Cross-cultural differences and psychometric properties of the Japanese Actions and Feelings Questionnaire (J-AFQ)

Charlotte Huggins* (Corresponding Author), Isobel Cameron, Neil Scott, Justin H Williams, Sakiko Yoshikawa, Wataru Sato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: We aimed to assess the psychometric properties of a Japanese version of the Actions and Feelings Questionnaire (J-AFQ), an 18-item self-report measure of non-verbal emotional communication, as well as to examine its transcultural properties.

Methods: The J-AFQ was administered to 500 Japanese adults (age 20–49, 250 male), alongside the Japanese Broad Autism Phenotype Questionnaire (BAPQ-J) and Empathy Quotient (EQ-J). These were compared to a group of 597 British and Irish participants (age 16–18, 148 male). J-AFQ was assessed in terms of validity by confirmatory factor analysis and convergence with BAPQ-J and EQ-J using Pearson correlation. Internal consistency and differential item functioning (DIF) were assessed and compared between Japanese and UK/Irish participants.

Results: Reversed worded items (RWIs) showed poor item-total correlations but excluding these left a 13-item version of the J-AFQ with good internal consistency and content validity. Consistent with the English version, J-AFQ scores correlated with EQ and lower BAPQ scores. However, comparing across cultures, J-AFQ scores were significantly lower in the Japanese sample, and there was evidence of important DIF by country in over half of the J-AFQ items

Conclusion: Cultural differences in attitudes to self-report, as well as increased acquiescence to RWI's also seen in previous studies, limit the value of the 18-item instrument in Japanese culture. However, the 13-item J-AFQ is a valid and reliable measure of motor empathy, which, alongside the English version, offers promise for research in motor cognition and non-verbal emotional communication across cultures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number722108
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Early online date20 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2021


  • actions and feelings questionnaire
  • cross-cultural differences
  • motor empathy
  • translation
  • psychometrics
  • differential item functioning


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