Construct validity of an empathy instrument


  • Dr. Elaine L. La Monica

    Corresponding author
    1. Dr. Elaine La Monica is an associate professor in the Department of Nursing Education and is the director of the Institute of Research and Service in Nursing Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.
    • Associate Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 West 120th Street, Box 167, New York, NY 10027.
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The purpose of the study was to determine the construct validity of the Empathy Construct Rating Scale (ECRS), developed as part of a larger investigation. Two procedures were used: (a) Campbell and Fiske's (1959) multitrait–multimethod approach and (b) factor analysis. The results suggest that the ECRS is a valid and a reliable instrument for measuring empathy. It was shown to have high internal consistency, content validity, and discriminant validity. Results of the factor analysis placed the rating scale in the primary factor, sharing that factor with no other measured trait. The results further suggest that empathy cannot be divided meaningfully into subscales; empathy exists as a whole and all elements must be present in the relationship for it to exist.