Taking the The Systemising Quotient (SQ)

This week for Take a Test Tuesday I took the revised Systemising Quotient (SQ-R) test.

Systemizing refers to the drive to understand, construct, predict and/or control the rules of a system. Simon Baron-Cohen, in his desire to wedge autistics into his extreme male brain theory, contrasts systemizing with empathizing as the two primary ways in which humans make sense of their worlds.

The basic premise of the extreme male brain theory is that neurotypical males are better at systemizing and neurotypical females are better at empathizing. Hence, brains can be classified as either male or female according to these aptitudes. Autistic males and females are both better at systemizing, therefore, autistic people have “male brains” and autism is a condition of extreme male neurology.

Using that logic you could also make the case that female basketball players have “male bodies” (i.e. male bodies are on average taller than female bodies, female basketball players have taller bodies on average than females in general, therefore, female basketball players have “male bodies”).

Setting aside the extreme male brain theory, what can we learn from the SQ? The SQ is the subject of several research papers and each time the data show people with ASD generally scoring lower on the EQ and higher on the SQ.

The SQ attempts to measure systemizing in daily life, asking questions about how organized you are when it comes to your financial records, collections or favorite books/music. While the creators tried to avoid introducing bias in terms of subject matter, the test is still vulnerable to this. For example, I want to know the specs of new computer because that’s a topic I’m fairly familiar with.

I’m less interested in the specs of my car’s engine because that’s a subject I know (and care) little about. The same goes for knowing the species of animals and trees or the make-up of committees and governments. Those aren’t subjects I find highly interesting so regardless of how much of a systemizer I am, I’m only going to have a passing curiosity about them

Much of this still relies on personal interests, though perhaps it balances out in the end. The questions about how I bag my groceries and what my closet looks like made me laugh. I bag groceries by type because that makes them easier to put away at home. I hang my clothes in the closet by type so I can find what I’m looking for quickly.

My theory about systemizing? It all comes down to the fact that when you’re autistic, systemizing isn’t simply a preferred way of thinking, it’s a survival mechanism. Without systems and routines, we’d be constantly getting lost in the details.

One final note before we take the test. A lot has been written about gender bias in the EQ and SQ. It struck me as very telling that when the SQ was revised to remove some of the questions that were in “traditionally male domains” and add more questions that might be relevant to females, they removed questions related to investing, religion and culture and added questions related to shopping, cleaning, music and clothing.

Taking the Test

You can take the SQ-R (2005 revised version of the SQ) at the Aspie Tests site. Click on The Systemising Quotient (SQ) link and follow the prompts to get to the test page. I’m assuming you know the drill by now. There are 75 questions and you’re required to choose among strongly agree, slightly agree, slightly disagree and strongly disagree. Positive “strongly” answers score two points and “slightly” answers score one point. Possible scores range from 0 to 150.

It took me a little over 10 minutes to complete.

Scoring the Test

I scored an 85. Not surprising. I’m super organized, have a good memory for details and am insatiably curious about how things work.

I don’t think the SQ is binary in the way that EQ is. For example, on the EQ a positive answer to “I get emotionally involved with a friend’s problems” suggests empathizing. A negative answer suggests remaining detached or perhaps taking a logical problem-solving approach to the friend’s problems. This could be roughly construed as systemizing if we continue to look at it in a strictly binary way.

On the SQ, a negative answer to “I do not follow any particular system when I’m cleaning at home” suggests that one prefers using a system for housecleaning. But what does the opposite answer suggest? Certainly not anything to do with empathizing.

However, the EQ-SQ model sets the two tests up as “complementary” and goes so far as to demonstrate that a composite of EQ-SQ scores is steady across all groups (i.e. my EQ+SQ will be relatively equal to yours and everyone else’s, across all neurotypes). That suggests a strong negative correlation between the two tests.

