Creation and Validation of an English-Language Version of the Multifaceted Empathy Test (MET)
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment | Uitgave 3/2018Log in om toegang te krijgen
The measurement of cognitive and emotional empathy, reflecting abilities to understand and to experience or ‘feel’ the emotional states of others, is important for many studies pertaining to clinical conditions as well as normative personality characteristics. The Multifaceted Empathy Test (MET) has been shown to be a useful and efficient instrument for indexing impaired empathy in different diagnostic groups, in particular due to its measurement of both cognitive and emotional components of empathy within the same task set. This makes the MET a valuable means for assessing empathy with implications for conditions such as autism and psychopathy. However, up to this point the MET has only been available in German, and has not been investigated in regard to specific facets of psychopathy. This report describes (a) the translation of the MET into English to allow its use in a wider range of populations, and (b) efforts undertaken to refine the measure itself and evaluate its relationship with distinct facets of psychopathy (i.e., boldness, meanness, disinhibition). As expected, MET emotional empathy showed its strongest association with the meanness component of psychopathy (r = −.31, p < .01). The resulting instrument was then validated in a sample of 80 healthy control subjects, where it showed expected associations with other empathy measures and psychopathic tendencies. Findings also highlighted some issues pertaining to evaluation of scale reliability. Results from this study indicate that this translated version of the MET can serve as an effective tool for assessing emotional and cognitive empathy in English-speaking samples.