Empathy Components Questionnaire (ECQ)

The Empathy Components Questionnaire (ECQ) is a 28-item measure of cognitive and affective empathy, with five components: cognitive ability, cognitive drive, affective ability, affective drive, and a fifth factor assessing affective reactivity.


Geographies Tested: United Kingdom

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


1.When someone seems upset, I am usually uninterested and unaffected by their emotions
2.When someone is crying, I tend to become very upset myself
3.I am not always interested in sharing others’ happiness
4.Others’ emotions do not motivate my mood
5.I tend to panic when I see others who are panicked
6.I avoid getting emotionally involved with a friend’s problems
7.I feel pity for people I see being bullied
8.I like to know what happens to others
9.I enjoy debates because I like to take different perspectives
10.I like trying to understand what might be going through my friends’ minds
11.I strive to see how it would feel to be in someone else’s situation before criticizing them
12.I take an interest in looking at both sides to every argument
13.I am uninterested in putting myself in another’s shoes if I am upset with them
14.I am not very good at helping others deal with their feelings
15.My friends often tell me intimate things about themselves as I am very helpful
16.I don’t intuitively tune into how others feel
17.I am poor at sharing emotions with others
18.I am not interested in protecting others, even if I know they are being lied to
19.When I do things, I like to take others’ feelings into account
20.I avoid thinking how my friends will respond before I do something
21.I have a desire to help other people
22.I’m not very good at predicting what other people will do
23.During a conversation, I’m not very good at figuring out what others might want to talk about
24.I am usually successful in judging if someone says one thing but means another
25.I am not very good at ‘putting myself in others’ shoes’
26.I am good at sensing whether or not I am interrupting a conversation
27.I do well at noticing when one of my friends is uncomfortable
28.I am not very good at noticing if someone is hiding their emotions

Response Options:
A four-point response scale (1 = Strongly Disagree to 4 = Strongly Agree)

Scoring Procedures

Not Available

Original Citation

Batchelder, L., Brosnan, M., & Ashwin, C. (2017). The development and validation of the empathy components questionnaire (ECQ). PloS one, 12(1), e0169185.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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