When you look at the relationship between the AQ, EQ and SQ, it becomes evident that both the EQ and SQ act as a sort of proxy for AQ scores. In other words, they aren’t tests of empathizing and systemizing so much as they’re tests of the traits of autism. Of course autistic people will score higher than average on a test that asks a lot of questions closely related to core autistic traits and lower than average on a test that asks a lot of questions about social skills.

For reference, here are the mean scores from the 2005 SQ-R study:

ASD Male 77.8
ASD Female 76.4
ASD Total 77.2

Typical Male  61.2
Typical Female 51.7
Typical Total 55.6

(I prefer looking at the means from the original studies because the means provided by the Aspie Test site are based on self-reported neurological status, which may not be accurate.)

The Bottom Line

The SQ is an interesting measure of how dependent an individual is on routine, systems and categorization, but the use of the SQ as “proof” of the extreme male brain theory is highly suspect.

39 thoughts on “Taking the The Systemising Quotient (SQ)”

  1. I really don’t get the whole “extreme male brain” theory at all. How does Simon Baron-Cohen get away with calling it a theory in the first place? It is his idea, then he designs tests to skew the results to fit his idea, but that is a different issue. I am a science teacher and I don’t agree with his methods. I personally would not call his methods very scientific. I got a 70 on SQ test and I was diagnosed with Aspergers over a year ago. I also didn’t score in the expected female with ASD range in the EQ test either. Sometimes I feel that I am an odd ball among the odd balls or the tests are just flawed.

    I have dyscalculia so I have no interest in numbers and I have no directional sense either, but I like to look at maps and can read them just fine. I also gravitate to anything science related. I also have an interest in engineering, not the mathmatical portion of it, but the art that goes into engineering a structure. It could be a building, a car, a chair, or a scupture. I find the nuances behind engineering amazing.

    I agree with your statement about what systemising is. I organize my clothes so I can find them better as well. Systemitizing and routines are not only survival mechanisms for people with ASD, but I also find them to be logical. Why wouldn’t you organize your clothes? Systemising and routines brings order to a world that is chaotic and confusing.

    1. Yes to your annoyance with SBC’s theorizing. And so few of his studies are ever replicated. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a study validating his instruments that his name isn’t on as an author. I don’t understand how he’s so widely quoted and cited. It’s so frustrating.

      It’s interesting that your scores are out of the expected range. Is your EQ higher or lower than expected? I’m going to guess higher, based on your lower than ASD-average SQ score. I think the tests are flawed but in very specifically engineered ways, if that makes sense?

      Are there people who just randomly hang everything in their closet and toss stuff in their drawers willy-nilly? I find that hard to imagine. Even my not very organized husband has all of his dress shirts hung together and all of his dress pants hung together and sorts his socks by color. It just makes sense, no matter what neurology you have.

  2. I scored a 116. I know I’m a major organizer. My bills are all on a spreadsheet. I always balance my checkbook and check things off. I put everything on a list, be it supplies, people, languages, places, etc. I have a routine for cleaning, cooking, bathing, everything. When people want things organized, I’m the person they come to. When you’re searching for a pattern, I’m your girl.

    I don’t think those characteristics are male though. I know plenty of men who are complete slobs, can’t organize an empty paper bag, and who don’t plan anything so I don’t believe that those characteristics or interests are strictly male. Most of the women I know are more organized than their male counterparts. I could be a little biased on that since I’m the daughter of an accountant who does inventory for a living and has to keep a home organized for three kids, two with special needs. I could just be super organized and everyone with average organizational skills could look sloppy to me but I still disagree with the Extreme Male Brain Theory.

    1. I have routines for everything too. If I clean the house in a different order, I miss stuff. If I get ready to leave the house in a way that doesn’t fit my usual routine, I’ll go out without something important. Being organized is just fundamentally necessary.

      And I agree that it doesn’t feel “male” at all. I feel like most of the women I know are more organized too, especially the ones who have children and one whose shoulders the bulk of family management falls. So, no, I don’t think you’re off in your conclusions at all.

