AofA Science Summary: Are systemizing and autistic traits related to talent and interest in mathematics and engineering?
Posted Oct 01 2012 12:00am
Professor Simon Baron Cohen's research includes the theory of the extreme male brain: "Research on relatives of people with Asperger syndrome and autism has
found that their fathers and grandfathers are twice as likely to be
engineers as the general population. Natural science students have more
relatives with autism than humanities students. Asperger syndrome is
found more often in mathematicians and their siblings than in the
general population. Both mothers and fathers of children with Asperger
syndrome tend to score high on systemizing. Both mothers and fathers of
children with autism or Asperger syndrome often have father who worked
in systemizing occupations. Both mothers and fathers of children with
autism have a strongly masculine pattern of brain activity when doing
systemizing activity.*" The study below found otherwise.
Item 1 of 1 (Display the citation in PubMed)
1. Br J Psychol. 2012
Nov;103(4):472-96. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.2011.02089.x. Epub 2011 Dec 22.
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.
School of Psychology, University of
Plymouth, UK Department of Psychology,
University of Florence, Italy.
Testing some of the central claims of the empathizing-systemizing theory.
Morsanyi K, Primi C, Handley SJ, Chiesi F, Galli S.
School of Psychology, University of Plymouth, UK Department of Psychology, University of Florence, Italy.
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.
*The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary
Psychology, Edited by Robin Dunbar and Louise Barret, Oxford University
Press, 2007, Chapter 16 The evolution of empathizing and systemizing:
assortative mating of two strong systemizers and the cause of autism,