Relationship between empathy and the big five personality traits in a sample of Spanish adolescents
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Empathy has been considered a central feature of our temperamental dispositions in childhood and adolescence. It plays a central role in the development of prosocial behavior and moral reasoning. However, the links between empathy and the major factors of personality have not yet been well described.
This study explores the relationships between an index of empathy and the Big-Five personality model in a sample of 832 Spanish adolescents. As expected, results show that empathy correlates strongly with Friendliness. Positive correlations with Conscientiousness, Energy, and Openness traits have also been observed, but regression analyses show that relationships of empathy with those three factors were of negligible importance. Contrary to expectations, empathy did not correlate with Emotional stability. This pattern of results was replicated across boys and girls.