  3. I got an 81. I really, really don’t understand the extreme male theory, it just doesn’t make any sense to me.

  4. I didn’t get anything because for some strange reason there is no ‘start’ button on the test when I tried to access it. If this is just me, then, weird.

  5. I got 120 on this one. I’m a messy person, actually, but I’m really particular about my categories and details. I used to have a really messy room with all the books arranged neatly according to size, all the CD’s organised by genre, or whatever my obsession was at that time. I was also the person who always corrected teachers on their spelling errors, believing I was being helpful (I was told very late on that this was considered inappropriate).

    1. It makes sense that you’d score high if you like to categorize things, regardless of your general tidiness. I’m fairly messy but I’m also obsessed with having my cabinets well organized and my books lined up neatly and everything I use regularly in it’s expected place, even if it’s expected place is the jumbled up mess of a junk draw.

    2. Correcting a teacher’s spelling is not inappropriate at all, unless the teacher should not be in education. I always praised my students when they caught a mistake that I had made. It’s a big deal when students are able to identify errors! That is what we want – experts!

  6. I got a 96, I am an extremely meticulous and calculating person when I am dealing with something that interests me, a reckless mess otherwise. I can go on forever with details of the hourly forecast for the next 5 days and the 30 year averages and record highs and lows, but I could care less if the trash is in the right bin, if the trash is in any bin, or if 5 raccoons and a skunk are eating the trash. I am however curious as to whether or not the pending rain will affect the suburban wildlife interested in eating my trash.

    Also, I noticed your criticism of Prof. Baron Cohen, particularly his ability to manipulate data and invent new and fascinating metrics of measurement where none previously existed to perfectly back up his theories with no statistical deviation whatsoever. I made a blog post (shameless self promotion)about a TEDx talk he gave on empathy where I noticed these quaint characteristics of his research. http://ratherunique062.blogspot.com/2013/03/of-empathy.html

    1. Your first paragraph cracked me up! 🙂

      Thank you for the link. I need to watch his TED talk. I agree with you that his research is very tidy and tends to produce the expected conclusions, which makes me suspicious too. The fact that he’s designed all of the instruments that “prove” his theories is curious. Another thing that bugs me about his research are the consistently unbalanced make-ups of the control and research groups along gender lines. There are many many ways to introduce bias into research and it’s easy to do bad research. But I think a lot of people tend to just go “oh science, well then it must be true.”

      1. One of the most fascinating courses that I took in grad school featured a unit on the statement, “Research shows that…” One of our assignments was to find research that clearly “showed” one thing and other research that “showed” the exact opposite. It was incredibly fun and stopped me from saying “research shows that” unless I was trying to snow a person who clearly thought that he/she knew something that he/she obviously did not know. Then it was just for fun, though.

  7. 24) When I learn about historical events, I do not focus on exact dates.

    The London Fire of 1666 directly following the Plague year of 1665… if you don’t know the dates how do you tie them together in a mental timeline?

    44) My clothes are not carefully organised into different types in my wardrobe.

    panties in one drawer, socks on the other. Pyjamas and bras on one shelf (pants on the left, tops in the middle and bras on the right). trousers are on the shelf above them. Hanging, from left to right: dresses, pullovers, skirts, shirts that have not been worn yet, empty hangers, shirts that have been worn once. Freshly washed shirts go directly left of the empty hangers. Today is the 65th day of the year, so starting with the leftmost unworn shirt, I can wear the 1st shirt, the 5th shirt or the 13th. If it has not been worn then at the end of the day it goes on the far right. If it has been worn then at the end of the day it goes in the hamper. If none of the shirts are suitable, I can pick one from the drying rack, a ‘0th’ shirt. Then I must put all of the dry shirts off the drying rack into the closet after choosing my 0th shirt. Short sleeved shirts and shorts are folded on the shelves above the hangers. At the vernal equinox, all of the short sleeved shirts go onto hangers and all of the long sleeved shirts and jumpers and trousers are folded up into the shelves above the hangers. The shorts are moved over to the shelf above the bras. (And at the autumnal equinox the short sleeved shirts and shorts are folded and put above the hangers and the winter clothes come out.) I have four hampers, one for whites, one for darks, one for reds, and one for other.

