Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 10, pp 1823–1832 | Cite as

Empathizing and Systemizing in Adults with and without Autism Spectrum Conditions: Cross-Cultural Stability

  • Akio WakabayashiEmail author
  • Simon Baron-Cohen
  • Tokio Uchiyama
  • Yuko Yoshida
  • Miho Kuroda
  • Sally Wheelwright
Original paper


This study tests the empathizing-systemizing (E-S) theory of sex differences and the extreme male brain (EMB) theory of autism. Three groups of participants took part: n = 48 people with autism spectrum, n = 137 general population controls, and n = 1,250 university student controls. Each participant completed the Empathy Quotient (EQ) and the Systemizing Quotient (SQ). Results: The autism spectrum condition (ASC) group scored significantly lower than controls on the EQ, and significantly higher on the SQ. Among both control groups, females scored significantly higher than males on the EQ, whilst males scored significantly higher than females on the SQ. The distribution of ‘brain types’, based on the difference between EQ and SQ scores, showed distinct profiles for people with ASC, control males and control females.


Empathizing Systemizing Autism Asperger syndrome Autism spectrum conditions Cognitive style Sex differences 



AW was supported by a grant (The Grant-in Aid for Scientific Research No.16530418) from the Japan Society for the promotion of Science. SBC and SW were supported by the MRC UK and the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation during the period of this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akio Wakabayashi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Simon Baron-Cohen
    • 2
  • Tokio Uchiyama
    • 3
    • 4
  • Yuko Yoshida
    • 4
  • Miho Kuroda
    • 4
  • Sally Wheelwright
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyChiba UniversityInageJapan
  2. 2.Autism Research Centre, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Cambridge CambridgeUK
  3. 3.Department of Human Relations, Faculty of Human WelfareOtsuma Women’s UniversityTama, TokyoJapan
  4. 4.Psycho-Developmental ClinicTsuzukiJapan

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