Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
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Psicothema, 2009. Vol. Vol. 21 (nº 2). 171-176

Measuring general dispositions to feeling empathy and distress

Luis Oceja, Belén López-Pérez, Tamara Ambrona and Irene Fernández

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

The Vicarious Experience Scale (VES) is a new measure aimed at measuring the disposition to feeling empathy and personal distress. In Study 1, participants completed the VES along with the classic measure of Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). In Studies 2 and 3, participants observed the case of a person in need and subsequently reported the elicited emotions of empathy and personal distress; participants filled in the VES either a few minutes later (Study 2) or three months before the presentation of the case (Study 3). The results supported both the convergent validity of the VES and its capacity in a specific situation.

Midiendo la disposición general a sentir empatía y estrés. La Escala de Experiencias Vicarias (VES) es un nuevo instrumento diseñado para medir la disposición personal a sentir empatía y estrés. Los participantes del Estudio 1 completaron el VES junto con la medida clásica del Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). A los participantes de los Estudios 2 y 3 se les presentó el caso de una persona que había sufrido un grave problema, y posteriormente informaron del grado en que dicho caso les había provocado empatía y estrés. Estos participantes completaron el VES unos minutos después (Estudio 2) o tres meses antes de que se les presentara el caso (Estudio 3). Los resultados apoyaron la validez convergente del VES y su capacidad para predecir el grado de empatía y estrés provocados por una situación concreta.


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