- When I’m talking with people, I often notice subtle social cues about their emotions—discomfort, say, or anger—before they acknowledge those feelings in themselves.
- I often find myself noting facial expressions and body language.
- I find it does not really matter if I talk with people on the phone or in person, since I rarely get any additional information from seeing whom I’m speaking with.
- I often feel as though I know more about people’s true feelings than they do themselves.
- I am often taken by surprise when someone I’m talking with gets angry or upset at something I said, for no apparent reason.
- At a restaurant, I prefer to sit next to someone I’m speaking with so I don’t have to see his or her full face.
- I often find myself responding to another person’s discomfort or distress on the basis of an intuitive feel rather than an explicit discussion.
- When I am in public places with time to kill, I like to observe people around me.
- I find it uncomfortable when someone I barely know looks directly into my eyes during a conversation.
- I can often tell when something is bothering another person just by looking at him or her.
Give yourself one point for each True answer for questions 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, and 10; score one point for each False answer for questions 3, 5, 6, and 9. Score zero for each False answer to 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, and 10, and for each True answer to 3, 5, 6, and 9. The higher your score (eight or above), the more Socially Intuitive you are; a lower score (three or below) means you are closer to Puzzled.
Neurological aspect of the Socially Intuitive Brain
Humans are visual creatures. We constantly gather information from other people by picking up signals with our eyes. Autism is often characterized by a great difficulty to look at other people in their eyes. A consequence is an inability at picking up clues about other people’s emotions. When Autistic people look at someone in the eyes their amygdala (the fear center) gets extremely active. To avoid this very unpleasant feeling they simply try to avoid eye contacts. Autism is an extreme example of the activity in the fusiform (visual center in the brain). The less activity we see in the fusifrom and the more we see in the amygdala, the less socially intuitive a person is and vice versa.