Bilington, Baron-Cohen, and Wheelright: Systemizing and Empathizing


The empathizing-systemizing theory classifies people by their scores on an empathizing test and a systemizing test to determine a person's empathy and interest in systems. The tests' results can determine how likely someone is to go into the sciences or the humanities.


The aim of the study was to determine whether there was an appreciable difference between the scores of men and women who were enrolled in courses in the sciences and the humanities.


The participants took the tests and their scores were analyzed to determine whether they were systemizing or empathizing prone. The participants were all university students enrolled in technical courses or the humanities.


The results determined that people who were more systemizing were more likely to go into the sciences, empathizers were more likely to go into the humanities, and that men were more likely to by systematizers and women more likely to be empathizers.


Those who were more empathic would be more likely to follow career paths that required practitioners to interact with others and systematizers were more likely to follow careers that required high levels of organization and little contact with other people.

The study's strength lay in its thorough tests and ecological validity, but its main weakness was that the participants of the study were already enrolled in the sciences or humanities and it was already fairly clear wether they were systemizing or empathizing.