Joe Maller.com

Somehow I missed Wired’s Autism-Spectrum Quotient quiz last week. (mentioned by Jerry Kindall29 and a whole lotta nothing28 among others) I took the test twice and scored a 27 both times. I suppose this will come back to haunt me someday.

As I was taking the quiz, Michelle said I was probably trying to skew my answers to seem autistic, which I probably was. When I told her my score, she said this just means I’m on the fringe of “super-bizarro people”. (good thing she’s contractually locked in)

I found the questions overly simplistic (most multiple choice questions are), inverted and misleading. For many of the questions, I would have skipped them or answered in the middle.
Below are my notes about specifically annoying questions.

  1. I prefer to do things with others rather than on my own

    I do like working alone, I like having several quiet hours to think, and I like the feeling of accomplishment that comes with doing something myself. I also enjoy working with small groups on joint projects. I enjoy cooperating and helping other people accomplish their goals. This also depends on the other people and the task at hand.

  2. I find social situations easy


    Depends on the social situation. I can think of many kinds of social situations I enjoy and just as many I don’t. This is an ongoing issue with these questions, a general catagory is used in place of a specific event.


  3. I tend to notice details that others do not

    So does everyone I work with. It’s part of being a visual professional. I could also have answered no, since everyone around me usually notices things too. Or maybe we’re just all autistic…

  4. I don’t particularly enjoy reading fiction

    I could answer that I don’t particularly enjoy reading fiction more or less than non-fiction. This question is silly.

  5. I would rather go to the theater than to a museum

    Depends on what’s at the theater. Usually I’m just annoyed by the legroom, but I usually enjoy the things I choose to see onstage.

  6. I find it easy to do more than one thing at once


    Depends which things. I can do twenty things at once if they are related or things I’m interested in. I can’t however pay the bills and work on something technical. Multi-taskking is very thematic for me.

  7. I am often the last to understand the point of a joke

    I don’t get bad jokes. I am usually quick to notice themes in stories.

  8. When I was young, I used to enjoy playing games involving pretending with other children


    What else exactly do kids do besides pretend, have board meetings? Itemize lists of company assets? If the question dropped the “with other children” it would be absolutely true. Sometimes I preferred to play alone.

  9. I find it difficult to imagine what it would be like to be someone else

    I do speculate on other people’s motivations, but I find it difficult because of the complexity of the human mind, experiences and motivations. Does it count to worry about how other people are feeling?

  10. I enjoy social occasions


    I enjoy some occasions, but not others. But often I find myself having a good time at a place I was dreading going to. I’m usually excited about getting together with friends, or going places where friends will be, but I’ve never liked going into a crowd of strangers very much. So how should I have answered? If it were possible, I would have left the question blank.

  11. I enjoy meeting new people

    What kind of new people? Would this be a group of people I have something in common with or a group of people who I have nothing in common with. Optomisticallly Yes, I agree, pessimisticallty, they would all be boring…

  12. I am not very good at remember people’s date of birth

    I’m great at remembering dates but I usually have trouble connecting the date with the day. I don’t seem to remember a birthday as a point in time, only a temporal-numeric fact. I answered 3 because I am good at remembering dates, but subtracted from that because I don’t connect when the day comes.

One other problem I had was inability to remember which way was agree and which way was disagree, but that’s probably just dyslexia.


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