We shared a presentation about the Monotropism Questionnaire (MQ) around this time last year. Since then, work has been ongoing on a journal article writing up the results. This is still awaiting peer-review, but is now available on the OSF pre-print server along with the questionnaire itself, which has been made available under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licence.
A self-scoring version of the MQ was made by developer David Cary after he heard about it from a Sam✨AuDHD♾️PDA TikTok video with more than half a million views (which came after Dr. Joey Lawrence posted one which has 1.8 million views at the time of writing). David made his MQ page under his own initiative, but has made some changes in response to feedback from myself and others. Most of the comments on these videos have been very positive, with a lot of people saying how clear and relatable the questions are, compared with autism tests they’ve done; a few have been surprised by their low scores, though, and that warrants further research.
Dr. Joey, a clinical psychologist in Australia, said “I believe this is probably the best assessment of autism” – high praise, but misleading; the MQ is really not an autism assessment as such. The questionnaire is designed to assess a person’s degree of monotropism, and while Monotropism was developed as a theory of autism, it is too early to say whether all autistic people are monotropic, or whether all monotropic people are autistic. It is also not entirely clear how ADHD fits into this picture.
I made a TikTok video about all this (now also on Instagram):
What we know so far is that (to the extent that the MQ is really measuring monotropism) autistic people and ADHDers tend to be significantly more monotropic than the average person. It is also fair to say that no other theory of autism provides a more comprehensive account of autistic differences, and that the theory of Monotropism has helped a great many autistic people to make more sense of their own experiences.
There is still a great deal of research to be done looking at how to apply the MQ in practice, and the questionnaire itself deserves further testing and refinement to ensure that it is not slanted too much towards particular ways of experiencing monotropism. Having a measure of monotropism available – even if it is an imperfect one – opens the door to all kinds of interesting studies on it in the future.
In the meantime, it is exciting to see how much these ideas resonate with people. Here are some of the things that have been written in response…