Do You Have a Female or Male Brain: A Test to Measure Your Empathy and Systemizing Quotients (EQ and SQ)

This is the third in a series of blog posts based on Dan Pink’s book, A Whole New World: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. This post is based on a couple of the tests Pink mentions that can be used to gauge one’s level of empathy.

The two tests are known as the Empathy Quotient (EQ) test and the Systemizing Quotient (SQ) test.

The Empathy Quotient is intended to measure how easily you pick up on other people’s feelings and how strongly you are affected by other people’s feelings. Here is a link to an online version of the test that automatically scores the results for you.

On this test, I scored a 44; on average, most women score about 47 and most men about 42. Here is a breakdown of what your score represents:

0-32 = You have a lower than average ability for understanding how other people feel and responding appropriately.
33-52 = You have an average ability for understanding how other people feel and responding appropriately. You know how to treat people with care and sensitivity.
53-63 = You have an above average ability for understanding how other people feel and responding appropriately. You know how to treat people with care and sensitivity.64-80 = You have a very high ability for understanding how other people feel and responding appropriately. You know how to treat people with care and sensitivity.
The Systemizing Quotient gives a score based on how interested you assess yourself to be in each of the following forms of systemizing. Systemizing is the drive to analyze and explore a system, to extract underlying rules that govern the behavior of a system; and the drive to construct systems. Here is a link to where you can take the test, but it will require a paper and pencil, and you will need to grade it yourself.

On this test I scored a 29; on average women score about 24 and men score about 30. Here is a breakdown of what your score represents:

0-19 = You have a lower than average ability for analyzing and exploring a system.
20-39 = You have an average ability for analyzing and exploring a system.
40-50 = You have an above average ability for analyzing and exploring a system.
51-80 = You have a very high ability for analyzing and exploring a system.

The two tests, each containing 60 questions, take less than 30 minutes total to complete, including the grading. Once you have taken both tests, you can then find out what kind of brain you have.

Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge has developed the above tests to measure your Empathising Quotient (EQ) and Systemising Quotient (SQ). The results will tell you if you have a Male Brain, Female Brain or a perfectly balanced one. The theory (Baron-Cohen’s theory) behind these tests say that your sex alone doesn’t tell what type of brain you have.

You can see where you fit by plotting your SQ score on the horizontal axis and your EQ score on the vertical axis on the graph below.

  • For individuals with Female Brain (type E), empathizing is stronger than systemizing.
  • For individuals with Male Brain (type S), systemising is stronger than empathising.
  • Yet other individuals with Balanced Brain (type B), are equally strong in their systemising and empathising. The balanced brain would fit on the diagonal in the top right of the graph – this is where both EQ and SQ are equally strong.
  • The extreme female brain (which would be at the top left of the graph) has yet to be discovered according to Baron-Cohen. The extreme male brain (bottom right of the graph) may be a manifestation of autism.

With my personal scores of 44 for EQ and a 29 for SQ, I land almost smack in the middle of the graph, suggesting that I have a balanced brain.

It was a fun exercise, and while going through the questions, it made me think about some behaviors I would like to work on in order to become more empathetic.

What I found most interesting was the fact that the extreme female brain (which would be at the top left of the graph) has yet to be discovered, while the extreme male brain (bottom right of the graph) may be a manifestation of autism.

There are a couple more tests that Pink mentions at the end of this chapter – Spot the Fake Smile and Mind in the Eyes test.

I plan to take those tests later this week, and I will be sure to share my results with you as soon as I complete the tests (cue the cliffhanger music)…

2 thoughts on “Do You Have a Female or Male Brain: A Test to Measure Your Empathy and Systemizing Quotients (EQ and SQ)

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