Feeds

back to article Engineers are cold and dead inside, research shows

A study carried out by psychology researchers in Sweden has shown that people who go into engineering are less caring and empathetic than those who enter professions such as medicine. Trick-cyclist Chato Rasoal and his colleagues determined this by surveying 200 students from six different study programs, using a "well- …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Psychologists as a measure of normal?

> One of your staff at least is an emotional mess, one or two may not really like children.

That's a fairly abnormal school - only one or two disliking children?

> Explain how you will use your knowledge of integration by parts to get the GCSE results up.

As with most "difficult" problems, the solution generally involves a pint of diesel and certain parts of the anatomy of the senior management...

Vic.

0
0
Silver badge
Happy

Psycho-types, however-

See people as puzzles to be dissected without mercy, and love nothing better that the feel of squeezing brain matter as it oozes between their cruel fingers.

1
1

I am an engineer (Electronics), and my partner works in the healthcare industry. She would certainly agree with the article, and basically claims I am not just unfeeling, but borderline autistic. She says this a lot, and it would obviously hurt my feelings, if I had any.

She, on the other hand, has to look after her staff and "customers", their emotional welfare and so on. By all accounts she does this reasonably well. She also runs her car absolutely into the ground, does not pick up on noises/vibration/smoke/warning-lights and other danger-signs. She'll happily drive off on a flat tire, without really noticing. No mechanical empathy whatsoever. That DOES hurt my feelings.

10
0
Anonymous Coward

So...there's a need for both personality types?

3
0
Terminator

Passing off surveying as actual science might be indicative for being cold, dead and calculating inside. That's the only hint the study might provide to the ones still enjoying blood circulation through their brain tissue....

3
0
Bronze badge
Mushroom

Dreaming in colour

Several years ago there was a report by a phsycologist who 'proved' that people dreamed in black and white and only imagined that they dreamed in colour...

Not sure what reminded me of that...

1
0
Silver badge
Holmes

I'll

go along with the 'engineers are cold unfeeling bastards' idea.... because I are one

To quote a friend(also an engineer)

"I dont want to listen to what you watched last weekend , or the latest ****ing football scores, I'm not ****ing interested in how many woman you shagged or ****ing fast your stupid iPhone is.. I'm here to solve problems and I dont ****ing well need your useless ****ing prattle putting me off, now **** off and bother someone who ****ing cares"

But then, after explaining to my doc that I 'm fairly smart, and reasonably educated, he treats and talks to me like an adult

The last phrase I heard him use was "The tests have come back positive, you will die within the next 21 days unless you have an emergency operation on your heart"

I like that.. direct and to the point.

4
0

Re: I'll

"I dont want to listen to what you watched last weekend , or the latest ****ing football scores, I'm not ****ing interested in how many woman you shagged or ****ing fast your stupid iPhone is.. I'm here to solve problems and I dont ****ing well need your useless ****ing prattle putting me off, now **** off and bother someone who ****ing cares"

Let's not confuse "cold and unfeeling" with "insulting and rude"

"Insulting and rude" would indicate an awareness on other peoples emotional capacity, evidenced by the attempt to influence their mood in a negative fashion. So your engineer friend is actually less dysfunctional than the rest of us. He is also an arsehole, but that is a separate matter...

4
0
Gold badge
Happy

Re: I'll

""I dont want to listen to what you watched last weekend , or the latest ****ing football scores, I'm not ****ing interested in how many woman you shagged or ****ing fast your stupid iPhone is.. I'm here to solve problems and I dont ****ing well need your useless ****ing prattle putting me off, now **** off and bother someone who ****ing cares""

You're friend is far too emotional.

A simple STFU would have sufficed.

It's what I would have said.

1
0
WTF?

Isn't this just a.....

.....rehash of Myers-Briggs assessments?

0
0
Silver badge

@SnowCrash (was: Re: Isn't this just a.....)

Yep. Same basic idea.

