Basic Empathy Scale (BES)

The Basic Empathy Scale (BES) was based specifically on the definition of empathy put forth by Cohen and Strayer (1996) ‘‘as the understanding and sharing in another’s emotional state or context’’. Items within the Basic Empathy Scale were created based on the conceptualization of affective and cognitive empathy. Items for the BES were also based on four of the five ‘basic emotions’ (fear, sadness, anger, happiness). Each scale item asks participants to respond on a Likert scale from 1 representing ‘strongly disagree’ to 5 representing ‘strongly agree’, depending on the degree to which the item described them.

Content

Topics
Ethical Orientation
Skills
Empathy
Subskills

Affective Empathy, Cognitive Empathy

Grades
4th Grade,
5th Grade,
6th Grade,
7th Grade,
8th Grade,
9th Grade,
10th Grade,
11th Grade,
12th Grade,
Post secondary
Languages
English
Respondent
Student

Administration Information

Length
20 items
Price

N/a

Training
Not indicated
Qualifications
Not indicated
Group/Individual
Individual
Administration
Paper

Access and Use

Contact

Corresponding Author: Darrick Jolliffe

Professor, Head of School of Law & Criminology, University of Greenwich 
BSc, MPhil, PhD

Email: d.jolliffe@gre.ac.uk

Open Access
No
Peer-Reviewed Study Citations

Topcu, Çiğdem, and Özgür Erdur-Baker. “Affective and Cognitive Empathy as Mediators of Gender Differences in Cyber and Traditional Bullying.” School Psychology International, vol. 33, no. 5, Oct. 2012, pp. 550–561., doi:10.1177/0143034312446882.

Psychometrics

Scoring
Manual scoring
Psychometric Citations

Chinese Validation Study: Geng, Y., Xia, D. & Qin, B. The Basic Empathy Scale: A Chinese Validation of a Measure of Empathy in Adolescents. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev 43, 499–510 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-011-0278-6

French Validation Study: D’Ambrosio, F., Olivier, M., Didon, D., & Besche, C. (2009). The basic empathy scale: A French validation of a measure of empathy in youth. Personality and Individual Differences, 46(2), 160–165. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2008.09.020