    I will be unreasonably upset if this tampered with, but as a safeguard I have the positions of everything memorised so I can put the shirts back into the proper order if someone messes them up.

    I guess that’s a “strongly disagree”?

    55) When I get to the checkout at a supermarket I pack different categories of goods into separate bags.

    No, I only ever use one bag because I can’t carry more than that home.

    57) I do not enjoy in-depth political discussions.

    Strongly agree because the person I have them with gets really excited and talks to fast and i have auditory processing problems.

    65) It does not bother me if things in the house are not in their proper place.

    strongly disagree because if the scissors are not on the window ledge then I don’t know where the scissors are and I have no idea where to look. everything has to be visible somewhere.

    72) When I have a lot of shopping to do, I like to plan which shops I am going to visit and in what order.

    yeah, i plan shortest path.

    Got 75

    1. Do you select your shirts based on a numeric formula that you find pleasing or in a way that ensures you aren’t duplicating your shirt choices too frequently? Or perhaps a combination of both? I swap my clothes with the changing of the seasons too, putting away all but a few out of season choices and placing the in-season options on hangars and shelves.There’s a lot to be said for an organized closet.

      I don’t enjoy political discussions because they tend to get heated and that triggers my alexithymic traits. I’m not sure if the political question is a positive or negative item though. And hell yes to needing things to be in their place!

      1. It’s primarily to ensure that I’m not duplicating shirt choices frequently (I was teased once as a child for wearing the same shirt on Monday as I had worn on Friday. I did the laundry every Saturday and I have a good memory but only for things that are important to me, and what shirt was I wearing last Friday is low on the list of importance. It boggled me that my classmates would notice that sort of thing and wouldn’t assume that we did laundry on weekends, the time of the week when people aren’t at work or school and have time for laundry!), and also to narrow down my choices to at most five (on the 210th and 330th days of the year) so that I’m not stuck with indecision. I also find working out the prime factorisation of the day of the year to be relaxing, and I’m more likely to know what day of the year it is than what day of the month or even which month. (march? already? how did that happen?)

        It also gives me some flexibility, in texture, dressiness, and warmth. Some of my long sleeved shirts are thinner than others, so on a warmer day I might pick the thinnest shirt, or on a colder day I might want the thickest. My gender expression is a bit fluid and some days I might want a more masculine shirt or a more feminine shirt (this is the leading cause of choosing a 0th shirt). Or I might be saving a special shirt for an upcoming special occasion and I may choose my shirts in such a way to make sure that shirt is available on that day, which is fun.

        I also just find it really pleasing to watch a slow algorithm play itself out and see how it unfolds. In the young wizards series by Diane Duane, in the first book, there was a part where a tree gets annoyed with a young wizard for drawing a circle on the forest floor ruining the pattern of leaves that she’d been creating for decades. The tree took pleasure in watching the leaves fall where they would and watching the pattern unfold and it distressed her to see her algorithm interrupted by a careless young boy. That’s sort of how I feel about my shirts. It’s pleasing to watch. It takes a lot of time for the pattern to unfold.

        1. Your system is really cool. I like the idea of watching your closet “evolve” over time. It also narrows down your choices a great deal, which I would find really helpful. I tend to choose clothing based on which is most comfortable so I repeat items a lot. Fortunately I work at home so no one notices except my husband (who will occasionally ask me if I’ve been doing laundry or have changed my shirt recently!).

