Empathy involves feeling compassion for others and imagining how they feel. In this article, we develop and validate the Single Item Trait Empathy Scale (SITES), which contains only one item that takes seconds to complete. In seven studies (N = 5724), the SITES was found to be both reliable and valid. It correlated in expected ways with a wide variety of intrapersonal outcomes. For example, it is negatively correlated with narcissism, depression, anxiety, and alexithymia. In contrast, it is positively correlated with other measures of empathy, self-esteem, subjective well-being, and agreeableness. The SITES also correlates with a wide variety of interpersonal outcomes, especially compassion for others and helping others. The SITES is recommended in situations when time or question quantity is constrained.
Konrath, Sara, Brian P. Meier, and Brad J. Bushman. "Development and validation of the single item trait empathy scale (SITES)." Journal of Research in Personality 73 (2018): 111-122.