Interpersonal Reactivity Inventory (IRI)


Assessment name:  Interpersonal Reactivity Inventory (IRI)

Scale overview: The 28-item Interpersonal Reactivity Inventory (IRI) measures a four aspects of a person’s reactivity to others: Perspective -taking (IRI–PT), Empathic Concern (IRI–EC), Personal Distress, (IRI–PD), and Fantasy.

Author: Mark Davis

Response Type: Self-report 5-point rating scale.

Scale items: 

There are four 7-item rating scales. Each item is rated from A to E with the anchors reflecting a degree of self-description: A = Does not describe me well, E = Describes very well.

Perspective -Taking (IRI–PT) measures cognitive empathy, or the tendency to see the world from others’ viewpoints: “I sometimes try to understand my friends better by imagining how things look from their perspective.”

Empathic Concern (IRI–EC) measures emotional empathy, or feelings of compassion for others in distress: “I often have tender, concerned feelings for people less fortunate than me.”

Personal Distress, (IRI–PD) measures self-focused responses to others’ suffering “When I see someone who badly needs help in an emergency, I go to pieces.”

Fantasy measures empathy for fictional characters: “I really get involved with the feelings of the characters in a novel.”


Psychometric properties

Davis (1983) reported adequate internal and test-retest reliability values from previous research. Correlations with other measures can be found in Davis (1983). The correlations suggest early support for concurrent validity.


Fetzer measures:

Eckerd College

Download IRI


Reference for the scale

Davis, M. H. (1983). Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44(1), 113–126.


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