I've just been reading an article about a new book, "Zero Degrees of Empathy" written by Cambridge University psychology professor and autism researcher, Simon Baron-Cohen. He talks about how psychopaths and people with autism share an absense of empathy: that is the ability to identify feelings in another person and to have a personal emotional response to those feelings. He's devised an "Empathy Quotient Test", which is not a formal diagnostic tool for personality or neurological disorders but just one indicator. There's some interesting findings in his research, for example that 80% of people score below 30 and that taking testosterone can lower scores. Here's the link to the test:
So this is sheer curiousity on my part. Did your score accurately reflect how empathetic you think you are? Do you think it matters if you have scored low, or that there are even possible advantages to having low empathy?