Empathizers (EQ: Empathizing Quotient) tend to have an ability to identify and react to the emotions and thoughts of others. Being able to interpret non-verbal communications and judging character are traits commonly associated with empathizers.
Systemizers (SQ: Systemizing Quotient) generally embody a drive to analyze variables and understand the rules of a system. Being able to interpret, control, and predict the behavior of a system are traits commonly associated with systemizers.
This test basically covers the Myers-Briggs Sensing/iNntuitive and Thinky/Feely dimensions. The questions for Empathizers include things like, “It’s easy for me to tell if someone else feels awkward.” (Well, it’s easy for me to tell if someone else makes me feel awkward, surely that’s a start.) “I can usually tell if someone is hiding their true feelings.” (Wait, what did the researchers mean by that? Were they flirting with me?!)
The questions for Systemizers include things like “When I am in a plane, I think about its aerodynamics.” (Um, no. I think about the Skymall catalogue and how badly I wish I had space for an antique globe with a minibar inside it, so practical!) “When I open a newspaper, I am drawn to information tables, like football stats or stock market figures.” (Do horoscopes and Sudoku puzzles count as information tables?) “I could easily generate a list of my 10 favourite books and the names of their authors, from memory.” (Wait, there are people who can’t do that?)
I rated just average on the Empathizing scale, which sounds about right to me- I can sniff out a weirdo from about a block away, yet I still have a tendency to blurt awkward things in group settings. Although I’m not one for poring over figures, I seem to sit somewhat higher on the Systemizing scale than most females, as anyone who’s ever looked at my obsessively-organized bookshelf (organized roughly by subject matter and decade of publication, then generally by size, then precisely by author, and finally, quite ridiculously, by spine colour within each genre, and no, unfortunately, I am totally not kidding) would easily guess. Sadly, though, I cannot read a map, calculate a tip, or remember your birthday. But I do colour-code appointments in my daybook, and I will usually notice if you secretly feel bad about something, especially if I think about it after the fact- my emotional hindsight is stronger than my immediate Spidey-sense, if that makes any sense. Which is probably indicative of a Systemizer’s personality. As is the very fact that I enjoyed this test and am now blogging about it.
Honestly, though, it’s hard to know how to rate yourself on these things, since this stuff is all on a continuum, and just because I sometimes feel awkward or socially smooth, doesn’t mean I actually am. Maybe I’m so clueless I sometimes pat myself on the back without realizing that I totally made a mess of things! (Often true.) Maybe I’m reeeally sensitive, so much so that I feel awkward about things that were actually totally fine! (Also true.) If I compare myself to some of my most empathic friends, I’m kind of a robot, but compared to some of my more Aspie friends I’m a finely-honed emotion-sensing collage artist reeking of feelings and patchouli, and forever sobbing at Barack Obama video montages. Come on, you knew I couldn’t go a whole post without mentioning him.
Anyway, the two tests are here and each takes about 8 minutes.