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.
Affective Empathy, Cognitive Empathy
Access and Use
Corresponding Author: Darrick Jolliffe
Professor, Head of School of Law & Criminology, University of Greenwich
BSc, MPhil, PhD
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.
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