Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Are you E or S?

Hi Friends.

Anyone want to amuse me for a bit?

Simon Baron-Cohen (a psychologist) has this theory that classifies people on the basis of their scores along two dimensions - systemising and the empathising. It's a bit women's weekly, but interesting nevertheless.

According to Baron-Cohen, there are 5 brain types:
  • Extreme Type S, whose systemizing is above average but whose empathy is below average (S>>E).
  • Type S, whose systemizing at a significantly higher level than their empathy (S>E).
  • Type B (for balanced), whose empathy is at the same level as their systemizing (E=S).
  • Type E, whose empathy is at a significantly higher level than their systemizing (E>S).
  • Extreme Type E, whose empathy is above average but whose systemizing is below average (E>>S)
He reckons there are sex differences in these - very roughly as follows:

Ex S - 5% men, almost 0% women (Many ASD are in this category)
S - 50% men, 15% women
B - 30% men, 30% women
E - 15% men, 50% women
Ex E - almost 0% men, 5% women

If you studied engineering at uni, you are probably in the S category. Or extreme S.

I'm interested in how this theory may be useful in thinking about church. My denomination is one that appeals to S types. Systematic theology is what we're famous for. There is a rule and procedure for everything. Many of our ministers used to be engineers. And they are all men. I think it likely that we have a disproportionate number 'S' brains among us. What difference does this make? Does it matter? How do 'E' types feel about this?

Ideas?


Want to know what kind of brain you have?

You can do this test here - you have to pick someone's emotions from looking at a picture of eyes. It is meant to measure empathy. 

Post your results in the comments.







33 comments:

  1. Andrew CruickshankApril 24, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    24.2, but I got an A for procrastination.

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    Replies
    1. 24.2? How did you manage .2?

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    2. Hmmm... I got 24 right, but after getting 4 of the first 5 wrong I thought I was headed for a 'you are a spambot' diagnosis. My quoted score had a decimal (I thought) but then my internet misbehaved and I couldn't get the page back. Apparently I can't read numbers either (oh no!) I felt like there might be some information in the patterns of the ones I got wrong, too. OK at seeing if people are joking or sceptical or thoughtful, bad at seeing desire and fear. V. interesting

      Does he have anything on the social psychology of stereotypes and difference? How these differences are taken up in practices of culture? I speculate that the stereotypes for men and women would be just the consistent differences, and the rest of your expectations would be folded into your 'generic person' stereotype (further modified by class stereotypes and other sub-conscious stereotype encodings). So if you know nothing except X is a woman, you're expecting E much more than S, which means you'll find an S-brained woman hard to read and difficult. (Systematizing much there Andrew?)

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    3. "Does he have anything on the social psychology of stereotypes and difference? "

      No. That would spoil the fun!

      You need to do more tests. Next post!

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  2. I'm 31. I sit at the E end of balanced.

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    Replies
    1. I got the same as you Simone. Did anyone else find it harder as you went along? Is it just that my brain got overloaded or that it really was more challenging as you got towards the end?

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    2. I think it certainly got harder towards the end.

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    3. Actually, I found I mucked up the first couple and then flew through the end.

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    4. I think it is a little simplistic, as are most of these tests. Firstly, there is no more body language or context to "read". Secondly, who says you only feel one thing at a time? For example, I can be interested and anxious at the same time!

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  3. 28 for me. The ones that I got wrong were often where I had narrowed it down to two choices and the one I didn't pick out of those two was the right one...
    Thanks for an entertaining evening :)

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  4. Dave got a 29, so I only just beat him!

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    Replies
    1. Not that it's a competition, of course...

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  5. Sorry...didn't have time to go into lots of detail re the interpretation. Does my score make me a Balanced type?? Or am I heading towards S territory?

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    Replies
    1. You need to wait till tomorrow when I link to more tests for you to do!

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    2. Looking forward to it. At this stage, tomorrow evening is being spent uploading student marks onto the Uni webpage so I will be looking for some enlightenment after that...

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  6. Came home and dId this fairly quickly and got 32, which would perhaps have been 33 but that I hit the button too quick on one and knew instantly it was wrong. Funny thing is, I think a couple of the ones I had to look hardest at were the same guy (he should probably be a spy) ... Where do you find out the grades? And what is ASD in extreme E?

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    Replies
    1. Sorry - Error. I fixed it. ASD (Autism) belongs with Extreme S. Typo.

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  7. 28 I was better with the women than the men. I got a few wrong when I couldn't pick between 2 easily.

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  8. 31.
    Part of it seems to be about strong and moderate emotions. Almost all the eyes are moderate but the options often include some strong options. Or is that an S approach to an E test?

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  9. I got 2/13 before I gave up. I knew what they all were, but it felt like work, so I stopped.

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  10. 31.
    Interesting.
    I'd always thought the systematising guys end up teaching theology and in administrative jobs, while the empathising guys are in parishes.
    On a more serious note, not being a systematiser and having a world class incapacity to empathise in my earlier days, I've found it easier to grow empathy than to develop organisational aptitude.

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  11. 32.
    Not bad for an engineer :-)

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  12. 30 - and my grandfather was ASD! Now I have a high percentage of clients with ASD, and it was good to know about this resource - have heard of his work before. I tried to employ the skills I teach my high functioning kids with ASD and it worked, most of the time. Where does that put me?

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  13. PS I wonder whether you have much of an audience of Ses, considering your personality???

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  14. Did I miss the bit where your score is interpreted into whether you're an extreme S, E or balanced?

    I was a 33.

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  15. Did I miss the bit where your score is interpreted into whether you're an extreme S, E or balanced?

    I was a 33.

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    Replies
    1. Look at the post further up the page. Though if you scored 33 I'd say you'll probably be e.

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  16. I hope that I'm empathetic, though it has always concerned me a little subconsiously that the majority of the word 'empathetic' is 'pathetic'.

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