Effective Empathy Assessment Index (EAI)

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Empathy
Definitions of empathy are not always consistent across studies and disciplines. As a result of this variance, conceptualizations and measurement techniques for empathy vary, so much so that it difficult to reach a significant conclusion about how researchers define and measure empathy (Pedersen, 2009; Preston & de Waal, 2002). Literature indicates that empathy can be identified within two different components (1) affective sharing or emotional empathy (Batson, 1991) and (2) perspective taking or cognitive empathy (Hoffman, 2000). Walter (2012), states that affective empathy requires an awareness of others and often occurs on an unconscious level. This type of empathy can be referred to as a mirroring response. Perspective taking
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The importance of context to the application of empathy is very important. For example, one may react to a picture of someone crying with feelings of sadness, however, if it is later revealed that the person is joyfully moved to tears, then one’s feelings may change. Hence, empathy is important to understanding the obstacles in the lives of others, though context may drastically shape how one perceives and reacts to those…show more content…
These items are measured on a six-point Likert scale ranging from never (1) to always (6) and appear in the following manner “I believe it is necessary to participate in community service” (Segal et al., 2012).
The EAI is comprised of four components which are based upon a social cognitive neuroscience conceptualization of empathy: 1) affective response, 2) self-other awareness, 3) perspective-taking, and emotion regulation (Decety & Moriguchi, 2007). Lietz et al. (2011), in a study on the EAI, reported that “the 20-item five factor self-report EAI is capable of generating reliable and sufficiently valid scores” (p. 119). EAI component scores can range anywhere from 5 to 30. EAI total scores can range anywhere from 20 to 120, with higher scores indicating a greater level of empathy. The EAI is a self-reporting measure. Gerdes, et al. (2012) reports Pearson r results across studies that have ranged from .74 to .85, while Cronbach scores for each of the four components ranged from .64 to

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