Performance on a face perception task is associated with empathy quotient scores, but not systemizing scores or participant sex

Ian S. Penton-Voak, Timothy Allen, Edward R. Morrison, Lisa Gralewski, Neill Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

15 Citations (Scopus)


This preliminary study investigated whether individual differences in performance on a difficult social perception task (determining the sex of shape normalized, line drawn dynamic faces) are related to sex of observer, scores on an empathy quotient and scores on a systemizing quotient. Performance in the face perception task (N = 60) was above chance, indicating that participants could judge the sex of the degraded facial stimuli from dynamic information alone. There was a trend for women to be more accurate in their judgments of target sex than men, but regression analyses indicated that EQ scores alone predicted performance on the task. This study suggests that empathy may mediate sex differences in face perception abilities, and potentially other tasks in social perception. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2229-2236
Number of pages8
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

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