Empathy

Empathy refers to the ability to relate to another person’s pain vicariously, as if one has experienced that pain themselves. (Example:  He felt great empathy with the poor.)

The capacity for empathy is an action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner. (Merriam-Webster)

About the Empathy Quiz:

OPERAnauts would like to evaluate an empathy quiz as a tool for measuring the impact of music-making on an individual and their community.

Greater Good in Action for Meaningful Life has put together an on-line quiz. Their research suggests that “empathic people tend to be more generous and concerned with others’ welfare, and they also tend to have happier relationships and greater personal well-being. Empathy can also improve leadership ability and facilitate effective communication.”

They also note that research also suggests that people differ in the extent to which they experience empathy. So how empathic are you?

The quiz will help you find out. It draws from three scientifically validated scales that researchers have created to measure empathy: the Toronto Empathy Questionnaire, developed by Nathan Spreng and his colleagues; the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, developed by Mark Davis; and the Emotion Specific Empathy Questionnaire, developed by Sally Olderbak and her colleagues.

The quiz contains a total of 28 questions. Please answer them as honestly as possible–there are no right or wrong answers. The first 22 will be used to measure your level of empathy; the last six will be used by our research team to understand how empathy relates to factors like gender, birth order, and political orientation.

When you’re done, you’ll receive your empathy score, along with feedback interpreting this score.*

*The above material and quiz are found on the website: greatergood.berkely.edu

Our Evaluation:

Part of our mission is to demonstrate that music-making increases a person’s capacity for empathy. We plan to collect students, and performing and teaching artists’ quiz scores before and after sessions of concentrated music-making.

If you have been selected and consented to participate in our evaluation of this empathy quiz tool, follow these steps.

  1. Take the Empathy Quiz on-line and record your score.
  2. Practice your instrument or voice for an hour everyday for one week.
  3. Take the Empathy Quiz again after one week, and record the score.
  4. Email both scores to joy@operanauts.org

The featured image is of high school students who participated in the 2016-2017 #ReplywithMusic program. (Photo i.d.: Kai Gibson, Nick Kochmann, Alistair Dobson, Leo LaPlaca and Niccolo Bechtler at the amphitheater of Pettronello Gardens, NJ; Lex Kochmann, photographer)