Development of short forms of the Empathy Quotient (EQ-Short) and the Systemizing Quotient (SQ-Short)

Akio Wakabayashi, Simon Baron-Cohen, Sally Wheelwright, Nigel Goldenfeld, Joe Delaney, Debra Fine, Richard Smith, Leonora Weil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The empathizing-systemizing (E-S) theory has been tested using the Empathy Quotient (EQ) and the Systemizing Quotient (SQ). The present study tested n = 1761 students with these instruments, to determine if short versions of these scales could be constructed. This would be desirable both for faster assessment and to establish which are the key items on each scale. Principal component analysis and factor analysis suggested that a 22-item version of the EQ (EQ-Short) and a 25-item version of the SQ (SQ-Short) were highly correlated with the full scale versions. The reliability of each short scale was reasonable. Results showed that females scored significantly higher than males on the EQ-Short, whilst males scored higher than females on the SQ-Short. Additionally, scores were analyzed according to the degree the student was studying. On the EQ-Short, students studying humanities scored higher than students studying sciences, whereas on the SQ-Short, the results were the opposite. Finally, distributions of the population who showed 'brain types' based on the scores on two scales were examined. The pattern of distribution of the brain types was consistent with the E-S theory. These results suggest that the EQ-Short and SQ-Short are useful instruments for measuring fundamental cognitive styles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-940
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Cognitive style
  • E-S theory
  • EQ-Short
  • Empathizing
  • SQ-Short
  • Systemizing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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