Compassion Motivation and Action Scales – Compassion (CMAS-other)


The Compassion Motivation and Action Scales (CMAS) encompass two dimensions assessing self-compassion (CMAS-self) and compassion to others (CMAS-other; Steindl et al., 2021). In clinical practice it can be helpful to use the CMAS as an aid for formulation, given that compassionate motivation has been found to be associated with many benefits for wellbeing, including physiologically (Kim et al., 2020; Klimecki et al., 2014; Matos et al., 2017), psychologically (Kirby, 2016; MacBeth & Gumley, 2012), and relationally (Crocker & Canevello, 2012; Kirby & Laczko, 2017; Seppala et al., 2012). The CMAS-other has three subscales: compassion intention – measuring the intent to be compassionate towards others compassion distress tolerance – measuring the ability to tolerate distress when others are experiencing suffering compassionate action – measuring compassionate actions and behaviours towards others This measure can be integrated into compassion-based interventions, where there is a substantial research base showing improvements in compassion leads to a reduction in depression, anxiety and psychological distress symptoms, improving well-being and is associated with increased mindfulness (Kirby et al., 2017). The CMAS-other was designed to be specifically used as a measure of the change in compassionate motivation and action over time in clinical practice and intervention research.

Validity and Reliability
The CMAS-other was developed by Steindl et al. (2021) using an initial item pool that was generated on the basis of a review of existing measures in combination with the dimensions of motivational language in motivational interviewing. The initial item pool was disseminated to international experts in compassion and/or motivational interviewing literature for feedback and to ensure that wording and content were culturally relevant. Following this process, the initial pool of items was evaluated via exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis to reduce the items further. There was very good internal consistency present for the CMAS-other with an overall Chronbach’s alpha of 0.88 and subscale consistencies of 0.87 (Intention), 0.88 (Distress tolerance), and 0.96 (Action). For 621 adults from Australia, USA, UK, and New Zealand, the mean score was 61.16 (SD = 10.22) for the CMAS-other, 17.19 (SD = 3.24) for the Intention subscale, 17.08 (SD = 3.27) for the Distress Tolerance subscale, and 26.90 (SD = 7.43) for the Action subscale (Steindl et al., 2021).

All items are summed to provide an overall score, with higher scores indicative of more self-compassion. Subscale scores are also provided to enable a comparison between subscales: compassion intention (items 1, 2, 3) – measuring the intent to be compassionate towards others compassion distress tolerance (items 4, 5, 6) – measuring the ability to tolerate distress when others are experiencing suffering compassionate action (items 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12) – measuring compassionate actions and behaviours A normative percentile for the total score and subscales are calculated based on a normative sample (Steindl et al., 2021), indicating how the respondent scored in relation to a typical pattern of responding for adults. For example, a percentile of 83 or less indicates the individual has more self-compassion than 83 percent of the normal population. Results are presented in a graph, which indicates the percentile for total compassion and sub-scales compared to the normative sample, with a dotted line at 50 indicating average compassion towards others.

Steindl, S. R., Tellegen, C. L., Filus, A., Seppälä, E., Doty, J. R., & Kirby, J. N. (2021). The Compassion Motivation and Action Scales: a self-report measure of compassionate and self-compassionate behaviours. Australian Psychologist, 56(2), 93–110.

Number Of Questions


Assessment Report

Try it and see how BetterMind can enhance your practice


Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Below you can find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, please feel free to reach out to us at

I can’t open test results within the Web Browser

Assessment result PDFs are opened in a new tab within the web browser. If you click the results but they do not open, your browser will be blocking the popup. To resolve this, after you have pressed the test result, look out for an alert at the top of your browser notifying you that a pop-up has been blocked, then click "Allow".

I have forgotten my password. How can I reset it?

If you have forgotten your password please press “forgot password” within the app, or on the Web Browser App login page ( You will receive a new temporary password via email.

Can a Practitioner access BetterMind from their Smartphone?

No, A Client /Patient can answer assessment questions on a smartphone but the Practitioners/ Users can't administer BetterMind using a Smartphone. A computer, laptop or tablet will have to be used.

Denounce with righteous indignation and dislike men who are beguiled and demoralized by the charms pleasure moment so blinded desire that they cannot foresee the pain and trouble.

Latest Post

Need Any Help? Or Looking For an Agent

© 2024 BetterMind All Rights Reserved.