I came across this test in the Curiosity.com newsletter:
Devised by psychologist and autism researcher Simon Baron-Cohen (cousin of actor and comedian Sacha), it has the weakness of such multiple-choice questionnaires, in that some questions are ambiguous. I found myself thinking “depends on” while contemplating an answer.
It surely helps a writer to be empathic, otherwise, how do you put yourself in someone else’s shoes? John Steinbeck stated:
You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself.
I’ve been called empathic by several friends over the years. It’s true to a certain degree: I scored 63 out of 80 on the test.
Having empathy for my characters can be problematic, such as when I bond with the antagonist in a crime novel, worrying that he’s suffering from gout, but forgetting he’s murdered four people!
If your empathy score is low, you might want to check out an old thread: