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The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire provides a good measure of people’s ability to emphasize. Take the test and see where you can improve.
(Source: Spreng, R. N., McKinnon, M. C., Mar, R. A., & Levine, B. (2009). The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire: Scale development and initial validation of a factor-analytic solution to multiple empathy measures. Journal of personality assessment, 91(1), 62-71.)
Below is a list of statements. Please read each statement carefully and use the following scale to rate how frequently you feel or act in the manner described. There are no right or wrong answers or trick questions. Please answer each question as honestly as you can.
Never = 0; Rarely = 1; Sometimes = 2; Often = 3; Always = 4
1) When someone else is feeling excited, I tend to get excited too
2) Other people’s misfortunes do not disturb me a great deal
3) It upsets me to see someone being treated disrespectfully
4) I remain unaffected when someone close to me is happy
5) I enjoy making other people feel better
6) I have tender, concerned feelings for people less fortunate than me
7) When a friend starts to talk about his\her problems, I try to steer the conversation towards something else
8) I can tell when others are sad even when they do not say anything
9) I find that I am “in tune” with other people’s moods
10) I do not feel sympathy for people who cause their own serious illnesses
11) I become irritated when someone cries
12) I am not really interested in how other people feel
13) I get a strong urge to help when I see someone who is upset
14) When I see someone being treated unfairly, I do not feel very much pity for them
15) I find it silly for people to cry out of happiness
16) When I see someone being taken advantage of, I feel kind of protective towards him/her
Total score is obtained by reversing the scores on the eight negatively worded items, i.e., 0=4, 1=2, 2=3, 3=4, 4=0, and then summing across all items. Items 2, 4, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, and 15 are negatively worded items.
The highest possible score is 64 points. The higher the total score, the higher your ability to emphasize. Higher score puts you in a beneficial position to provide more authentic support to your partner and family. Read each item again and think about how you can improve your ability to emphasize from now on.