of mind, alexithymia and emotional awareness. Each of the identified tools has specific benefits and limits that delimitate their potential usefulness. Globally, the incomplete validation of tools, as well as their heterogeneity and their multidetermination should lead to some caution when assessing performances and interpreting results. However, when crossing assessments and controlling for basic neurocognitive difficulties, the identified tools can provide detailed information about each patient's social cognition profile. Studies remain necessary to further validate existing tools and to allow more reliable and diversified assessment.
    L &E cute volution Psychiatrique 01/2013; 78(1):53–70. DOI:10.1016/j.evopsy.2013.01.002 · 0.13 Impact Factor
  • Source