Unfortunately for the wing-nuts, pigeon-holing humans just plain don't work.

0
0

I'd feel rather hurt by the implication...

....but fortunately I'm an emotionless void with a lump hammer.

2
0
Go

Re: I'd feel rather hurt by the implication...

Lump Hammer, don't you mean a fine adjustment impact tool?

2
0
FAIL

get some proper researchers

and a survey base that's slightly larger than a swedish university.

2
0

As an electronics engineer with a strong background in physics, I should be offended by this. However, I can't really get there. Not because I'm "dead inside"; but because I know this "study" was thought up, performed by, and compiled by Psychologists, not scientists. Ask them what standard deviation is and they'd probably say it means everyone like a little weirdness in the bedroom...

8
0
Anonymous Coward

Indeed. A scientist would realize the result of the survey at best may reveal a characteristic of Linköping University, possibly evidence to suggest reviewing the admissions process. Or perhaps scientists and engineers when presented with this sort of study deliberately give the inappropriate answers for fun. Publishing a paper pretending to give evidence for stereotyping based on such a clichéd study says more about the authors than anything else.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Actually, for most psychologists, SPSS is the basic computer tool. You are confusing psychiatry and psychology, a consequence of an overly narrow education.

0
0
Silver badge

In other news

Engineers and proper sceintists point out that psychology is one step up from asking "do you want fries with that?" for a living.

7
2
Silver badge

Re: In other news

Down.

At least shovelling fries is honest work.

3
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: In other news

Sir John Rose (former CEO, RR) might not agree.

0
0
FAIL

Cold and dead - those CARING profession's MACHINES

Obviously a bit of research designed to prove a prejudice. Without us Physics-based engineers, those CARING professionals would have COLD and DEAD machinery - computers, cars, telephones, etc. They would squat around a fire (provided by a cold-hearted engineer, as they couldn't start their own) telling each other how much they care. And they would starve because they would have trouble figuring out how to make the spearpoint attach to the spear shaft. Too complex, you know.

There's a reason why reason rules. Empathy gets you nothing when the car's broken down, the telly's out, the phone's kaput, or the computer blue-screens.

3
0
Silver badge
Happy

I'm a medical engineer....

... and confused!

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Wasn't there a report on the internet (so must be true) comparing Doctors to serial killers? Something about the mentality to cut open a patient was similar to causing deliberate injury IIRC.

PS Work in a hospital, some of the most arrogant, self centred people I have ever met call themselves Doctors. There is one that is nice and polite and calls me by name.

3
0

Engineers should now conduct 'research' into the frictional coefficient, angular momentum and rigidity of psychologists

1
1
Facepalm

Doctors & Nurses

My personal experiences of both during my better half's recent surgeries were extremely varied. One of the Doctors I found to be human and responsive and warm. The other was cold and remote but an amazing surgeon and top of his field (I checked!)

A couple of the nurses in ICU were superb. Efficient and fully in control, yet warm and understanding. Others were cold and uninterested.

Once on the main ward most of the nurses were Ok but she did nickname one of them Hirohito and another one Hitler.

I consider myself pretty empathic and am one of the few men I know who can always see the other persons point of view, even if I disagree with it. However, I am rarely "passionate" about anything and before switching to IT I was an Electronics Engineer. Sounds to me like somebody already knew what results he wanted.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

ouch..

I'm hurt by this...

0
0
Gold badge
Happy

Re: ouch..

What's a doctor doing reading The Register...?

1
0

Meh

0
0
WTF?

Medics?

Most of them are swotty little calculating machines who only go into medicine for the status and the money.

2
0
Gold badge
Happy

If I were in computers/applied, I'd be rather concerned about this report. The theoretical physics lot can breathe a sigh of relief. Being favourably compared to medical students is an appalling thing to happen to you! Have you never heard of the game of 'intestinal skipping ropes'*?

However, assuming this research to be 100% accurate, we can dump physics A Level. All we need to do is to get Harrison Ford to put physics degree applicants through the Voight-Kampff test, and those that fail can join the course.

