Title

Measuring Empathy In Groups With High Schizotypy: Psychometric Evaluation of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-2022

School

Psychology

Abstract

Empathy is integral for interpersonal interactions and formation and maintenance of a strong social network. There is wide agreement that empathy is a multidimensional construct, and it is commonly measured with the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). The IRI is used widely across healthy and clinical populations, yet insufficient evidence exists on whether the IRI is appropriate for use in groups characterized by high levels of schizotypy. This study sought to examine the factor structure and psychometric characteristics of the IRI when used in a sample of participants with high schizotypy. Nine hundred forty-one undergraduates completed the IRI; 218 met criteria for high schizotypy. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to test eight a priori factor structures, and scores from the best fitting model were correlated with relevant measures. Of the eight models tested, a two-factor model including the Perspective-Taking and Empathic Concern subscales evidenced the best fit. The original four-factor structure did not meet criteria for adequate fit in our sample. IRI subscale scores correlated with emotional intelligence. Results suggest that a two-factor structure of the IRI is the strongest path forward for use in high schizotypy samples. This approach, in addition to being psychometrically sound, has the added benefit of being a more brief and targeted assessment that aligns well with contemporary models of empathy. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

Publication Title

Psychological Assessment

Volume

34

Issue

5

First Page

459

Last Page

466

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