BARON-COHEN'S EMPATHIZER-SYSTEMIZER-THEORY (E-S theory, Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer, & Belmonte, 2005) distinguishes two general cognitive styles. Empathizing is characterized as the capacity to respond to feeling states of other individuals, whereas systemizing is characterized as the capacity to respond to regularities of objects and events. To investigate these traits within the music domain, a questionnaire study (N = 442) was conducted. Construct validity and reliability of the measurement instrument were assessed by factor analysis procedures. A simplified unit weighting (SUW) scale was used to determine individual differences in music empathizing (ME) and music systemizing (MS). Significant effects of sex and of music performance experience were observed. A highly similar pattern of results emerged from a replicating survey (N = 155) using a short-version of the questionnaire. These results suggest that the ME and MS traits corroborate and extend the general E-S theory.

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