As humans, we all like to think we’re empathetic.
But are we? Really?
Psychologists at the University of Cambridge’s Autism Research Centre – Simon Baron Cohen and Sally Wheelwright – created a test called The Empathy Quotient to determine exactly that.
The 60-item test measures empathy in adults, and gives participants a score out of 80 upon completion. Scores below 30 may indicate autistic tendencies.
Initially mental health professionals used the test to measure the social impairment in disorders like Autism. But the experts decided since levels of empathy are different in everyone, it’s also a perfect way to casually measure temperamental empathy for the whole population.
I first found out about The Empathy Quotient from the women in Mamamia’s Melbourne office, who were comparing their scores one lunch-break. One got 71, another 65… another bang-on 40.
Of course, like I presume many women would, I wanted to know my score. But I was concerned. I mean, I like to consider myself to be somewhat empathetic, but this test was actually going to decide if I was or wasn’t.
Well… it turns out I’m not really that empathetic.
I scored 38 out of a possible 80. With a less-than-half result, you can imagine I was NOT empathetic towards this issue.