Developing the Social Empathy Index: An Exploratory Factor Analysis

Elizabeth A. Segal, M. Alex Wagaman, Karen E. Gerdes


Social empathy, the ability to understand people from different socioeconomic classes and racial/ethnic backgrounds, with insight into the context of institutionalized inequalities and disparities, can inspire positive societal change and promote social well-being. The value of teaching social empathy and creating interventions that promote social empathy is enhanced by the ability to measure and assess it. This article provides a validation of the Social Empathy Index, a tool that practitioners can easily use to assess individuals’ levels of interpersonal and social empathy. An exploratory factor analysis was used to validate the instrument and confirm the conceptual model for social empathy.


Social empathy, individual empathy, social change, instrument validation

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Copyright (c) 2012 Elizabeth A. Segal, M. Alex Wagaman, Karen E. Gerdes


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