Confessions of a researchaholic

February 21, 2010

Systemizing (SQ) and Empathizing (EQ) Quotient Test

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:55 pm
Tags: ,

While reading this paper in CHI 2009, I noticed the following interesting paragraph:

“In the EMB (Extreme Male Brain) model, highly gifted scientists and engineers with AS are found to have strong systemizing behavior but at considerable expense to empathizing. They are recognized as having abnormal social and communicative development as well as a very narrow set of interests, among other traits.”

This got me interested because the “symptoms” kinda fit me, but on the other hand I know I am pretty good at reading people (i.e. knowing on an intuitive/subconscious level on what people are really thinking or feeling) even though I seldom feel compassionate about them.

To figure out what’s really about, I tried the following test:

Your Systemizing (SQ) and Empathizing (EQ) Quotient Test Results

February 21, 2010

Click here to share your EQ SQ scores on your blog.

Respondent Average EQ Average SQ Brain Type
Males 39.0 61.2 Systemizing
Females 48.0 51.7 Empathizing
Your Score 40 79 Extreme Systemizing

What does your score mean?

Generally, the higher the score the greater your natural ability for that trait. However, the EQ test has 40 questions compared to 75 in the SQ test. As a result, although the unprocessed quotients may be used for comparing each trait ability between individuals, the absolute scores do not tell an individual if he or she has a greater tendency to empathize or systemize. A calculation taking into account the quantity of questions in each test is used to determine a person’s brain type along the following continuum:

  • Extreme Empathizing (Extreme E)
  • Empathizing (E)
  • Balanced (B)
  • Systemizing (S)
  • Extreme Systemizing (Extreme S)
Brain Types of Experimental Control Groups
Respondent Extreme E E Balanced S Extreme S
Males 0% 17% 31% 46% 6%
Females 7% 47% 32% 14% 0%

The important factor to consider is not your absolute score, but the difference between the two. This indicates whether you have more natural ability as an Empathizer or a Systemizer. If your scores are about the same for your EQ and SQ, then you have well balanced empathizing-systemizing capabilities.

February 16, 2010

The Rowling criterion

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 3:41 pm

I guess I am not the only one who ever heard people commenting that “computer graphics research is mostly done” or “all the big ideas in graphics have been discovered and the remaining research is mainly about incremental ideas” or something like that.

If you look at history, similar comments have been made about physics in the early twentieth century when people believed that Newtonian physics is near perfection and all the remaining problems are incremental. And then came quantum physics, relativity, and other ground breaking stuff.

I do not think computer graphics is done for a very simple reason. Every year I have been kept seeing interesting/exciting papers coming out of various graphics conferences. So these pessimistic comments may reflect more about the status of people who made them rather than the status of computer graphics research.

And I would not claim graphics is done until people can author images, movies, and animations as easily as writing articles. And these do not even have to be good; not everyone can be Shakespeare, but at least almost everyone (who is literate without severe handicaps like blindness) can easily write an article, a letter, or a diary entry via existing tools, ranging from simple pen and pencil to more advanced text editing software. But how many people today can easily make an image or a movie all alone? It is true that amazing effects have been achieved in many movies, but these almost always involve significant resources, not least a large team of talented professionals. (Take a look of the end credits of the kinds of movies like Harry Potter or Avatar.)

Talking about Harry Potter, this is actually a good example on the difference between authoring textual and non-textual artifacts: for the former, a good writer like J.K. Rowling could single-handedly author an entire book series, but for the latter, a large team of talented staff has to be devoted to realize the books into movies. And this a technology, not talent issue; no existing tools today would have allowed J.K. Rowling to turn her visions into movies, even though these imagery would likely have existed in her minds while writing the books. (I believe she can do that because that is exactly what happened in my minds when reading her books.)

Thus, allow me to propose a necessary condition to claim the completeness of graphics research, the “Rowling criterion”: it should be as easy for a single individual to author a movie/animation/image as to write an article. And when such technology is available, I would happily turn myself from a researcher into a content creator.

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