The Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) is a multidimensional individual-difference measure of empathy. The original IRI has been used in many studies to assess both normal and clinical samples. Because of its wide availability and convenience of use, the IRI has been translated into several languages. In Taiwan, the IRI was translated into traditional Chinese as a Chinese Version of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (C-IRI) in 1987. Because the C-IRI was developed over 26 years ago and recent studies have shown some unsatisfactory psychometric properties on the C-IRI, there was a need to develop an alternative to the C-IRI and verify its psychometric properties again. In this study, we assessed the psychometric properties of an alternative C-IRI by administering it to 516 college students, 35 community residents and 70 schizophrenic patients, all of whom are adults. Exploratory factor analyses revealed a four-factor structure: Fantasy, Perspective Taking, Empathy and Personal Distress. Acceptable convergent and divergent validity supported the construct validity of the alternative C-IRI. Evidence was also found for its discriminant validity between patients with schizophrenia and normal controls on the Empathy subscale and Affective Empathy, while the full scale and its factors demonstrated good internal consistency and test–retest reliability. In the future, the alternative C-IRI should be validated with adolescent or elderly samples, and different clinical samples.