Empathy Quotient – 40-item version

The Empathy Quotient – 40 item version (EQ-40) is a self-report tool to assess empathy in adults (18 years of age and older). The EQ-40 (Baron-Kohen & Wheelwright, 2004) assesses various aspects of empathy and three subscales are included:

  • Cognitive Empathy (understand others’ thoughts, feelings and perspectives)
  • Emotional Empathy (attunement to others’ emotions)
  • Social Skills (interacting effectively with others).


Baron-Cohen, S., & Wheelwright, S. (2004). The Empathy Quotient: An Investigation of Adults with Asperger Syndrome or High Functioning Autism, and Normal Sex Differences. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34(2), 163–175.



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Decety, J., & Ickes, W. (Eds.). (2009). The social neuroscience of empathy. MIT Press.

de Lima, F. F., & Osório, F. de L. (2021). Empathy: Assessment Instruments and Psychometric Quality – A Systematic Literature Review With a Meta-Analysis of the Past Ten Years. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 781346–781346. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.781346

Dinsdale, N., & Crespi, B. J. (2013). The Borderline Empathy Paradox: Evidence And Conceptual Models For Empathic Enhancements In Borderline Personality Disorder. Journal Of Personality Disorders, 27(2), 172–195. https://Doi.Org/10.1521/Pedi_2012_26_071

Groen, Y., Fuermaier, A. B. M., Den Heijer, A. E., Tucha, O., & Althaus, M. (2015). The Empathy and Systemising Quotient: The Psychometric Properties of the Dutch Version and a Review of the Cross-Cultural Stability. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(9), 2848–2864. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-015-2448-z

Lawrence, E. J., Shaw, P., Baker, D., Baron-Cohen, S., & David, A. S. (2004). Measuring empathy: reliability and validity of the Empathy Quotient. Psychological Medicine, 34(5), 911–920. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291703001624

Michaels, T. M., Horan, W. P., Ginger, E. J., Martinovich, Z., Pinkham, A. E., & Smith, M. J. (2014). Cognitive empathy contributes to poor social functioning in schizophrenia: Evidence from a new self-report measure of cognitive and affective empathy. Psychiatry Research, 220(3), 803–810. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2014.08.054

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Pepper, K. L., Demetriou, E. A., Park, S. H., Boulton, K. A., Hickie, I. B., Thomas, E. E., & Guastella, A. J. (2019). Self-reported empathy in adults with autism, early psychosis, and social anxiety disorder. Psychiatry Research, 281, 112604–112604. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2019.112604

Schwenck, C., Mergenthaler, J., Keller, K., Zech, J., Salehi, S., Taurines, R., Romanos, M., Schecklmann, M., Schneider, W., Warnke, A., & Freitag, C. M. (2012). Empathy in children with autism and conduct disorder: group-specific profiles and developmental aspects. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53(6), 651–659. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02499.x

Tone, E. B., & Tully, E. C. (2014). Empathy as a “risky strength”: A multilevel examination of empathy and risk for internalising disorders. Development and Psychopathology, 26(4pt2), 1547–1565. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579414001199

Velotti, P., Garofalo, C., Dimaggio, G., & Fonagy, P. (2019). Mindfulness, Alexithymia, and Empathy Moderate Relations Between Trait Aggression and Antisocial Personality Disorder Traits. Mindfulness, 10(6), 1082–1090. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-1048-3

Wakabayashi, A., Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Goldenfeld, N., Delaney, J., Fine, D., Smith, R., & Weil, L. (2006). Development of short forms of the Empathy Quotient (EQ-Short) and the Systemising Quotient (SQ-Short). Personality and Individual Differences, 41(5), 929–940. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2006.03.017

Wheelwright, S., Baron-Cohen, S., Goldenfeld, N., Delaney, J., Fine, D., Smith, R., Weil, L., & Wakabayashi, A. (2006). Predicting autism spectrum quotient (AQ) from the systemizing quotient-revised (SQ-R) and empathy quotient (EQ): Multiple perspectives on the Psychological and neural bases of social cognition. Brain Research, 1079, 47–56. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2006.01.012