          The story about the tree watching the leaves fall is lovely (expect for the tree’s distress, of course). Patterns are fascinating no matter where they occur. 🙂

      2. When the kid realised that the tree was upset, he tried to put the leaves back as best he could. 🙂

        Maybe you could find a similar algorithm (you could steal mine, but maybe you don’t like prime factorisation quite as much as I do, so you should find something that is enjoyable to you. Maybe based on days of the week using modular arithmetic or something.

        I was trying to alternate bras, wearing whichever hadn’t worn most recently, but I have so many bras that don’t fit all that well, so lately when I choose my bra I just wear my favourite one that is clean. But I read that bras like to be alternated every other day even if they don’t need to be washed that often, because the elastic needs time to relax. So I was thinking of maybe working out a system for alternating that still helps me remember how many times each has been worn so i dont go too long between washings.

        I don’t know how people just wake up and throw something on. everything has to be a system for me, and if i dont have a system, it’s not getting done. but usually it has to be something i came up with myself. i tried fly lady and it did not work for me. but when i come up with something on my own built on weird associations that make sense to me, it works well.

        right now i have a bucket in the bathroom that reminds me to flush the toilet, and when the bucket is empty, it reminds me to put it in the bathtub to catch the water from the washing machine, which reminds me to do a load of laundry. so, my toilet is always flushed, i’m always on top of laundry, and my water bill has decreased because i’m using grey water, and my bathtub drain doesn’t get as clogged since most of the debris ends up in the bucket.

        but try to get me to shine my sink each night…not happening. not my system. i do need more systems for keeping the place neater, but i need regularly occurring natural cues to remind me to do something and/or it has to take advantage of something I’m fascinated with.

        1. I hadn’t heard that about bras. I tend to wear them in cycles. It’s so hard to find ones that fit well and are comfortable that I get attached to one in particular it seems.

          Your bucket in the bathroom performs so many functions! I love the cascade effect. I need lots of visual reminders too. Like when I put clothes in the washer, I always leave the laundry room light on so that I remember to move them to the dryer. Otherwise, I’ll go to do a load of laundry a few days later and the first load will still be sitting in the washer, soaking wet.

      3. I don’t know how reliable the information about bras is, I read it online somewhere. But it seems to make sense.

        I leave lights on as reminders too! A light on in the kitchen so I don’t forget the tea I’m making, a light in the bathroom to remind me of the laundry, etc. Otherwise I’ll step out of the room to get a spoon and get distracted by the computer or the cat or any number of things.

        If you leave clothes in the washing machine for a couple weeks they smell bad and then stuff starts growing on them and they get holes and you have to throw them out. If you leave them overnight, they’ll smell a bit off, but rewashing can fix it. So, maybe I waste a little electricity, but I won’t have to throw out perfectly good clothes (again). (This all happened before I came up with the bucket. Now, the absence of the bucket in the toilet room reminds me that the bucket is in the bathroom and there’s a load in the washer, and the light being on is a backup reminder.)

          1. It wouldn’t have 10 years ago, but I’m now giggling at this concept of leaving in the washer for more than 24 hours. It’s not uncommon for me to get through 3 wash loads a day, these days!

  8. I scored 87.

    Given that people here are scoring well over 100, and the average scores given here for NT and ASD fall in the range 66-81, this seems a very small difference in scores to imply a significant difference in behaviour. I’d be very interested in how they selected people to establish these figures and what the actual ranges were.

    I have serious issues as well with what Baron-Cohen calls systematising; the things he picks are very male-orientated. I did a post on this recently [ http://autistwriter.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/the-male-female-divide/ ] because his inability to think outside of his own narrow range of experience is really appalling. If the ideas he propagates weren’t so damaging, I’d almost feel sorry for him. He’s so wrong at times it’s pitiful.

    One question I would like to see is ‘As a child, did you sort your M&Ms/Smarties into colours as soon as you opened the packet, and did you then eat them in a particular order or pattern?’. I’d be willing to bet that’s quite a sytematising question, with no gender differences required.

