The Truth About People: Our weakness is the key to our greatness
Part 2 – What’s Your Brain Type?
In Part 1, I talked about the different types of brains used by Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen and learned that I had the sensitive brain type that is more common in women. Both men and women have brains that can empathize (E-type) and systematize (S-type), but women can empathize better. Although empathy helps make me a better counselor and I would like to find a better husband and father, I wanted to try the test again to see if I could get more of the “male” systematizing responses.
I repeated both tests in the hope that something went wrong. No dice. I still got a high score on E and a low score on S. I’ve taken the tests many times over the years. No change. Of course, the fact that my empathy is very high makes me an excellent therapist and it is not the end of the world that my wife knows more about car repairing than I do … yet it is not easy to accept reality, who I am never will be the next James Bond or win the favor of the luscious Pussy Galore (how did that name ever get beyond censorship?), played by Honor Blackman in the movie Goldfinger.
Hoping with the updated tests that Dr. Baron-Cohen in his latest book, The Pattern Seekers, would do better. Here he only has 10 questions for each test:
Empathization test (E)
“Based on our scores, we can calculate our brain type,” says Dr. Baron Cohen.
You simply subtract your E (empathization) score from your S (systematization) score, which gives you a D (difference) score. In my case, my S-value was 0 and my E-value was 18. So 0 minus 18 gave me a D-value of -18.
Dr. Baron-Cohen says there are 5 types of brains, along with the D-score areas:
- Extreme E (sensitive): -14 and below. That’s me … again (-18).
- Type E (sensitive): -13 to -7 (inclusive)
- Type B (balanced): -6 to -2 (inclusive)
- Type S (systematisation): -1 to 8 (inclusive)
- Extreme S (systematization): 9 and higher
Based on Dr. Baron Cohen’s research found the following population results for each type:
Extreme empathics are rare. Just 3% of women and 1% of men fall into this group.
Type E empathics are predominantly female. 40% of the female population but only 24% of the male population are that guy.
Balanced types are the same between men and women, 31% of men and 30% of women.
Type S systemizers are predominantly male. 40% of the male population but only 26% of the female population are that guy.
Extreme systemizers are also rare. Just 4% of men and 2% of women fall into this group.
The ancient roots of our systematic and sensitive circuits
In his book The Pattern Seekers, Dr. Baron-Cohen that the ability to empathize and systematize developed in humans 70,000 to 100,000 years ago. The ability to empathize with them enabled our ancestors to understand what was going on in each other’s minds, and enabled us to work together on shared beliefs, tell stories about our world, and develop complex social interactions. Our ability to systematize helped us see the patterns in nature that formed the basis for using fire to cook our meals, agriculture, music, inventions, exercise, math, and science.
While men as a group were not as empathetic as women as a group, we were able to systematize well. Together, these two brain circuits, empathy and systematization, enable us to become who we are. We all, whether we are male or female, better systematize, empathize or are balanced in both, have to accept ourselves for who we are, both our strengths and our weaknesses.
“When I go to heaven,” said Hasidic Rabbi Susya shortly before his death, “they will not ask me:” Why weren’t you Moses? “but ‘Why weren’t you Susya? Why didn’t you become what only you could become?'”
Luther Price rather admonished the street, “Be what you are, not what you are not; Because if you are not what you are, you are what you are not. “
The e-book of my international bestseller The Irritable Male Syndrome: Understanding and Treating the Main Causes of Depression and Aggression is something special this month. Check it out here. I am looking forward to read your comments.
This was a longer article than most of the others. I hope you found it useful. You can read more of my work by visiting me at MenAlive.com/the-blog.
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