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Study of half a million people reveals sex and job predict how many autistic traits you have
Credit: Chris Isherwood
Measuring autistic traits in just under half a million people reveals that your sex, and whether you work in a STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) job, predict how many autistic traits you have, according to new research published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Autistic traits are not the same as having a diagnosis of autism; instead, these are characteristics of personality and behaviour that are found throughout the general population and are linked to what is seen in the clinical condition of autism. Everyone has some autistic traits – such as difficulty in taking another person’s point of view, difficulty in switching attention flexibly, and excellent attention to detail – and there is a wide range in the population. 15 years ago a team of scientists at the University of Cambridge developed a way of measuring these, using a questionnaire called the Autism Spectrum Quotient, or AQ. This comprises 50 questions, each one representing one autistic trait.
Adapted from University of Cambridge News
Posted on 17/12/2015
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