SELF-REPORT OF EMPATHY: A SHORTENED FRENCH ADAPTATION OF THE INTERPERSONAL REACTIVITY INDEX (IRI) USING TWO LARGE BELGIAN SAMPLES1, 2, 3

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Abstract

Summary.

For more than 30 years, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) has been used to measure the multidimensional aspects of empathy. But the 28-item, 4-factor model of Davis (1980) is currently contested because of methodological issues and for theoretical reasons. Confirmatory (CFA) and exploratory factor analyses (EFA) were applied in two French-speaking Belgian student samples (1,244 participants in the first and 729 in the second study) to test this model and to propose a shortened version. A non-optimal fit was found with respect to the CFI value (Study 1). By splitting the student group into two random subsamples, EFA and then CFA were used to propose a 15-item, 4-factor model with good fit indices. A CFA on the second student group (Study 2) replicated this model. Results are discussed considering the influence of social desirability response bias, an absence of strong invariance across sex and the usefulness of self-report scales to measure empathy.

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