I wonder why our trick-cyclist friends didn't add the group of psychology students to the study?

*Please see 'Struck Off and Die', a hard-hitting Radio 4 documentary from the 1990s for details...

1
0
Joke

An engineer through observation and feedback can produce a reasonable model to emulate empathy.

A medical professional could not change a plug to save a life...

2
0
Anonymous Coward

My GP wants to convert his practice to using Linux desktops.

I think he can do a bit more than change a plug.

0
0
Joke

"...to using Linux desktops"

One could argue that he's got a plug loose, perhaps?

0
1
Silver badge

Re:

Note necessarily. Most GP's (private ones at least) are just looking for what they think is a way to save their practice money.

0
0
Gold badge
Unhappy

Scratch a cynic you will usually find

A disillusioned romantic.

They've measured people's rhetoric against their deeds and found them deeply lacking.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Well, I work with computers

because, I don't know why, but computers really like me and want to please me.

0
0
Mushroom

Never trust anyone named after a vegetable

Swedish trick cyclist? Sounds like one of Baldrick's cunning plans involving a blonde turnip...

3
0
Pint

Re: Never trust anyone named after a vegetable

Swedes? Every one I've met is either a manic depressive or a drunk.

Cheers!

1
0
Silver badge
Meh

Like I care what someone in Sweeden thinks of me.

Or anyone else for that matter, apparently.

0
0
Meh

Some of the most infamous terrorists of the 21st century were former engineers.

So there's that.

0
0
Trollface

Re: Some of the most infamous terrorists of the 21st century were former engineers.

Some were doctors, Ernesto "Che" Guevara

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Some of the most infamous terrorists of the 21st century were former engineers.

When I tell my ban-guns friends what one can do with products sold by grocery and hardware stores, they look at me as I were a terrorist, right enough.

0
0
Bronze badge
Flame

I feel misrepresented by this Article.

I am a cold, heartless, dead inside person, and I'm a computer engineer. I now feel misrepresented.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

A thought experiment

A thought experiment, to highlight the "usefulness" of caring.

Which would you rather have as your doctor:

1) a Bill Clinton-esque "I feel your pain" type who is so so hung up on how awful you feel he cannot reason about your illness

or

2) A Gregory House-like character who doesn't give one femto-fsck about how bad you feel if it is not diagnostically relevant, who can focus on reasoning out what is wrong with you and the most probable cure.

Sometimes I truly wonder if The Powers That Be are actively discouraging anybody with a rational, analytical bent due to those people being the most likely to see through the Bravo-Sierra and start proposing solutions to the problems that keep The Power That Be in power.

3
1

Clearly, these researchers haven't met *my* doctor.

Which explains a few things. Maybe he should have been an engineer instead.

0
0
Bronze badge

RE: Well, I work with computers

"but computers really like me and want to please me."

Don't anthropomorphize computers. They hate that.

5
0
h3
Bronze badge

Con Kolivas was a pretty decent kernel programmer (Who for a while made my Linux box work like I wanted it to).

I think there was a superiority type thing going on (Due to him being an accomplished Anesthetist as a day job). Reminds me of the jock / cheerleader thing in horrible US TV.

Some medical people are not really humane. (Some of the psychiatric stuff is awful - e.g Electric Shock Therapy - engineers have to design the stuff but doctors choose to use it).

If you see everything (All possible inputs and outputs). You have to become desensitised. (Either that or ignore stuff.) The mind anyway. (I don't think the medical profession knows even most of the inputs or outputs).

Physical things are more limited in scope.

2
0
Silver badge

should this bother me?

0
0
Gold badge
Terminator

"By contrast the medical students were warm and bursting with empathy and love"

Probably 1st years.

This weakness will be corrected in due course.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: "By contrast the medical students were warm and bursting with empathy and love"

> This weakness will be corrected in due course.

...When they can't afford E any more...

Vic.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.