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24 out of 80

A little bit ago I answered a set of questions meant to measure my empathy quotient.

I scored 24 out of 80.

That placed me in the “low” category, according to the test:

0 – 32 = low (most people with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism score about 20)

I’m thinking of getting “24 out of 80” tattooed on my arm, or emblazoned on a t-shirt.


  1. I scored around what I thought I might. I got a 56 out of 80 (according to the site, a tad above average). Good thing or bad thing, I don’t really know, but hey – it’s just a test.

  2. My score is 60, Which is the very best score achievable. Any higher scorer is a pathetic wimp or a liar. I would much rather hang with the liar than the wimp, with whom I could never empathize.

  3. 26 out of 80 for me as well – I was surprised thinking for sure it would be higher since part of the UX job is to be empathetic.

  4. i scored a 72 out of 80.

    bj, peter will be able to attest that i am neither a liar or a wimp, though it’s totally obvious to me why you might think that. 🙂

  5. I love you, Lane, so I hope you are a liar. If I empathized with wimps my score would have been over the top.

  6. Hmm. Scored a 60 out of 80, which seems about right. Lane, I’m impressed that you can go outside – if I could empathize with people any more than I already do, I probably wouldn’t be able to leave the house.

  7. 62 out of 80. I actually thought it would be higher.

    But really, how do you feel about your score?

  8. 56 out of 80. Interestingly I found myself thinking “a few years ago I would have X”. Essentially I have lost some empathy over the years. I used to practically cry at AT&T commercials, but I’ve learned to detach myself from things that either don’t matter (a commercial) or that I cannot make an impact in changing (kid crying in the grocery store with supportive parent nearby). I am strongly empathetic and impassioned about things where I think I can have an impact of changing for the better.

    So does that make me less empathetic? Or strategically empathetic?

  9. 36, which seems about right. I care more for people than animals, I hate heartstring-tugging news stories, and I find many social situations to be draining. Clearly that skews me towards hermit-dom. I’d like to see a cross-tab with Myers-Briggs. Are introverts generally less empathetic?

  10. My number is 55, but what does it mean? The test seem kinda random and as with all of these tests it is not really comparable to other people. Anyways, 55 is good enough.

  11. 51. I thought it would be higher. This test seems bogus, though. It only asks for your own opinion of how you rank on these things, so it’s really just a measure of how empathetic you *think* you are.

    I know for a fact that some of you folks in the 20s and 30s do in fact conduct yourselves like highly empathetic people. No comment on those of you in the 60s and 70s 🙂

  12. 29. I agree with Leah – it’s measuring how empathetic you think you are. As tests go, it’s badly designed.

  13. I don’t think it’s badly designed. It is what it is. It does require a) a heightened sense of self-awareness and b) a willingness to answer as truthfully as possible. If you meet both, I think it’s pretty apt… I mean, I know I’m not super empathetic, and so I wasn’t SURPRISED by my score.

    (Nor am I surprised that many UX/design types are not empathetic. Nor do I think a high degree of empathy is necessarily a good thing, nor a low degree necessarily a bad thing. You can have a low degree of empathy and still be a good, honest, trusting, helpful person.)

  14. I scored 54. Not sure how to react to that. It is what it is. Maybe I should go laugh at a hurt puppy to lower my score a little.

  15. I scored 39 (low average) and Seth scored 65 (very high). It wasn’t surprising, since I’m a Thinker and he’s an extreme Feeler.

    I think there are two kinds of Thinkers/”Unempathetic” people though — brash ones who aren’t afraid to speak their mind and oblivious ones who hate ruffling people but whose minds are just caught up in something else a lot of the time (e.g., getting information, getting things done).

    I’m the latter kind.

    Another observation — which goes back to the how empathetic you THINK you are vs. you actually are — is that both Seth and I often *think* we are doing a great job of reading people, yet we both get totally different reads.

    Frequent Example: We both feel we are being super-sensitive to whether anyone minds that we’re taking pictures with our obnoxiously huge camera.

    Seth might perceive: Everyone is annoyed so we should stop.

    I might perceive: It’s totally fine, no one’s even noticing.

    So who’s more empathetic?

  16. 65, which feels about right for me. This test does make an important point with its scoring. Empathy isn’t just abstractly seeing from someone else’s perspective but actually feeling a bit from it as well. There’s a limit to how much you can get into someone else’s shoes without beginning to get sucked into their emotional state as well.

    So, BJMe is right that highly empathic people end up being highly sensitive emotionally. Now excuse me while I go sit in a corner and cry about BJ not wanting to hang with me.

  17. Damn it, Todd. Now you’ve got me feeling all blubbery and high scoring. I hate that.

  18. 43 – totally average. I wonder if there is a connection with the fact that I supposedly use my left and right brain equally. hmmm.

  19. 9. NINE. I think that means I eat children for breakfast.

    It does conveniently explain why I continue to get feedback from managers about being more sensitive to others around me, however 🙂

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  • Intelleto » Blog Archive » I’m a thinker, not a feeler May 7, 2008

    […] Peter blogged about his empathy quotient, and a bunch of us joined in the test. I ranked low, which didn’t really surprise me. I was a 36 out of 80. Apparently I don’t care about people around me. Which is funny, because I think I do. […]

  • :: 33 out of 36 May 7, 2008

    […] After scoring 24 out of 80, I explored the other tests on the site. One that caught my attention is the Mind in the eyes test, which asks you to describe what someone is thinking or feeling based just on looking at their eyes. I believe it’s related to Paul Ekman’s work on reading faces. […]