research articles

"You really are an empathic type" - Types in empathy research




empathy profile, configural frequency analysis, emotional concern, perspective taking, personal distress


In this study, we used a configuration frequency analysis (CFA) to find out whether there are certain combinations of characteristics that can be used to define prototypical empathy types. Using a sample of 9,407 participants aged between 10 and 80 years, we were able to find four clearly separated and exhaustive empathy profiles which include all relevant aspects of emotional concern, perspective taking and personal distress and at the same time can be clearly defined in relation to each other. The superordinate patterns "situation-dependent altruists (A)", "high functioning empathy (B)", "low neurotic empathy (C)" and "low empathy (D)" were identified. With these four types, a total of almost 75% of the test subjects can be assigned to the significant empathy profiles, whereby only in profile A there were significantly more female participants than in the other three. For the first time, we were able to create a comprehensive and selective typology for the construct of empathy, with the help of which, for example, the holistic success of empathy training or the motivations of altruistic actions can be better described.





research articles