Measures of Empathy: Self-Report, Behavioral, and Neuroscientific Approaches
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This chapter reviews the major approaches to measure empathy, considers their validity and reliability, and the relative advantages and disadvantages of each approach. Empathy is a complex multifaceted construct that is important for interpersonal relationships and social functioning in normal and pathological populations. This complexity is also reflected in the approaches used to measure empathy. The approaches can be categorized as self-report questionnaires, behavioral measures, and neuroscientific measures. Some measurement approaches focus more on the affective components of empathy, others focus more on the cognitive components, and some take a multidimensional perspective. Measures also vary according to whether they are used in clinical or medical contexts or with younger age groups. While self-report measures are the most commonly used and well-validated, behavioral and neuroscientific measures are becoming increasingly popular in research and practice.
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Personality, Abilities and Assessment