The Multiplicity of Empathy: Study Reveals Both Interpersonal & Intrapersonal Benefits of Being Empathetic

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A study by reveals that empathetic people are not only more skilled at dealing with people, they are also more resilient and have better self-esteem.

Understanding the human experience and thriving in it requires empathy.

The benefits of empathy extend inside and out. It doesn’t just help others, it helps us on a personal level too.

“Empathy is powerful. It’s intertwined with every aspect of the human experience.”

It’s difficult to identify a life situation that would not benefit from empathy. Consoling a grieving friend requires empathy. Comforting a scared child requires empathy. Being patient with a flustered cashier requires empathy. Helping a stranger, getting along with peers and colleagues, saving an animal, and compromising with an adversary all require empathy. However, this powerful, unassuming trait does much more than benefit our relationship with others. Research from indicates that empathy is not just personable, it’s personal.

After collecting data from 9,234 people who took PsychTests’ Emotional Intelligence Test, researchers compared the scores of empathetic and non-empathetic on various interpersonal (dealing with others) and intrapersonal (dealing with self) competencies. The differences were striking:

(Note: Mean scores range on a scale from 0 to 100).


Ability to read body language

  •     Score for Empathetic group: 82
  •     Score for Non-empathetic group: 39

Social Insight

  •     Score for Empathetic group: 83
  •     Score for Non-empathetic group: 30

Social Skills

  •     Score for Empathetic group: 70
  •     Score for Non-empathetic group: 51

Conflict-Resolution Skills

  •     Score for Empathetic group: 76
  •     Score for Non-empathetic group: 37

Flexible Mindset

  •     Score for Empathetic group: 76
  •     Score for Non-empathetic group: 55


Ability to identify emotions in self

  •     Score for Empathetic group: 74
  •     Score for Non-empathetic group: 21


  •     Score for Empathetic group: 70
  •     Score for Non-empathetic group: 50


  •     Score for Empathetic group: 73
  •     Score for Non-empathetic group: 57


  •     Score for Empathetic group: 80
  •     Score for Non-empathetic group: 55

Standing by one’s values

  •     Score for Empathetic group: 77
  •     Score for Non-empathetic group: 58

“If there is one emotional intelligence skill that we would recommend developing, it’s definitely empathy,” explains Dr. Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “When we compared empathetic and non-empathetic people on 31 different factors related to emotional intelligence, the differences were statistically significant across the board. Empathetic people are happier, more self-aware, self-motivated, and optimistic. They cope better with stress, assert themselves when it is required, and are comfortable expressing their feelings. There was only one scale where non-empathetic people scored higher: Need for Approval.”

“It’s easy to understand why empathy is so important to the development of happy and healthy relationships with others. If you want to truly understand family, friends, colleagues, strangers, or even rivals, you have to put yourself in their shoes and see the world from their perspective. But how does empathy play a role on an intrapersonal level? Well, the ability to perceive other people’s emotions starts with being able to identify and reflect on your own feelings. If you lack empathy, you’re more likely to have trouble connecting and getting along with others. This can negatively impact self-esteem and life satisfaction, and without a supportive network of friends, coping with stress will also be much more difficult. And chances are that empathetic people are more likely to have good emotional intelligence in general, and the benefits of EQ are numerous. Empathy is powerful. It’s so intertwined with every aspect of the human experience that we would hardly be able to survive or at least thrive without it.”

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About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see The company’s research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.

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Ilona Jerabek
PsychTests AIM Inc.
+1 514-745-3189 Ext: 112
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