Cognitive empathy (also known as “transpersonal thinking”) refers to putting yourself in the shoes of others and considering their thoughts and feelings.
Currently, one of the most widely used assessment methods is the “eye reading” test.
It asks the subject to choose a word that most accurately describes the person’s thoughts or feelings by simply looking at the eye area of the person in the photo with their eyes.
Over the decades, many independent studies have shown that women score higher on such tests compared to men.
However, they are mostly small sample studies that lack geographic, cultural, and age diversity.
Faced with this limitation, Cambridge University, Harvard University and other institutions collaborated to conduct a large sample trial by integrating samples provided by multiple online platforms, analyzing data from 305,726 subjects in 57 countries.
The results showed that in 36 countries, women scored significantly higher than men on average on such tests.
The average score for women in the other 21 countries was comparable to that of men.
In other words, in no country did men score significantly higher than women on average on such assessment tests.
This gender difference is also reflected throughout the lifespan from age 16 to 70 years.
In addition, the researchers confirmed this gender difference in the non-English versions (covering eight languages) of the test.
The related study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).