Monday, May 09, 2011

A quick word or two regarding the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test and the Austrian study

I plan to write more about this later, but one thing that I can do now after reading the full text of the Austrian study that was published in 2006 that involved the RMET is that the mean score in the RMET for 206 normal male controls was 22.35 and the mean score for 217 normal female controls was 23.31 in that test, both being rather lower scores for normal controls than have been found in many other studies of the RMET. I believe this is because this study is superior, as I will explain later.

So, the figures quoted by Cordelia Fine in her interesting book Delusions of Gender were true, and the claim by Prof. Simon Baron-Cohen in his 2003 book The Essential Difference that a score of 30 in this test is a typical average score looks most questionable in light of the 2006 Austrian study. This discrepancy is especially important when one considers that scores by autistics on this test of around 20 to 22 have been cited as evidence of a deficit in reading emotions or "empathizing" in autistic people. No score on any test can be judged to be superior or normal or subnormal without first having an understanding of what a normal score is, based on solid scientific research studies. So do autistic people really have a deficit in reading human emotions in facial expressions in the eyes in photographs of eyes?


Martin Voracek and Stefan G. Dressler (2006) Lack of correlation between digit ratio (2D:4D) and Baron-Cohen’s “Reading the Mind in the Eyes” test, empathy, systemising, and autism-spectrum quotients in a general population sample. Personality and Individual Differences. Volume 41, Issue 8, December 2006. P. 1481-1491.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V9F-4KMYFM7-1&_user=10&_coverDate=12%2F31%2F2006&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=browse&_origin=browse&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=3924796307d73f3a34f02f8b20f47e19

6 comments:

r.b. said...

Very good. Very, very good. Do you do twitter? You can hook up with Michelle D there, at least to give answers her tweets even if she doesn't know you. This work could gain access, and she doesn't especially care for the work of the Father, Son, or the Holy
Ghost....at least the Son...(Uta Frith--Father, Simon B. Cohen,Son, and Tony Attwood, H.G.)

I'm on there making a total ass out of myself, but I don't care.
You might get lucky and plant a seed.

Nobody in this world is better tnan you, nobody. The net is a great equalizer.

r.b. said...

Aw, shit, nevermind. I just read your links...

Lili Marlene said...

Thank you for your kind words, R. B.

krex said...

Correct me if I'm wrong...(it happened once, so I'm not ruling it out) but don't most aspies say that they are uncomfortable looking into peoples eyes ? I find it embarrassingly intrussive, like looking at someone that's naked or has a bugger hanging out of their nose . If that is true, would stand o reason that while it may be more comfortable looking at pictures of people, then directly at 3D people, we may lack some experience ? Also, if I recall correctly, non-verbal communication does not end at the eyes but involves, TOne, volume and intonation of the voice....body posture and positioning and probably some other stuff I could care less about .

Here's why I think the whole topic is ridiculous...if NT's are so great at reading emotion in the eyes...how can they so pathologically be cruel to people ? Why do they spend so much time lying to each other and why are their specialist that have to teach how to catch people lying....I mean, if this shit is supposed to be innate ?

In summary...(I crack myself up sometimes), If NT's are the majority and they both can read others emotions and have innate empathy to their feelings then why do they keep being so mean and why aren't scientists doing more research into how to prevent such abhorrent behavior ? And while I'm ranting will you NT's stop "looking" your feelings at me and just use your words ?

Lili Marlene said...

Don't expect an answer to your questions from the boffins anytime soon, Krex.

r.b. said...

re: EYE CONTACT.

I find you two inspiring...

http://raggette.blogspot.com/2011/05/bothersome-eye-contact.html