Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ)

The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) tests for Asperger Syndrome and Autistic Spectrum disorders. The AQ consists of 50 questions, using 10 questions to test each of 5 different areas, including: social skills, attention-switching, attention to detail, communication, and imagination. The Autism Spectrum Quotient has demonstrated high validity with other measures of autism, and reliably distinguishes between High-Functioning Autism/Autism and healthy controls. Internal consistency on items is moderate to high. The AQ has high convergent validity with clinical ratings using DSM-IV criteria for autistic disorder by experienced clinicians. It takes between 5 and 10 minutes to complete. It is scored on a 5-point Likert-type rating from definitely agree, slightly agree, slightly disagree, to definitely disagree. Unlike the ADI-R and ADOS-G, the AQ is relatively easy and short to administer.

Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Skinner, R., Martin, J., Clubley, E., 2001. The autism spectrum quotient (AQ): evidence from Asperger syndrome/high functioning autism, males and females, scientists and mathematicians. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 31, 5–17.

Knickmeyer, R, Baron-Cohen, S, Fane, B, Wheelwright, S, Mathews, GA, Conway, GS, Brook, CGD, and Melissa Hines. Androgens and autistic traits: A study of individuals with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Hormones and Behavior 50 (2006) 148–153.

This assessment is for a male or a female
Definitely Disagree Slightly Disagree Slightly Agree Definitely Agree
1. I prefer to do things with others rather than on my own
2. I prefer to do things the same way over and over again.
3. If I try to imagine something, I find it very easy to create a picture in my mind.
4. I frequently get so strongly absorbed in one thing that I lose sight of other things.
5. I often notice small sounds when others do not.
6. I usually notice car number plates or similar strings of information.
7. Other people frequently tell me that what I’ve said is impolite, even though I think it is polite.
8. When I’m reading a story, I can easily imagine what the characters might look like.
9. I am fascinated by dates.
10. In a social group, I can easily keep track of several different people’s conversations.
11. I find social situations easy.
12. I tend to notice details that others do not.
13. I would rather go to a library than to a party.
14. I find making up stories easy.
15. I find myself drawn more strongly to people than to things.
16. I tend to have very strong interests, which I get upset about if I can’t pursue.
17. I enjoy social chitchat.
18. When I talk, it isn’t always easy for others to get a word in edgewise.
19. I am fascinated by numbers.
20. When I’m reading a story, I find it difficult to work out the characters’ intentions.
21. I don’t particularly enjoy reading fiction.
22. I find it hard to make new friends.
23. I notice patterns in things all the time.
24. I would rather go to the theater than to a museum.
25. It does not upset me if my daily routine is disturbed.
26. I frequently find that I don’t know how to keep a conversation going.
27. I find it easy to “read between the lines” when someone is talking to me.
28. I usually concentrate more on the whole picture, rather than on the small details.
29. I am not very good at remembering phone numbers.
30. I don’t usually notice small changes in a situation or a person’s appearance.
31. I know how to tell if someone listening to me is getting bored.
32. I find it easy to do more than one thing at once.
33. When I talk on the phone, I’m not sure when it’s my turn to speak.
34. I enjoy doing things spontaneously.
35. I am often the last to understand the point of a joke.
36. I find it easy to work out what someone is thinking or feeling just by looking at their face.
37. If there is an interruption, I can switch back to what I was doing very quickly.
38. I am good at social chitchat.
39. People often tell me that I keep going on and on about the same thing.
40. When I was young, I used to enjoy playing games involving pretending with other children.
41. I like to collect information about categories of things (e.g., types of cars, birds, trains, plants).
42. I find it difficult to imagine what it would be like to be someone else.
43. I like to carefully plan any activities I participate in.
44. I enjoy social occasions.
45. I find it difficult to work out people’s intentions.
46. New situations make me anxious.
47. I enjoy meeting new people.
48. I am a good diplomat.
49. I am not very good at remembering people’s date of birth.
50. I find it very easy to play games with children that involve pretending.


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