TJ5.6 The Psychology of Meteorologists: Autistic Traits and Mental Health

Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 3:15 PM
Room 17B (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Matthew J. Bolton, Saint Leo Univ., Saint Leo, FL; and D. M. Greenberg, L. K. Ault, and S. Baron-Cohen

Twenty years ago, research into possible links between Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) and science was first published. Since then, the association between autistic traits and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) aptitude has been well established and discussed through the lens of the Empathizing-Systemizing (E-S) theory, which posits that autistic individuals are naturally driven to analyze and construct logical, rule-based patterns through “systemizing,” at the expense of cognitive, but not affective empathy. Here, we extend previous work in testing, for the first time, the link between meteorologists, autistic traits, empathizing, and systemizing. Further, we investigated, also for the first time, potential trends in meteorologists’ mental health (that is, tendencies for depression, anxiety, and stress) relative to other physical scientists. We will present our findings and discuss relevant implications for meteorologists in the workplace.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner