Empathy Quotient (EQ) for adults


Author of Tool: 

Baron-Cohen, S. and Wheelwright, S.

Key references: 

Baron-Cohen, S. and Wheelwright, S. (2004). The Empathy Quotient: An Investigation of Adults with Asperger Syndrome or High Functioning Autism, and Normal Sex Differences. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Vol. 34 (2), 163-175.
Lawrence, E. J. Shaw, P. Baker, D. Baron-Cohen, S. and David, A. S. (2004). Measuring Empathy – reliability and validity of the empathy quotient. Psychological Medicine 34:911-919

Primary use / Purpose: 

The empathy quotient measures scores on empathy (understanding what others are feeling and why, and being affected by these feelings). It differentiates between normal-functioning adults and those with Aspergers syndrome, as well as between men and women.


Although empathy is a very important skill in social functioning it is difficult to conceptualise. While previous measures of empathy have been proposed, the empathy quotient (EQ) focuses on the differences in the skill between normal-functioning adults and adults with autism spectrum disorders. It is a short 40 item likert-type measure.


Reliability and validity are explored in Lawrence, Shaw, Baker,Baron-Cohen, and David (2004)


Web link to tool: 

EQ Adults

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 



Welcome to the Measurement Instrument Database for the Social Sciences (MIDSS). The site is designed to be a repository for instruments that are used to collect data from across the social sciences. Please use the site to discover instruments you can use in you own research.