This is one of a series of discussion posts based on questions from the AQ-10 autism test.

9. I like to collect information about categories of things.

  • Definitely Agree
  • Slightly Agree
  • Slightly Disagree
  • Definitely Disagree

Is this statement true for you? Can you think of any examples? Is it an easy or difficult question for you to answer?

You can take the full AQ-10 test here. Note this test is intended as a quick screener, and cannot diagnose or rule out any condition on its own.


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  • @octopersonOP
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    8 months ago

    Once again, it depends what they mean. What do they mean by ‘collect information’ and what do they mean by ‘categories of things’. Because I like learning about things, I like going on research dives and learning odd bits of information. But I don’t think I approach it in such a systematic way that this question suggests.

    I checked against an extended version of the same test (AQ-50), and this question had some added clarification;

    (e.g. types of car, types of bird, types of train, types of plant, etc.).

    I could be interested in learning about any of those, but it would not be motivated by its belonging to the category. It would be if the particular car, bird, etc had some inherent interest, or was relevant to something else I was involved with

    I think I Slightly Disagree

      • @octopersonOP
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        58 months ago

        Okay, if I was going to learn about fish, it might go something like “I mentioned to someone about how spawning salmon return to their place of birth. But is that actually true?” *Learns about salmon life-cycle. *Learns about biological study of animal migration. *Learns about migration in different animals. *Learns about how understanding has developed over time. *Learns how it influenced ideas on geoscience, commerce, anthropology

        It’s like I’m on a random walk through the tree of knowledge, rather than cataloguing a few select branches.

        I do like how the class of lobe-finned fish can be interpreted to include human beings. That just tickles me.

        • schmorp
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          38 months ago

          Yup i do this as well. i want to know the knowledge and the knowledge about the knowledge etc. Probably just to make absolutely sure it’s correct.

  • @[email protected]
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    28 months ago

    Information about categories of things

    Does this mean, having an in-depth knowledge about a certain topic (category) - the ‘special interest’ question?

    It doesn’t look like ‘do you like to categorise and structure things’, or does it?

    Slightly agree to the first: movie quotes, car makes and types, x86 CPUs of the 90s and early 2000s. Though I wouldn’t call it special interest.

    Agree to the second. Finding categories for a given set of items feels natural and makes life easier for me.

  • @[email protected]
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    28 months ago

    This question amuses me because if you was going to take it completely literally, which seems like a reasonable approach for someone that is autistic, then you would read this as do you collect information and store it in some way such as files on the computer or a database. Which no, I don’t do that. But I do like to learn about lots of different things.

    • @octopersonOP
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      38 months ago

      It’s funny, both you and @[email protected] were careful to avoid over-literal interpretations (unlike me haha), but still you came to quite different understandings. You - “yes, I have a broad interest in learning”. Pancake - “yes, I am systematic with information”

  • 👍Maximum Derek👍
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    18 months ago

    This question has always confused me to a degree. I often said that my knowledge is in narrow wells that are very deep, but I think that’s just what being a specialist is.