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

Domains
Social Awareness
Subdomain

Empathy, 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,
Spanish,
Chinese,
Other
Other Language/s
Italian, French, German, Portuguese
Respondent
Student

Administration Information

Length
40 items
Qualifications

Not indicated

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
Use in Research

Stavrinides, P., Georgiou, S., & Theofanous, V. (2010). Bullying and empathy: a short‐term longitudinal investigation. Educational Psychology30(7), 793-802. https://doi.org/10.1080/01443410.2010.506004

Topcu, Ç., & Erdur-Baker, Ö. (2012). Affective and cognitive empathy as mediators of gender differences in cyber and traditional bullying. School Psychology International33(5), 550-561. https://doi.org/10.1177/0143034312446882

Triffaux, J. M., Tisseron, S., & Nasello, J. A. (2019). Decline of empathy among medical students: Dehumanization or useful coping process?. L'Encéphale45(1), 3-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.encep.2018.05.003 

Psychometrics

Scoring
Manual scoring
Referencing
Norm-referenced
Psychometric References

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 Differences46(2), 160-165. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2008.09.020

Geng, Y., Xia, D., & Qin, B. (2012). The Basic Empathy Scale: A Chinese validation of a measure of empathy in adolescents. Child Psychiatry & Human Development43(4), 499-510. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-011-0278-6

Jolliffe, D., & Farrington, D. P. (2006). Development and validation of the Basic Empathy Scale. Journal of Adolescence29(4), 589-611. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2005.08.010

Sánchez-Pérez, N., Fuentes, L. J., Jolliffe, D., & González-Salinas, C. (2014). Assessing children’s empathy through a Spanish adaptation of the Basic Empathy Scale: parent’s and child’s report forms. Frontiers in Psychology5, 1438. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01438

Item Type
Likert