Abstract Linkages between psychoticism, extraversion and neuroticism and three empathic response styles—empathetic responsiveness, perspective taking and sympathetic responsiveness—were examined. Data from an extensive survey reveal that those scoring high on P are neither sympathetic nor empathetic thus suggesting a certain callous nature within such individuals. Those scoring high on E, however, have a tendency to be sympathetic but not empathetic with regard to another in an aversive situation. Conversely, high N scorers are very empathetic but do not have a tendency to feel concern or pity for others in need, which is possibly due to painful feelings of distress that such concern may cause. Taken together, these findings provide a strong foundation for further research into the links between personality and empathic response styles.