The Empathy Quotient (EQ) – Free Test & Scoring

Empathy Quotient (EQ) Test

The Empathy Quotient (EQ) is a psychological self-assessment tool designed to measure an individual’s ability to empathize with others. Developed by Simon Baron-Cohen and colleagues at the University of Cambridge, the EQ aims to quantify empathy in a way that can be useful for both clinical and research purposes.


Interpretation of Your Score:

  • High Score (Above 60): You have a high level of empathy. You are likely very sensitive to the emotions of others and possess a strong capacity for understanding and sharing their feelings. This ability can enhance your interpersonal relationships and contribute positively to your social interactions.
  • Average Score (30-59): You have an average level of empathy. You possess an adequate ability to empathize with others, similar to most people. This balance allows you to relate well to others while maintaining your own emotional boundaries.
  • Low Score (Below 30): You have a lower level of empathy. You may find it challenging to understand and relate to others’ emotions. This could affect your social interactions and relationships. Exploring strategies for enhancing your empathic skills may be beneficial.

Recommended Next Steps:

  • Self-Reflection: Consider how your level of empathy affects your personal and professional relationships. Reflect on situations where you felt particularly empathic or struggled to empathize with others.
  • Personal Development: If you wish to improve your empathy, consider engaging in activities that promote social and emotional learning, such as mindfulness practices, reading literature on empathy, or participating in workshops.
  • Professional Guidance: If your score is low and you feel it impacts your daily life, seeking advice from a psychologist or counselor can be beneficial. They can provide strategies and interventions to help you develop greater empathy.
  • Further Assessment: If you are using this test for clinical purposes, please discuss your results with a qualified healthcare professional to fully understand the implications and integrate these findings into a comprehensive assessment of your social and emotional functioning.


The EQ is a self-report measure and should not be used as the sole basis for diagnosing any condition. While it offers valuable insights into your empathy levels, it should be interpreted by a qualified professional within the context of a comprehensive assessment. Consider seeking professional advice if you have concerns about your empathy or social functioning.


Who the Test is Designed For

The EQ is primarily designed for:

  1. Clinical Populations: It is used to assess individuals with autism spectrum conditions (ASC), Asperger syndrome, and other related conditions where empathy deficits are a characteristic feature.
  2. General Population: It can be administered to anyone to gauge their empathic tendencies, providing insights into their social and emotional functioning.
  3. Research Purposes: Researchers use the EQ to study empathy in various populations and to understand the relationship between empathy and other psychological constructs.

Versions & Translations

  • Original Version: The original EQ consists of 60 items, including 40 empathy-related statements and 20 filler statements.
  • Short Form: A shorter 28-item version has been developed for quicker assessment.
  • Translations: The EQ has been translated into multiple languages, including Spanish, French, German, Japanese, and Chinese, among others, to facilitate cross-cultural research and clinical use.

Taking the Test

The EQ is a self-report questionnaire where individuals rate their agreement with each statement on a 4-point Likert scale:

  • Strongly Agree
  • Slightly Agree
  • Slightly Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree


  • Empathy Items: Each empathy-related item is scored from 0 to 2 points, depending on the response. The total empathy score ranges from 0 to 80.
  • Filler Items: These are not scored and are included to mask the purpose of the test.


The scores on the EQ can be interpreted as follows:

  • High Score (Above 60): Indicates a high level of empathy. Individuals with high scores are typically very sensitive to others’ emotions and have a strong capacity for understanding and sharing feelings.
  • Average Score (30-59): Indicates a typical level of empathy. Most people fall within this range, demonstrating an adequate ability to empathize with others.
  • Low Score (Below 30): Indicates a lower level of empathy. Individuals with low scores may have difficulty understanding and relating to other’s emotions, which is often seen in clinical populations such as those with autism spectrum conditions.


  • Construct Validity: The EQ has demonstrated good construct validity, meaning it effectively measures the concept of empathy.
  • Reliability: It shows high internal consistency and test-retest reliability.
  • Clinical Validity: The EQ effectively differentiates between individuals with and without autism spectrum conditions.

Filler Statements

Filler statements are included in the EQ to prevent respondents from guessing the purpose of the test and to reduce response bias. These statements are neutral and not related to empathy.



  • 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.
  • 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

Additional Notes

  • Usage in Education: Educators may use the EQ better to understand their students’ social and emotional needs and to tailor interventions that promote empathy and social skills.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: While the EQ has been translated into multiple languages, cultural differences in expressing and understanding empathy should be considered when interpreting scores across diverse populations.
  • Further Research: Ongoing research continues to explore the biological and environmental factors that influence empathy, utilizing tools like the EQ to advance our understanding.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *