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.

July 10, 2009

Proving human

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:54 am
Tags: , ,

In the Terminator movies, proving whether one is human or machine is crucial for the survival of the entire humanity. But it also has humbler applications, e.g. anti-spam.

Spam is bad; it causes great inconvenience in our daily life, and it even contributes to globally warming.

Let me classify the anti-spam techniques into two main categories: content-based or behavior based. The former looks into the content (of an email or a blog comment) and judges whether it talks more like a human or a machine (spam). The latter is concerns about the behavior of the entity (behind an email or blog comment) and judges whether it more likely a human or a machine (spam). The content-based approach is more prescriptive and takes place *after* the event has happened (an email sent or a blog comment made), whereas the behavior-based approach is more preventive and takes place *before* the event has happened.

The content-based approach, e.g. spam filters, has been constantly improving but is not yet (and likely never will be) 100% accurate. We have all received spam emails that slipped through the filter (false negative), as well as lost non-spam emails that got wrongly caught (false positive). In general, this battle is tougher for the good guys, as they are tackling the (more difficult) analysis problem whereas the evil guys are dealing with the (simpler) synthesis problem.

The behavior-based approach, e.g. word verification, takes a different route. Instead of judging whether an act is performed by a human or a machine, it simply structures the environment so that only humans can accomplish the task. This would put more burden on humans (e.g. for word verification one has to identify texts from a picture and enter that) but usually not a big hassle relative to the original task (e.g. composing email or comments). However, this is a battle easier for the good guys, as they are tackling the (simpler) synthesis problem whereas the evil guys are dealing with the (more difficult) analysis problem. (To my knowledge, no computer vision or pattern recognition techniques could break picture or sound based word verification so far.)

I wonder if anti-spam research should be focused more on the behavior side (computer-human interaction) rather than the content side (algorithm).

P.S. This post was inspired by Ken Perlin’s blog entry on actual humans.

« Previous Page

Theme: Rubric. Get a free blog at