I’ve been feeing irritated again with my inability to interact naturally with people, and of course I wanted metrics quantifying the phenomenon. So I headed over to Wrong Planet and stocked up on tests.

The Broad Autism Phenotype Questionnaire gives me 123 aloof, 92 rigid and 97 pragmatic.

You scored above the cutoff on all three scales. Clearly, you are either autistic or on the broader autistic phenotype. You probably are not very social, and when you do interact with others, you come off as strange or rude without meaning to. You probably also like things to be familiar and predictable and don’t like changes, especially unexpected ones.

The Autism Spectrum Quotient comes out at 34, and “Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher.”

The Empathizing Quotient and Systemizing Quotient puts me at 10% empathizing, and 75% systemizing, which makes me an “extreme systemizer.”

The important factor to consider is not your absolute scores, but the difference between the two (EQ – SQ-R). 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-R, then you have well balanced empathizing-systemizing capabilities. If you are an Extreme Systemizer, you might have AS or HFA.

The Understanding Facial Expression Test was pretty hard, and I managed to guess 24 of them, considering several of them just looked like blank eyes to me.

The Face Blindness / Prosopagnosia Test was tricky, but I managed a 72%, which is right between the 65% of someone considered face blind, and the 80% average. I’m not sure where that puts me, but I’ve always had mild trouble with faces, so not entirely surprising.

And of course, the Emotional Intelligence Quotient test says of my 63 score:

According to your self-report answers, your emotional intelligence is very poor. People who score like you do feel that they have trouble dealing with their own emotions and those of others. They struggle to overcome difficulties in their lives and they are unable to control their moods. It’s hard for them to understand how best to motivate themselves and reach their goals. In addition, they find social interactions quite difficult, for several reasons. They may have trouble allowing themselves to get close with others, finding it difficult to be vulnerable enough to establish intimacy. They also report having trouble offering support to others, likely due to the fact that they do not understand where others are coming from or they lack ideas about how best to help. Perhaps by working on your problem areas, you can become more confident in dealing with your own emotions and those of others.

This should come as no surprise to anyone who actually knows me. It just frustrates me that I never really got any help as a kid, when it may have actually done some good. Keep in mind that this is all after I’ve spent decades watching other people and trying to figure out ways to interact with them, like I’m an anthropologist or something. At least now I’m not so oblivious that I’m flubbing normal social routines. But that’s life from the fringes.

Until Tomorrow

Socially Retarded for Science!
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10 thoughts on “Socially Retarded for Science!

  • For whatever it’s worth, I’m in the same boat with you. I was diagnosed as autistic in kindergarten, up until they discovered I wasn’t mentally retarded. (In 1980, you had to have retardation to be considered autistic.) Once they discovered I wasn’t retarded, “oh, so sorry, I guess we’re wrong,” without ever once considering that maybe there were good reasons behind their diagnosis.

    Like you, I’m an anthropologist studying the hairless primates of the world. I’ve managed to get passably good at it. Still… it was a hellish, brutal and miserable way to grow up.

    1. See Rob, you got a bad beat. As much as I complain, you have it way worse than I do, but at the same time, you have more of the benefits (better memory, more focus, etc.) You also had a rougher school history, even though I grew up in gang territory much of the time. It’s just that I was small fry compared to everyone else out there, and not worth the time to bother. You got the full bullying experience, and it’s funny how I always missed it.

      You can’t really hate the kid that’s really good at tetherball, can you? You can’t pick on the kid who knows Steve, can you? That kid just stared you down, he must be crazy! Rob, I was the new kid at nine different schools. Every single time, people moved in on me, and every single time, something diffused or even reversed the situation. From what you told me, you had the exact opposite happen.

      I fell into a weird limbo zone where I’m not obsessive enough to be classic spectrum, but I match on every other critera like they wrote the book about me. I’ve been reading The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, and I’ve had a series of epiphanies. I may never socially integrate properly, but maybe I can feel better about it. I think the depression all this has caused over my life is the worst part. Studying people and still lacking the ability to emulate them is one thing, getting hopeless, frustrated, and hating myself for it is another.

      You’re the only brother I really have in this, man. :p

    1. Hah! It’s not a competition, kid. The first step to correcting something is to identify it. I’ve suspected this since a little before I graduated from college, so it’s no huge surprise.

      This is just one of my first full attempts to quantify what’s going on; trying to build my case.

      Commonly insomniacs (can never fall asleep in less than half an hour, as long as I can remember), generally nervous (you ever see me sit still?), quick tempers (punched a kid in the nose for cutting in front of me in line, with no other provocation), stimming (I rock back and forth when I’m nervous or excited), blunt phrasing (why not?), clumsiness (last kid in my class to learn to skip, etc.), social phobia (I can’t even walk into a room full of huge nerds without psyching myself up), etc. I match so many metrics I either have it, or a very suspicious cluster other of neurological disorders.

      So now I can get to doing something about it. 🙂

      1. Well, I didn’t mean for it to come off as being competitive…(sowwy) Anyways, I’m glad that you’re doing research on this, and I hope it helps you. Viel Glück, bonne chance, and all that jazz!

  • OK. I totally want to take these tests because you never struck me as autistic – just kinda on the quieter side and brutally honest. Hell probably 1/2 of society has a hard time interacting with others. It’s just a lot of darn work!

    1. Heh. I wasn’t just quiet. Remember how I always just went home and did homework and never did anything with anyone, ever? It just never occurred to me. I was called arrogant all the damn time, even when I was just trying to be logical. I’d mimic Bill or the other guys because they got favorable responses from people, but when I did it, it came off as creepy. I still don’t know what I did to piss Winther off so much. 🙂

      Sure we’re all messed up in one way or another, I’m just tired of never having common ground with other people. It sucks. Even surrounded by tons of other people, I’m alone, or at least I feel that way. But I’m also notoriously oblivious, so what do I know.

  • systematizer, beware of poker.

    it’s easy to learn models of poker that apply to a pretty broad swath of games yet leave one susceptible to predation by those who can recognize and exploit those who use popular models.

    my suggestion would be, regardless of initial confidence, ensure you consistently beat smaller-money games before moving up. it’s a very important meta-rule to any system.

      1. I guess the gambling reference in the older post, and the “bad beat” terminology in the recent comment, and the systematizer-empathizer continuum all swirled together with some memories about poker players i have known to produce the above.

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