Are systemizing and autistic traits related to talent and interest in mathematics and engineering? Testing some of the central claims of the empathizing-systemizing theory

British Journal of Psychology
Kinga MorsanyiSilvia Galli


In two experiments, we tested some of the central claims of the empathizing-systemizing (E-S) theory. Experiment 1 showed that the systemizing quotient (SQ) was unrelated to performance on a mathematics test, although it was correlated with statistics-related attitudes, self-efficacy, and anxiety. In Experiment 2, systemizing skills, and gender differences in these skills, were more strongly related to spatial thinking styles than to SQ. In fact, when we partialled the effect of spatial thinking styles, SQ was no longer related to systemizing skills. Additionally, there was no relationship between the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) and the SQ, or skills and interest in mathematics and mechanical reasoning. We discuss the implications of our findings for the E-S theory, and for understanding the autistic cognitive profile.


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Autistic Disorder
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