25 Jan '13, 8am

Engineers and Autism. #engineering #engineer

Getting into other people’s heads requires empathy, a virtue that sometimes does not come naturally to engineers. Our profession tends toward the opposing mental disposition, called systemizing, which attends mainly to rule-based systems, such as those that govern machinery. In October, we got a big response to an article, by Web Editor Philip E. Ross, on a new theory that links systemizing, engineers, and autism, a developmental disorder that has become more common in recent decades [see http://spectrum.ieee.org/oct06/4665 ]. The author of the theory, Simon Baron-Cohen, a professor of developmental psycho­pathology at the University of Cambridge, argues that in generations past, engineers, mathematicians, and other systemizers had little opportunity to meet potential spouses who thought as they did. Now, however, schools and professions sort both sexes by psychological ty...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/diagnostics/engineers...

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