Thursday, June 21, 2012

Simon BaronCohen


Male vs female brains

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Vive le difference!
-- French saying
  Simon Baron-Cohen's recent book The Essential Difference: Men, Women and the Extreme Male Brain proposes that "The female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy. The male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems."
The book contains a couple of tests that calculate your "empathy quotient" and your "systemizing quotient". There is also a test that measures your "autism quotient", and a fascinating test that measures how good you are at discerning someone's mood from their eyes.
Here are online versions of the tests:

Doing all four tests will probably take around 30 minutes. When you get your scores, there is a bit more explanation of typical ranges for men and women. Don't take these tests too seriously - Baron-Cohen himself says in his book that the 'typical' results are only averages, and many men and women differ in their scores.
View the results so far. (Please be patient with this link - there are over 150,000 responses so far so it takes a few seconds to prepare the graphs of the results.)

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