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33 out of 36

After scoring 24 out of 80, I explored the other tests on the site. One that caught my attention is the Mind in the eyes test, which asks you to describe what someone is thinking or feeling based just on looking at their eyes. I believe it’s related to Paul Ekman‘s work on reading faces.

Anyway, on that Mind in the eyes test, I scored a 33 out of 36.

So, I have little innate empathy, but I can read other people’s expressions remarkably well. I don’t know if this is contradictory, or if it’s exactly right. Perhaps empathy and facial reading are just to very different parts of the brain.

  1. actually, that makes perfect sense. i would say the 33 you scored has more to do with social necessity. i got a 24 out of 36 on the test, which is right in the normal range, but given that i have a pretty deep empathetic sense across the board, of which people’s facial expressions are only one piece, i probably haven’t had to develop my facial recognition skill to the level that you have to successfully engage with people.
    also, for what it’s worth, the ones i missed tended to be the ones where i assumed the better angels on peoples’ intentions — ie, going with “concerned” instead of “distrusting” or “angered.” no surprise there, either.

  2. I scored 27. But I doubt the relevancy of this test. Who is the tester who decided what these eye expressions reflect and what are his qualifications and process? Did he ask subjects to express these emotions and attitudes for the camera? Were they good actors? Is he, or his committee a good judge? What would the full faces tell us?

    And, as Lane suggests, there is the serious question of semantics in the meanings of the four options given.

    I give this test a failing grade.

  3. Then, though, what do you make of my ability to score so well on this test? Admittedly, I’m an excellent test-taker (it served me well in school), and I’m sure there are test-taking elements at play here that might not have to do with the content of the test itself.

  4. Is it an ability, or a matter of chance, or an affinity for the same perceptions as the tester.

    None of this is really scientific, of course, but Lane and I scored higher than you on the previous test and lower than you on this one, so who gets rated the better test-taker?

    The reality is these tests are typical examples of entertainment magazine features, as in: “Test your love quotient.” They are superficial amusements that I would never have given a glance at if not for your posts and the chance to stimulate some amusing repartee.

    Julie nailed it with her comment to the first post. Jesus has re-risen today, I pray he saves us from believing we have learned anythinhg about ourselves, or each other, from these amusements.

  5. The empathy questionnaire isn’t a test in the same way this one is… There is no “right” answer in the empathy questionnaire, where there is a right answer in this one. That’s what I mean about my facility as a test-taker.

  6. I scored a 30, but I didn’t answer on 2 pictures because the answers and the eyes didn’t match up for me.

  7. peterme–strictly speaking, you are right. However, every testee want to score highly on any exam, including the empathy questionaire and I think some test-takers answered some questions according to how they perceived the more favorable result. That is why I joked about liars and wimps scoring highly.

    How, I wonder, were you able to score highly on the eye test on the basis of being a good test-taker?

  8. 30/36 and I scored pretty low (26/80) on the empathy scale. Seems to me there could be a correlation.

    I wonder what role gender and age bias plays in the “Mind in the eyes” test?

  9. 24 on this one after my 52 on the empathy test. As I was doing it I wasn’t extremely confident on my answers being correct, which was uncomfortable – I usually feel I do well with figuring out what other people are thinking / feeling.

  10. The empathy test was really too messy. I felt I should have scored higher. But frankly I don’t take for granted understanding other people, I WORK to understand them. I’m sure some folks who scored highly think they are the social bee’s knees, but feeling at ease with other people does not mean you truly understand them, you could be just superimposing your own values and emotions.

    I like the expression test better because it is more finite, although I got distracted wondering whether 32 was Pablo Picasso or Man Ray, and whether 35 was Siouxsie Sioux.

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