    1. First of all, thank you for using the word systematize! I swear it’s the more correct word choice and much prefer it. Your post is excellent – thank you for the link, too.

      I looked for raw data for the SQ but didn’t find any so I’d be interested to see that as well. It was very revealing to look at the ranges and such for the AQ raw data. I think there’s a lot going on that we don’t see in the popular press, once SBC translates the hard science into popular science pull quotes like “engineers are more likely to be autistic.” The media seems to eat that stuff up and he knows it.

      It’s exciting that so many of us are thinking critically about the science behind these questionnaires and theories.

      Your M&M question is excellent. There must be more questions in a similar vein that could be used to circumvent the gender issue, but that might not result in the desired outcomes I supposed. And yes, I sorted my M&Ms by color before eating them. I also tend to eat my meals in an organized way so that I don’t “run out of” any food before the other. 🙂

    2. The ‘did you organise your sweets by colour and eat them in order’ question is brilliant and spot on, but I suppose the SQ is trying to ask about the present situation only, not behaviour in childhood.

  9. I got a 70. I think I “dropped marks” because several of the questions – such as the ones referring to family tree, finance or plant species – fall outside my spheres of interest and consequently I do not have any curiosity about the details. This test appears embody an assumption that systemising is a trait that applies irrespective of the subject matter and I would be interested in seeing a correlation between SQ scores and the degree of interest in the subjects covered.

    1. Yes, a lot of the questions feel very interest-dependent. I have no interest in my family tree or in car engines so I get a complete disagree on those, even though I like details and categories in general. I thought I’d scored fairly high, but there are a bunch of people with scores over 100.

  10. I scored 88 (NT female with some ASD traits and 2 kids with ASD). The CDs I actually listen to are sort of alphabetical. My clothes are organised insofar as my knickers are in my knicker drawer and my tops hung in my wardrobe. My shopping is organised into cold stuff (with frozen food nowhere near fruit and veg, tyvm), stuff at ambient temperature and stuff that i don’t want spilt on my food. My eyes completely glaze over at the first mention of historical dates.

    I do, however, have a Chemistry degree. Natural born systemiser. Just don’t ask me who was king when because I don’t know and don’t care!

    Oh – and if anyone puts anything in the wrong cupboard in my kitchen, heads will roll!

    Oddly enough, I have several school reports that say I think and write like a boy. I never did work out whether that was meant to be a good or a bad thing, at the time.

    1. Yes, the kitchen is sacrosanct territory! 🙂 My shirts are not only hung in my closet, but they’re sorted by type so all of the v-neck tees then the sports tees, the long sleeve girly tees, regular long sleeve tees, hoodies, flannel button downs, regular button downs, dressy button downs, etc. If my husband puts the laundry away I have to rearrange it all when he’s done.

      Interesting that teachers said you write and think like a boy. I guess that was meant to be a compliment?

  11. I came out as an extreme systemiser when I took the test combined with the EQ (although it seems that was the unrevised version), having taken it again I got 82. I didn’t answer strongly in most cases, only when it’s something that is or has been a passion of mine, but I am generally interested in understanding how everything works and don’t really understand how people might not want to know that.

    I could not agree more strongly with you that being systematic is a survival mechanism when you’re on the spectrum, especially if you’re the type with executive function and working memory difficulties like I am (big overlap with AD(H)D traits there, and it’s also a common pattern for dyspraxia).

    I would also say that people on the spectrum tend to be concrete thinkers and so less likely to be interested in things that can’t be represented as concrete thoughts. That we tend to notice things like structure, detail and how things work because we don’t see the world as ‘big picture’ concepts and metaconcepts, but as what it actually is, all the constitute parts. So we tend to inherently have to understand how things fit together in order to think about them. And on top of this we’re likely to have difficulty making social connections, so have to channel all that energy somewhere.

