Autism Quotient and computer science

by kai on 25/10/2004

This is an interesting one. Prof. Gunter Dueck, an IBM Distinguished Engineer, is publishing his personal scientific thoughts on the IT world regularly in the German Informatik Spektrum. The latter is a magazine (six issues per year) which is published by the German Society of Computer Science (GI) for its members, which I’m a member of.

It’s really worth to have a look on his articles, I don’t know if there is anything available in English…

But to head back to the topic. Recently he wrote about “real” computer scientists, their behaviours and their own view on the so called “reality”. With that he mentioned an online test to find out an individuals autism quotient and that a lot of the “real” computer scientists end up with a quite high score – at least higher than average. The page he mentioned is not available right now, but I found a similar one – probably it’s the same test:

All questions are available in English, the column headers (in German) from left to right mean: “Agree strong”/”Agree light”/”Disagree light”/”Disagree strong”.

Average score for women is around 15, for men it’s 17. The professors score is 22, my own 21. There were people with 26-28 in different testing groups. With 32 and more you’re a candidate for Asperger (a light form of autism) and with even more your’re a candidate for real autism.

Following his thoughts, the score is related to your education (course of studies) and your job career somehow – so if there are some brave people outside – do the test and post your results combined with your education and a short job description…

Beate Paland October 26, 2004 at 12:00 am

>Average score for women is around 15

Hihi, mine is 28 🙂

BTW: I have written also sth on about Dueck.

Jim Cheng October 26, 2004 at 12:00 am

I got an AQ score of 33. I work professionally as a full-time Flash application developer, though I was trained as a chemist at arguably one of the leading science and engineering institutions in the world, and have also worked professionally as both a research chemist and a cleric in jobs past.

I have most of the symptoms of Asperger’s, and while never medically diagnosed, I have suspected for years that I likely have a mild case of it. However, in argument to the contrary, I’ve also never had any significant problems interacting with others or the consensual “reality” aside from having known since I was a toddler that I was quite different than most other people and needed to accomodate my social interactions with others with this in mind.

John Dowdell October 26, 2004 at 12:00 am

Yup, me in low 20s too… thanks for the link.

One additional symptom I don’t see listed there is “echolalia” — this sometimes manifest as the repetition of a phrase by the speaker, but if I hear something remarkably striking (like a loud Valley Girl voice on the bus), then it’s hard for me to resist echoing it. If we rode the streetcar together you’d get a laugh out of watching me sometimes…. 😉

Henning Gauterin October 27, 2004 at 12:00 am

I got an AQ score of 18, nearly perfect for men’s average 😉

Jörg Müller October 27, 2004 at 12:00 am

I got a 32! Woohoo! I’m a Web Developer at an internet agency in Munich. My colleagues may call me “Mr. Autistic” now?!

lori johnson November 7, 2004 at 12:00 am

i tested 34 on the test. this doesn’t really surprise me because my oldest brother is autistic. he has had great doctors and is quite functional. he reads the dictionary as a hobby and can tell you the definition, pronunciation, origin and spelling of any word you want to toss his way. he also has a fascination with roman numerals and has made tablets counting up to one million in roman numerals. but hand him a checkbook and ask him to balance it and he doesn’t have a clue… i also am fascinated with language and in 3rd grade taught myself how to read and write braille, and studied sign language. i still remember most of the sign language but have forgotten the braille. i never missed a word in spelling from 3rd grade on. i also have this idea that things are really cool backwards. this is probably the weirdest thing about me. i learned the alphabet backwards, can recite the pledge of allegiance backwards, can name all the states in alphabetical order, and a few years ago determined that i needed to learn all the state capitals. so i did. and once it is in there, it usually stays. i went through some college (almost completing nursing school) and excel in medical terminology. i am now waiting tables at a rib joint in tulsa and this has done more for me socially than anything else. i also did a stint as a proofreader which i loved. to me the mistakes are worth finding because they are funny.

besky9 May 13, 2006 at 12:00 am

I’m a 28y old woman from barcelona, and I scored 27.
I speak 3 foreign languages, business school background, technology geek from early age (child), big traveller alone as well from early age (14).
My friends or work colleagues call me “the independent vector” and tell me i’ve “much brain but little talk”, “sarcastic, ironic”… “good intentions but not tactful at all”.. “in your own world”…”smiling at nobody knows what” )
I’ve worked as project manager for technological projects, and the most difficult part was coordinating people, dealing with them. I’ve never understood (and i literally hate it) when people tell other people at work about their feelings at every moment. i considered work a very interesting challenge… until i found out i had to relate with other people and their (unwanted and unexpected) extroversion. i consider work exclusively from a “technical” point of view… either economically, either about people relations for a determined result, or whatever
… and feel i respect others much. But i do not like others showing themselves, asking me anything, … it’s just very caothic altogether
that limits my profile in: politics in managerial world -very very important-, and in managing people -just can’t deal with it-

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