The QCAE: a Questionnaire of Cognitive and Affective Empathy

J Pers Assess. 2011 Jan;93(1):84-95. doi: 10.1080/00223891.2010.528484.


Empathy has been inconsistently defined and inadequately measured. This research aimed to produce a new and rigorously developed questionnaire. Exploratory (n₁ = 640) and confirmatory (n₂ = 318) factor analyses were employed to develop the Questionnaire of Cognitive and Affective Empathy (QCAE). Principal components analysis revealed 5 factors (31 items). Confirmatory factor analysis confirmed this structure in an independent sample. The hypothesized 2-factor structure (cognitive and affective empathy) was tested and provided the best and most parsimonious fit to the data. Gender differences, convergent validity, and construct validity were examined. The QCAE is a valid tool for assessing cognitive and affective empathy.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anger
  • Cognition*
  • Empathy*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Inventory / standards*
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Self-Assessment
  • Sex Distribution
  • Students
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • United Kingdom
  • Universities
  • Young Adult