    You’re also spot on with how the connection with the AQ is dubious and the sexist bias going on throughout. Cordelia Fine, author of Delusions Of Gender calls this bias ‘neurosexism’. As always, SBC’s theories say more about his own obsessions and biases than they do anything useful about the nature of autism. Correlation is not causation!

    1. I don’t get why people aren’t generally interested in how things work either! Good point about this being driven by our tendency to notice details over gestalt. I also find that I’m much more agreeable to a new or unexpected idea if I know the reasoning behind it, which is similar to the “how it works” concept.

      Neurosexism is a new term for me. It’s perfect. In fact, SBC’s photo should be next to the entry for neurosexism in the dictionary.

  12. I got a 96. I’m not a collector, not a walking encyclopedia of random facts like my husband, and have no interest in filling my brain with facts and figures. I’m a very visual person, so reading and navigating is definitely my thing, and I love thinking about how things work. I organize my closet by weather, color, and type. I’ve been known to joyfully spend days reorganizing my music library and researching all the various subgenres to make sure the label I’ve assigned a song makes sense–never trusting iTune’s categorization of it. I plan everything and list everything, even if the list is useless. I love figuring out the rules of a system and finding ways to operate within those rules. Its why I enjoy programming so much. I also have a routine for everything, the order I eat my foods (and how they’re eaten), how I clean, how my off days are spent, my functions at work. It’s just easier that way. I’m such a spacey person, that I need these systems in place. I strive for efficiency. Even when I am to navigate across a room with a lot of people or fixtures, I stop first and “calculate” the shortest, safest route possible (I’m super clumsy and run into people and things CONSTANTLY). When something throws me off my little routine, I mess up and continue to mess up the rest of the process. Or I may become irritated and moody. Or the rest of my day is shot. I always just attributed this to me being a control freak, which I am :p But I see now how this may a coping mechanism for certain deficiencies I have.

    I agree with you all by the way, I don’t see this “male” connection with the whole systemizing thing. I haven’t met a single male who enjoys and requires things to be organized, or who care for there to be a system in place. The funny thing is, all my visual-spacial skills and tendency to think like an engineer has always been compared to a male’s. I’ve always been told that I think like a man. I meet very few women studying to be software engineers or who share my same interests, though I have a feeling this has to do more with gender roles than anything.

    1. Being a control freak can be a coping mechanism. 🙂 Since I found out why I need to control so much of my life, I’ve actually started to let go a little, which is nice. But I’m still heavily dependent on routines and habits and systems, because without them life would be chaos. I think there’s actually a difference between the traditional control freak behaviors and behaviors that keep us safe or make the world easier to navigate.

      I don’t get the male-systemizing link either. My husband is allergic to organizing things. My need for doing things according to plan drives him batty. It’s a very biased way of looking at gender, IMO.

  13. I’ve been getting mixed results from the aspie tests (I’m trying to determine if I have it) – that is, some say I qualify and others say I’m normal – but this SQ one has me scoring lower than average for a guy, and I feel like it’s totally right. I would really be interested to know why I’m so bad at systemizing and what can be done about it (if anything), because I feel like it has been a hindrance in my life.

  14. I am a female and my score is a 69.0. I am trying to figure out if I am an aspie but I feel the test had some very flawed questions. Many of the questions, like others have pointed out, are heavily dependent upon interest. I am not into politics, but I love science (I am a science teacher). I also find it easier if I organize my clothes so I can quickly make outfits when pressed for time in the morning. I’ll try some more tests. Thank you for the helpful links!

  15. I got 38 which is ridiculous as I’m often interested in how things work but if I was on a train I’d be too busy thinking about my SI to think about how a train works. I’m also interested philosophy, psychology, environmental science… Plus I’m monocular and my visual processing is poor so although my memory for visual patterns is good for other things it’s very poor. People are often amazed by my level of systemizing so *shrugs*

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