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Research Article

Measuring Empathic Tendencies: Reliability And Validity of the Dutch Version of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index

Authors:

Kim De Corte ,

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Ghent University Hospital, BE
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Ann Buysse,

Department of Experimental Clinical and Health Psychology, Ghent University, BE
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Lesley L Verhofstadt,

Department of Experimental Clinical and Health Psychology, Ghent University, BE
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Herbert Roeyers,

Department of Experimental Clinical and Health Psychology, Ghent University, BE
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Koen Ponnet,

Research Centre for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, University of Antwerp, BE
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Mark H Davis

Department of Behavioural Science, Eckerd College, US
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Abstract

The Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI; Davis, 1980) is a commonly used self-report instrument designed to assess empathic tendencies. The IRI consists of four separate subscales: Perspective Taking (PT), Fantasy (FS), Empathic Concern (EC), and Personal Distress (PD). The objective of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of a Dutch version of the IRI. The IRI was administered to a Dutch sample of 651 normal functioning adults. The factor structure of the IRI was examined by using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The results of the CFA revealed that there is room for improvement and modification of the original theoretical model. The validity of the IRI was tested using internal criteria (i. e., scale intercorrelations) and external criteria (i. e., correlations with subscales of the EQ-i (Bar-On, 1997), the NEO-FFI (Hoekstra, Ormel, & De Fruyt, 1996), Mach-IV (Van Kenhove, Vermeir, & Verniers, 2001), Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965), and the WAIS-III (Wechsler, 2000)). Overall, the internal consistency, construct validity, and factor structure of scores from the Dutch version of the IRI suggest that it is a useful instrument to measure people's self-reported empathic tendencies.
How to Cite: De Corte, K. et al., (2007). Measuring Empathic Tendencies: Reliability And Validity of the Dutch Version of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index. Psychologica Belgica. 47(4), pp.235–260. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb-47-4-235
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Published on 01 Oct 2007.
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