Sex and discipline differences in empathising, systemising and autistic symptomatology: Evidence from a student population

Julia M. Carroll, Kin Yung Chiew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Baron-Cohen's [(2002) Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 6, 248-255] 'extreme male brain' theory of autism is investigated by examining the relationships between theory of mind, central coherence, empathising, systemising and autistic-like symptomatology in typical undergraduates. There were sex differences in the expected directions on all tasks. Differences according to discipline were found only in central coherence. There was no evidence of an association between empathising and systemising. In the second study, performance on the Mechanical Reasoning task was compared with Systemising quotient and the Social Skills Inventory was compared with the Empathising Quotient. Moderate, but not high correlations were found. Findings are broadly consistent with the distinction between empathising and systemising but cast some doubt on the tasks used to measure these abilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-957
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume36
Issue number7
Early online date9 Aug 2006
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Central coherence
  • Empathising
  • Extreme male brain
  • Gender
  • Systemising
  • Theory of mind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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