The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire: Evaluation of Psychometric Properties among Turkish University Students

Tarık Totan*, Tayfun Doğan** and Fatma Sapmaz**
*Abant İzzet Baysal University, Faculty of Education, Department of Guidance and Counseling.
**Sakarya University, Faculty of Education, Department of Guidance and Counseling.


Problem statement: Today, it is widely accepted that empathy is a multidimensional factor that facilitates human relations. The common idea that empathy comprises more than one component has created diversity in the assessment of the said factor; many researchers have developed empathy scales that include different dimensions. However, unidimensional assessments minimize differences between assessments and develop an accepted core assessment tool.

Purpose of Study: The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire (TEQ) is a selfreport style, unidimensional, 16-item, five-point Likert type scale developed to assess the empathy levels of individuals. The objective of this study is to adapt the TEQ into Turkish and to analyze its psychometric properties in a sample of Turkish university students.

Methods: Study participants included 698 university students from Ege and Sakarya University. In the research, the Emphatic Tendency Scale and the Basic Empathy Scale were used as data collection tools along with the TEQ. In the adaptation of the questionnaire, a linguistic equivalence study was performed first. The psychometric properties of the TEQ were analyzed through item analysis, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, criterion-related validity, internal consistency and test-retest methods.

Results: As a result of the linguistic equivalency study, a positively significant correlation was found between the original form and the Turkish form of the questionnaire. The exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis results demonstrated that the questionnaire had a unidimensional structure. Within the scope of the criterion-related validity, positively significant correlations were found between the TEQ, Emphatic Tendency Scale and Basic Empathy Scale. The TEQ’s internal consistency coefficient and test-retest reliability coefficient were .79 and .73 respectively. The findings of this study showed that the Turkish form of the TEQ was a valid and reliable assessment tool to assess the empathy levels of university students.

Key words: Empathy, Toronto Empathy Questionnaire (TEQ), adaptation, psychometric properties.