Systemising Quotient (SQ)

Author of Tool: 

Baron-Cohen, S. Richler, J. Bisarya, D. Gurunathan, N. and Wheelwright, S.

Key references: 

Baron-Cohen, S. Richler, J. Bisarya, D. Gurunathan, N. and Wheelwright, S. (2003). The Systemising Quotient (SQ) : An investigation of adults with Asperger Syndrome or High Functioning Autism and normal sex differences Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B, Special issue on "Autism : Mind and Brain" 358:361-374 /

Primary use / Purpose: 

The SQ is a 75 item likert-type measure determining how much or little the respondent is driven to systemizing (analysing and constructing systems). Systemising is higher in males and in those with Aspergers Syndrome or high-functioning Autism.

Background: 

Empathising and systemising are the two tenets of a major theory of sex differences (The E-S theory). While women focus on empathy, a skill important in social understanding, men tend to focus on systemising, a skill important in understanding and predicting the law-governed (non-social) parts of our world. While many measures have been designed for empathy, there was previously no parallel measure for systemising. The Systemising Quotient (SQ) has provided support for both the E-S theory and the Extreme Male Brain theory of Autism.

Psychometrics: 

Internal and external validity are discussed in Baron-Cohen, S. Richler, J. Bisarya, D. Gurunathan, N. and Wheelwright, S. (2003).

Keywords: 

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