Empathy Skills

Ability to see, hear and feel what others experience.


Definitions of ‘empathy’ usually contain a cognitive component of understanding the feelings of another by imagining his/her perspective and situation.

How does Empathy Life Skills help?

Empathy has been described as a prosocial skill that forms the foundations of socially cohesive societies (de Waal and others, 2008).

Openness to Diversity

Higher levels of empathy of students aged 12–16 have been found to lead to greater levels of openness to diversity in emerging adulthood (Gerson and Neilson 2014).

Significant Correlation with Life Skills

Analysis of German and Swiss longitudinal data across 35 years demonstrated a significant correlation between empathetic skills measured at ages 12–16 with adult empathy, communication skills, social integration, and relationship satisfaction 35 years later (Steiger, 2014).

Increases Altruistic Behaviour

Research suggests that having empathy increases the chance of altruistic and adult helping behaviour (Eisenberg and others, 1999 ) and more cooperative and socially competent behaviour (Eisenberg and Miller, 1987).

Reduced Level of Violence

Proficiency in empathetic skills is found to reduce levels of violence. Rigorous research methods consistently have shown low levels of empathy to be associated with higher chances of violent behaviour (see Gates and others, 2016).

How to Assess my Skills for Empathy?

To check your proficiency in Empathy Skills, take our FREE test

What does the Empathy Skills Test Assess?

1. Adolescent Measure of Empathy and Sympathy (AMES)

This instrument was designed to measure and differentiate empathy and sympathy in adolescents and balance its emphasis on affective and cognitive empathy. The Adolescent Measure of Empathy and Sympathy (AMES), (1) balances the emphasis on affective empathy and cognitive empathy, (2) uses unambiguous wording and (3) distinguishes between empathy and sympathy. The three subscores are affective empathy, cognitive empathy, and sympathy.


Vossen, H.G.M., Piotrowski, J.T., Valkenburg, P.M. (2015) Development of the Adolescent Measure of Empathy and Sympathy (AMES). Personality and Individual Differences, 4, 66-71. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2014.09.040


We sincerely thank Prof.Dr. Patti M. Valkenburg, University Distinguished Professor, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam for granting permission to use Adolescent Measure of Empathy and Sympathy Scale.

2. The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire

The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire (TEQ) is a self-report questionnaire measuring a person’s emotional ability to understand and respond to others.


Spreng RN, McKinnon MC, Mar RA, Levine B. The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire: Scale development and initial validation of a factor-analytic solution to multiple empathy measures. J. Pers. Assmt. 2009.;91(1):62-71.


We sincerely thank R. Nathan Spreng, PhD, Associate Professor, Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, Montreal Neurological Institute, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Canada

Is it possible to learn Empathy Skills?

Empathy is understood by educational scholars to be an ability that can be learned through educational programmes in schools (Wang and others, 2003). Various educational programmes developed to enhance empathy focus on (a) training interpersonal perception and empathetic responses, (b) focusing on understanding one’s own feelings and then (c) training on the similarities and differences between one’s own feelings and another (Castillo and others, 2013; Cotton, 1996).